Whether or not you think you’ve mastered your interviewing skills, it doesn’t hurt to brush them up a bit. HACE has created a list of tips to help you be better prepared for your next job interview.
Read what HACE member and HYPB Board Chair, Ivan Ruiz, has to say is the true success behind interviewing well and how to land your next dream job.
- Have you ever heard of the saying, “time is of the essence?” Well, it’s of extreme importance to show up on time to your scheduled interview. If your employer can’t count on you to show up on time to an interview, can he/she trust you to be prompt to future meetings? Probably not. Make a conscious effort to arrive 5-10 minutes early. Showing up on time makes you look good, but coming in a couple minutes early says a lot about who you are. Be sure to make a great first impression!
- Research is key. Ivan Ruiz, HYPB Board Chair, says, “Typically a Google search or the company's website will provide updates or recent news about the company or industry. Use this information to either mention a recent event or to ask a question on how a recent event in the industry may affect the company.” With that being said, knowing the ins and outs of the organization that you are applying for is key. It shows that you are both interested and invested in the company. You want to be sure you have a clear idea of who the company is and what they do in case you are asked at some point throughout the interview. Make mental notes of these things in order to use them as talking points.This will ultimately impress the interviewer and earn you a few brownie points.
You and your resume. Your resume is a reflection of who you are and what you have accomplished thus far. Be sure to spell check not once or twice but three times in order to avoid any grammar or spelling mistakes. For your interview, be sure to bring multiple copies of your resume to hand to your interviewer(s) and one for you to look at as reference. However, no one knows what you have done better than you do so, don’t rely heavily on your resume. Make your interview an effortless conversation.
- Dress the part. As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Be sure to dress appropriately. This may seem like the most obvious of tips, but how you dress speaks volumes about your personal brand. You want to make sure you look presentable, professional and
- Think Situation, Task, Action, Result or STAR. When a question begins with “Tell me about a time when…,” the best way to go about answering these questions is by implementing the STAR method.If you structure all your answers with this acronym in mind, then you will allow yourself to stand out far more than other candidates. Not using the STAR method will more than likely lead to an unstructured answer and the loss of key details. It’s important to practice the STAR method with various questions otherwise your answers won’t be as seamless. While practicing, be sure to use as much detail as possible in order to keep the interviewer engaged. Use the STAR method below to answer this practice question: Tell me about a time when you succeeded.
Other questions to keep in mind:
- Tell me about a time when you were working with someone who wasn’t pulling their weight. How did you deal with this person?
- Tell me about a time when you suffered a setback.
- Tell me about a time when you had to respond to an unhappy customer/manager/colleague.
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a rule or approach.
- Tell me about a time when you had conflict at work.
Ivan said, “The Internet provides many commonly used interview questions. By rehearsing your answers out loud, you will get familiar with your response. Being familiar with your response will allow you to present your response in a confident manner during an interview. When possible, utilize key-words from the job description to formulate your answer.”
6. “Do you have any questions?” Yes, yes you should! Asking a couple questions at the end of the interview proves to the interviewer that you were engaged throughout and are truly interested in working for the company. Have at least 3-5 questions in mind or written down. These questions will more than likely arise throughout the interview, but it’s good to plan ahead what you might ask.
7. The follow up. Don’t be afraid to follow up after the interview to thank the interviewer. This is your last opportunity to express your interest for the position and leave a lasting impression. So, make it count!
Last but not least, Ivan had one more tip to offer us for those nerve-racking interviews.
He recommends that you have a water bottle with you during your interview. Why? He said, “At times when you feel the need to slow yourself down or want to buy time to think about your response, [you can] just take a sip of water. The Water Trick also works when giving a presentation.”