Most of my clients dread the interview. Many feel talking about themselves could be considered bragging. Also, they strive to provide the ‘correct’ answer to a question. You are not being conceited if you base your responses on facts and provide examples. In addition, it is difficult, if not impossible, to know what the interviewer wants to hear.
WHO ARE YOU? KNOW YOURSELF
The first step is to identify the skills you have developed in your jobs, whether pursuing a role in the same industry or a different sector. For the latter, determine which skills can be transferred. For example, writing is a transferable skill not linked to a specific industry.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THE COMPANY
Conduct your due diligence on the company. Read their website, learn about their mission, and look at glassdoor.com for employee reviews. This site is like ‘yelp’ for organizations.
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWS
These questions ask about your prior experience managing a work situation. They typically begin with “Tell me about….” or “Describe a time when…” For example, “Tell me about a time when you had to complete a task but did not have enough information.” Rather than asking a hypothetical question, they can gauge how you handled yourself on the job. Use a S.T.A.R. approach to respond. Describe the situation, tasks, your actions and the result.
PRACTICE YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS IN ADVANCE
Rather than waiting to get a call for the interview, become familiar with typical interview questions and the best ways to respond. If you wait until the last minute, you may not have time to become familiar with the role and the company. Also, you need to practice a LOT, even if you feel you do well in these situations.
GETTING COMFORTABLE - SILENCE IS OK
Being nervous at the beginning of an interview is common. Once you get going, however, it will become easier. It is important to breathe, and it is also okay to think a few seconds before replying if you feel stuck. If you don’t relax you may find yourself rambling.
KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK
When the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” you must have a few. If you do not, consider your chance to move further in the process over. Interviewing is a two-way street, so this is the time for you to learn if the company is a good fit. Some questions could be about their evaluation process and why the position is available. It is inappropriate to inquire about salary and vacation time.
VIDEO INTERVIEWING - APPEARANCE COUNTS
If you are doing a video interview, look into the camera, not at the screen when you are talking. At first, it will be uncomfortable, but by practicing, you will adjust. This is your only way of making eye contact.
FOLLOW UP WITH A THANK YOU NOTE
A thank you note can make a difference. Suppose you and another candidate are equally qualified. Thanking the interviewer for their time, reiterating your interest in the role, and commenting on something you learned in the discussion can put you ahead of another applicant who does not send one.
Be genuine with your responses and try your best to treat the interview like a conversation. Be prepared to discuss anything on your resume. You want them to know who you are, how you will represent their company, and that you will have a good working relationship with teammates. They are looking for a ‘fit’ between you and them.
Contact me if you would like to schedule a free phone consultation.