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How Can I Prepare For An Interview

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HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW! (Job Interview Tips, Questions & Answers!)

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A semi-structured interview is a process that recruiters follow to gather qualitative information about a potential employee. During this type of interview, the interviewer usually asks a range of open-ended questions to collect information relating to the interviewee and their work experience. Understanding how this type of interview works and how to prepare for one may help you be successful in securing a new job. In this article, we explain what a semi-structured interview is, describe how this type of interview works, share how to prepare for one and provide a list of advantages of using this interview technique.

What Would The First 30 Days In This Position Look Like For You

This question helps a company understand what you will get done in your first month, to three months in the positionand how you answer it will signal whether or not you’re the right person for the job. Start by mentioning what information you would need to get started and what would help you transition into the new role. Then focus on your best skills and how you would apply those to this position right away.

What Makes You Unique

Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates theyre interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. Since you dont know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong candidate.

To help you prepare this answer consider the following:

Example answer:”What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion.”

Read more: Interview Question: What Makes You Unique?

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Introduce Yourself And Respond To Tell Me About Yourself

Typically youll be seated in a room to wait until your interviewer comes to meet you. You may want to use this time to get out your pen and paper for notes, take a drink of water and a couple of deep breaths to relax. When your interviewer enters the room, greet them confidently by standing up, extending your hand to shake theirs, stating your name and smiling.

Its likely that your interviewer knows the role you are applying for and has seen your resume. Still, you should prepare a short statement to make sure youre they know who you are and what role youre applying for. Something like,

Its great to meet with you to talk about the associate role on your events team.

Once introductions have been made, you can give them a hard copy of your resume, if they dont already have one. You will likely exchange a few pleasantries and get into the interview questionsespecially if theyve got a busy day. If they begin the conversation, let them take the lead.

If theres a bit of silence, dont be afraid to lead with your own elevator pitch that quickly summarizes your professional background and interest in the job. Heres an example that someone applying for a graphic design position might use:

Im a graphic designer with over five years of experience specializing in creating beautiful, unique website experiences that make users time with a brand more enjoyable. Im looking forward to growing my management skills to hopefully develop and inspire a team of my own.


Learn About The Company Online

How to prepare for your first design interview

Everything you’ll read about how to prepare for an interview includes doing some company research. Need help fast? Start with Monsters company page, which will give you something to talk about in addition to the job description. Go to the employers website , use kununu for current employee reviews, or Google information such as:

  • How big is the company in terms of annual sales or employees?
  • What does the company say about its products or services?
  • What recent news can you discuss?

Basic research like this should take you about an hour.

Also Check: Help Me With My Interview

Think Of Questions For The Interviewer

Asking thoughtful questions about the position and the company can . Prepare several questions to ask the interviewer to show that you are interested in learning more about the company and have a thorough understanding of the position. Here are some questions you might ask:

  • What’s a typical day like for a person in this position?

  • What’s your favourite thing about working for this company?

  • I’ve really enjoyed learning about this role. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

What Is Your Salary Range Expectation

Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount theyve budgeted for the role. If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you dont know your worth. Here are three ways to approach this response:

Provide a range

Indeed Salaries and make the low end of your range your lowest acceptable salary. For example, if you require at least $50,000 annually, you might offer the interviewer a range of $50,000-$60,000 per year. Let the hiring manager know if youre flexible.

Include negotiation options

There may be other benefits, perks or forms of compensation you find just as valuable as your salary.

Example answer:I am seeking a position that pays between $75,000 and $80,000 annually, but I am open to negotiate salary depending on benefits, bonuses, equity, stock options and other opportunities.

Deflect the question

If youre early in the hiring process and still learning the specifics of the job duties and expectations, you may want to deflect the question for later in the conversation.

Example answer:Before I answer, Id like to ask a few more questions to get a better idea of what the position entails. That way, I can provide a more accurate expectation.

Read more:

to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

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Dont Leave The Practical Points To The Last Minute

When youre dedicating a lot of time to the difficult parts of interview prep, the easy parts can sometimes slip your mind. If your mom likes to fuss over you, try to think about what she might say before your interview! Consider silly questions like

  • What are you wearing? Is it smart? Will you get sweat patches if its too hot? Do you have a plan to keep yourself looking professional if its raining?
  • How will you get to the interview? What time do you have to leave home to get there fifteen minutes early? Do you know who to ask for at reception?
  • Have you spoken to your current boss to excuse your absence from work at the interview time?
  • Will you remember to switch your phone off or put it on silent?
  • What are you going to eat, listen to or do beforehand, to ensure that you are in a calm mood?

What Are Your Greatest Strengths

How to prepare for a job interview

In your answer to this question, share your most relevant technical and soft skills. While it may feel uncomfortable to talk highly of yourself, remember that this is your opportunity to tell your interviewers what makes you a great candidateand they want to hear it. To answer, follow the formula below:

1. Share one to a few positive qualities and personal attributes:”Ive always been a natural leader…

2. Back them up with examples:”…Ive exceeded my KPIs every quarter and have been promoted twice in the past five years. I look back at those successes and know that I wouldnt have reached them if I hadnt built and led teams composed of highly skilled and diverse individuals. Im proud of my ability to get cross-functional groups on the same page…

3. Relate them back to the role for which youre interviewing:”…Ive also regularly honed my management skills through 360 reviews and candid sessions with my team, and I know continuing to build my leadership skills is something I want from my next role.

Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

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Practice Your Interviewing Skills

Many people practice for an interview by writing down answers to common interview questions.

While organizing your thoughts on paper is helpful, the best practice is done verbally, alone, with a friend, mentor, or career counselor.

You can schedule a practice interview with a career counselor to get feedback on your interview style, presentation, and body language. We also host a Practice Interview Program that allows you to practice and get feedback from a Columbia alum.

For independent practice in a virtual format, we recommend Big Interview, which you have access to for free through our office. You can practice answering interview questions by industry or job function, record yourself, and use their tool for self-assessment or share any video with a mentor for feedback.

Additional Resources for practicing interview questions

Make sure that you run through the following checklist a few days out from your interview:

  • Have you researched the eld, organization, and position?
  • Have you thought about your goals, values, and skills and how they match the opportunity?
  • Have you made sure your online image on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is appropriate and professional?
  • Do you know the name and title of the interviewer or who to check in with?
  • Have you prepared an appropriate interview outt?
  • Our Clothing Closet is a great resource for students in need of professional attire for an interview, career fair, or professional networking event.
  • Understanding What To Expect With Skills

    Interviewing for a new job can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure about what questions you might face. A hiring manager might use the skills-based interview format if they’re comparing many different candidates or hiring for a role that requires specific skills. Understanding what to expect in this type of interview and what questions you might ask can help you feel more prepared when sitting down with the interviewer.

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    Think About Body Language

    Brush up on what certain body language conveys. Be aware of what youre communicating through your posture and stanceand make sure its good. Think your movements through ahead of time so youre not distracted during the interview. If youre on video, think about how youll show that youre actively engaged in that formatputting the Zoom window near your camera so youre not looking away from your interviewer, for example, or making non-verbal gestures or expressions to show that youre listening without cutting off their microphone.

    How To Prepare For A Job Interview

    Interview Preparation

    The Balance / Alison Czinkota

    Do you have a job interview on your schedule? Taking the time to prepare for an interview in advance can help you ace the interview and secure a job offer. There are a number of steps you can take before the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression on your potential employer.

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    Why Are You Interested In This Role

    The real reason, of course, is because you feel very passionate about having enough money to live on. But we all know that isnt an answer that wins jobs!

    • This opportunity is perfect for me because

    I thought this position would be perfect for me because I have experience of acting as an Assistant Manager at another hotel from my graduate scheme, and really enjoyed it. Gaining a permanent contract as an Assistant Manager would be an ideal next step for me. I also noticed that you offer further training opportunities, which is something I would be interested in. I am ambitious so I was really excited to see that there is a clear path to progression within this company.

    Get Ready To Follow Up After The Interview

    After your interview, you should prepare to follow up with the employer. Doing so reminds the employer of your conversation, shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to bring up points you forgot to mention.

    Here are a few steps you can follow when crafting a follow-up note:

    • In the first paragraph, mention the specific job title and thank your interviewer.

    • In the second paragraph, note the companys name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.

    • In the final paragraph, invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying youre looking forward to hearing back.

    Read more:

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    Prepare Thoughtful Questions For The Interviewer

    Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position. You should take time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer that show youve researched the company and are well-versed about the position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:

    • What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?

    • Why do you enjoy working here?

    • What qualities do your most successful employees have?

    • Ive really enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

    Related: Interview Question: Do You Have Any Questions?

    Related: Interview Stage: Questions To Ask the Interviewer

    Jenn, a career coach, provides a look at the interviewing process and shares tips on which questions to ask the interviewer.

    One: Take A Deep Breath These Four Must

    How to prepare for your virtual interview at PwC

    These last-minute job interview tips can save the day.

    The moment has arrived, except much sooner than you anticipated. An awesome company wants to meet with you! And, as luck would have it, they have an opening in their scheduletomorrow! Wondering how to prepare for an interview when youve been given next to no heads up? Deep breaths: Its not terribly complicated. Even if you have fewer than 24 hours, a little job interview preparation can help you stand out from the other candidates.

    The following tasks will take you about four hours to complete, making this the best approach when it comes to preparing for an interview.

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    Conduct A Mock Interview

    Find someone you trust or who has experience in interviewing and conduct a mock interview. Assign them a series of questions to ask related to your role. Encourage them to find or come up with additional questions as well without telling you what they are. At the end of the interview, take any feedback they have on improving your performance. Once ready, conduct the mock interview again.

    Related:How To Prepare for a Mock Interview

    During The Interview: What Makes You Stand Out

    • Give the interviewer a firm handshake
    • Make good eye contact with the interviewer
    • Try not to fidget or touch your face or hair too often
    • Keep an upright posture
  • Be confident and energetic
  • Highlight your personality and sense of humor. Employers want to see if you will fit well with the companys culture and team.
  • Be honest and listen carefully. Be attentive to the question being asked so that you answer the question to the best of your ability. Stay focused on the issue at hand rather than on issues that may arise later in the interview.
  • Believe it or not, it is alright to admit you are nervous. Some interviewer may find this to be a relatable quality
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    Before The Interview: Research The Company

    • It might be important to first determine if you are a good fit for the position and company. Review the required skills and expectations carefully.
    • The interviewer will expect that you have taken the time to read about their company. Most likely, you will be asked questions relating to the company and its culture. BE PREPARED!
    • Be familiar with the corporate web page. Your knowledge of the company will come in handy during the interview.
    • Research and compose a list of questions about the companys services, products, and philosophies.
    • *Examples: What is unique about them? Who are their competitors? Who are the key people? What is the structure? What are the target markets? What is their mission and goals? Etc.
    • Write down several reasons you would like to work for that company.

    How Do You Ask For Another Position After Rejection

    Preparation Tips for Interviews

    Express your disappointment in not getting the job. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the organization and meet the people working there. Reiterate your continued interest in working in their organization. Request that they get in touch with you for the next time a job is opened.

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    What Are Your Weaknesses

    Everyone has weaknesses. Your interviewer wants to know if you are aware of yours and willing to work on them.

    A good strategy for answering this question is to pick something you used to be bad at, and show how you have recently taken steps to improve yourself.

    I sometimes struggle to speak my mind at work and worry about upsetting people too much. However, I have been taking steps to overcome this recently. I just read a book called The Power of Positive Confrontation, which gave some great insights into why it is necessary to speak frankly sometimes, and some tips I have started using with my co-workers. I already think my communication is improving, and plan to keep working on it.

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