One of the most nerve-racking (and scary) parts of job hunting is the interview process. Who wants to be put on the spot, right? We all feel this way at our first few interviews, and that’s totally normal! After years of interview experience, I’m here to tell you that it does get better and it will get easier. At this point, I can do interviews in my sleep.
There’s no one right answer for an interview question― everyone has different experiences, stories, and personalities― but there are strategies for how you can prepare and communicate your answers. Here are 6 tips you need to know before your first interview:
1. Stalk the heck out of the company
Stalk the company on EVERY social media platform, research the people who will be interviewing you, read about the company’s mission, and learn about their projects. You may feel creepy doing this, but hey, I don’t make the rules here.
If it makes you better prepared walking into the interview, we’re here for it. You should know everything about the company before your first screening. Some companies will even ask what you already know about the company― meaning, they’re checking if you did your homework!
2. Reflect on your prior work experiences
Instead of walking in and winging your answers, think back on your past job experiences and ask yourself: What am I good at? What good things have other people said about me? When was a time I did well at work? What could I work on and what am I doing to fix it?
Reflect and think about stories you could tell your interviewer. The reason they are interviewing you is because they want to get to know you! Tap into your experiences and tell your best stories where your personality shines through. Put together a portfolio with work samples (if that’s your thing) so you can show your interviewer proof of your skills.
3. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself ― be confident!
Talking about yourself can feel weird, especially when you have to brag about your accomplishments. But remember, this interview is all about YOU. So get out of your head, calm your nerves, and give yourself a pep talk in the mirror if you have to.
Practice your answers so you can have some ideas on what to say and avoid blanking on the spot. But don’t practice too much. You want to be authentic in your answers― not rehearsed. When the interviewer asks “so tell me about yourself” give a personal and unique detail in your answer so they remember you.
4. Use the STAR method
When answering behavioral questions like “tell me about a time you…” use the star method. Set up the (S)ituation, describe the (T)ask, tell them your (A)ction, and specify the (R)esult. By using the STAR method, you can tell a story of when you rose to the occasion. Make sure that your answers line up with what they want in a candidate which should be included in the job description.
5. ALWAYS ask your interviewer questions
Remember, this is the very first time you’ve ever met these people. Ask away! If your interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end, you should ALWAYS say yes and have a few prepared to ask. Asking them questions makes it seem like you care and really want to position.
6. Follow up afterward!
This step is extremely important yet so often overlooked. It’s a simple and effective step you should take if you want the offer. Send a follow-up email to the people who interviewed you and thank them for their time. Even better, write a handwritten note to them. Pick out something specific you talked about in the interview and include that in your note.
Now that you have these tips and tricks under your belt, you’re going to totally rock your next interview. Good luck!
If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/advice-recruiter-3-tips-make-great-impression-job-interview/