I’m sure most adults would agree that interviewing for a new job is a hair pulling experience. You feel so judged and critiqued throughout the process and at some point, you begin to second guess yourself.
Learn How To Play The Game
Whether it is an entry level or an executive level position, interviews have a common theme. So, take a deep breath and relax! Feeling nervous an on edge about an interview is now a thing of the past. Once you understand the agenda of an interview, trust me, the process is easy to maneuver. I am going to share with you my interviewing experiences and 7 simple job interview tips.
Interview Tip #1 – Dress Accordingly
It sounds like a no-brainer but honey you will be surprised! I have sat in on an interview and the candidate showed up in gym shoes. Dressing for success is important because it shows that you not only value your image, but you also value the organization’s time. Think of yourself as an asset. In most cases, you want to stay with an organization long term, so showcasing your image in a positive way leaves a great impression.
I will always remember the interview I had for my last job. I dressed up so well, and the trainer that interviewed me never forgot our interview. Every chance he had, he would tell people that I looked stunning in my interview and that I was going to be his boss one day. That is the type of impression you want to leave with the hiring team! And guess what? I had on a simple black suit from Kohls, but I made it look good.
Interview Tip #2 – Research the organization
Knowing nothing about the employer you are interviewing for will put you at a major disadvantage. Many hiring teams ask you questions about their organizations as a test to see if you are even serious about the job. Why would a hiring manager hire someone who knows nothing about their culture and operations? In their eyes, you are viewed as a candidate that is not serious about their career.
You should research the organization to determine if their business model is in line with your career goals. Imagine buying a car sight unseen, and realizing shortly after that you bought a lemon. Imagine how cheated you would feel? All your hard-earned money has been wasted. The same concept applies to researching employers. I’m telling you from experience, there is nothing worse than landing your dream job, and later realizing that you hate the organization you work for. Do your homework!
Interview Tip #3 – Practice your elevator pitch
99% of interviews start with a hiring manager saying “Tell me about yourself”. When you hear that statement, it is time for you to use your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief synopsis of your professional background and work experience. Perfecting your elevator pitch is very important because it is your chance to give a good first impression. If done properly, an elevator pitch gives the hiring manager the opportunity to really get an idea of who you are and what you have done in your professional career.
Interview Tip #4 – Learn the STAR Method
I can guarantee that the next interview you attend, the hiring team will ask you a STAR Method interview question. The star method stands for situation, task, action, and result. The behavioral style questions are used in interviews to know how well you handle work-related tasks.
Almost all behavioral style questions start off by a hiring manager stating “ Tell me about a time when”. Your goal for each question is to showcase your skills by strategically using the STAR method.
If the hiring manager says “Tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision at work”. Your response should be, I had to tell a client that we were no longer going to be able to serve them due to their constant delinquent account status. I drafted a template of all the points I would need to cover on the phone call and ways to help the client find a new service provider.
By the end of the hour long call, the client was very understanding, an even went out of their way to send my manager a raving review about my customer service skills.
The example that I used showcased my skills, explained my approach, and provided a result. As I stated earlier, your goal for each STAR question is to use great workplace scenarios that showcase your professional skills.
Interview Tip #5 – Research Glass Door
Glassdoor is a website that allows current and former employees the opportunity to rate an employer. The site is phenomenal! You can search the position that you are applying for and see what questions were asked during other candidates’ interviews. I personally can attest that the questions are spot on. In many interviews, the questions that were asked during my interview were already posted on Glass Door.
Interview Tip #6 – Apply your work experience to the position you are applying for
When you go on an interview, be sure to use your work experience to your advantage. Hiring managers will typically ask you a question in regards to transferable skills. Transferable skills are skills that you have acquired throughout your working career, and could potentially be useful in your new role.
For example, I have account management experience which can be considered a transferable skill for the project management job I am applying for. Working with clients as an account manager is a great skill to have as a potential project manager because I will know how to engage with client’s as I collaborate with them on various projects.
Interview Tip #7 – Follow Up
Always send the hiring manager a thank you email. You want to send a short personalized email that thanks the hiring manager for their time. I usually draft the email as soon as I return to my car, and then send the email later on in the evening.
Never Give Up!
Don’t sweat the past! You now have the tools to go into your next interview with confidence. Practicing your questions beforehand is a great way to prepare.
Continue to push yourself and have patience.
Rome wasn’t built overnight!
Comment below and tell me about some of the challenges you’ve faced in an interview.