Treat Everyone You Meet As Your Interviewer
Make sure that youre polite and friendly to everyone you come across in the interview process. From greeting the receptionist, to the people you share a lift with, to walking through an open-plan office to reach your meeting-room These are all touchpoints with your potential future employer, and co-workers will often share their impressions of visitors afterwards, so you want everyone who comes into contact with you to see you in as positive a light as possible.
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years
Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesnt have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.
Dont worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how its important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.
Tell Me About Yourself
While this isnt exactly a question, answering this the wrong way could really hurt your chances of getting a job, Teach says. I was once told by an HR executive that this can actually be a trick question. Hiring managers cant ask you certain questions legally but if you go off on a tangent when answering, you may tell them some things about you that are better left unsaid. The worst way to approach this request is to tell them your life story, which is something theyre definitely not interested in. The best way to approach this is to only discuss what your interests are relating to the job and why your background makes you a great candidate.
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Show Confidence And Deference Simultaneously
Success in business is often a matter of competing and cooperating, say Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer, the business professors who wrote the book Friend and Foe.
In a job interview, that means showing deference to your interviewer, while also demonstrating self-confidence. One way to do that is to say something like, I love your work on . It reminds me of my work on .
Youre confident in that youre taking the initiative to guide the conversation, but also deferential in that youre admiring your interviewers work.
Relax You Came Prepared
Youve done your research. Youve practiced. Youve come prepared. Youre early and well dressed. And chances are, youre nervous. Thats normal. Take advantage of your early arrival and draw your shoulders back and down, unclench your jaw, and take several deep breaths.
Consider the fact that feeling nervous and being excited share a lot of the same physiological symptoms. Try to reframe anxiety as optimistic anticipation. Spend a few quiet moments reviewing any notes youve taken, remind yourself that youve prepared the best you can, and assume an air of confidence. After all, youre as ready as youll ever be!
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Putting It All Together
Its making sense now, isnt it? Heres one more question-and-answer example for some added clarity.
The Interviewer Says:Tell me about a time when you had to be very strategic in order to meet all of your top priorities.
Situation:In my previous sales role, I was put in charge of the transfer to an entirely new customer relationship management systemon top of handling my daily sales calls and responsibilities.
Task:The goal was to have the migration to the new CRM database completed by Q3, without letting any of my own sales numbers slip below my targets.
Action:In order to do that, I had to be very careful about how I managed all of my time. So, I blocked off an hour each day on my calendar to dedicate solely to the CRM migration. During that time, I worked on transferring the data, as well as cleaning out old contacts and updating outdated information. Doing this gave me enough time to chip away at that project, while still handling my normal tasks.
Result:As a result, the transfer was completed two weeks ahead of deadline and I finished the quarter 10% ahead of my sales goal.
The STAR interview process for answering behavioral interview questions might seem a little overwhelming at first. But it will become second nature with a little practice. And make no mistake, practicing is definitely something you should do.
How To Ace Your Next Interview: Tips And Examples
Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a senior role, you will probably have to interview with a potential employer before receiving a job offer. Since a job interview gives you a chance to show your qualifications and make a good impression on the hiring team, you will want to perform at your best during this important meeting. In this article, we discuss how to ace an interview, including preparation tips for common job interview questions.
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Creative Ways To Stand Out In A Job Interview
In a competitive job market, many candidates who share similar qualifications are vying for the same opportunity. But you can gain an edge by doing something to distinguish yourself from other applicants and make a positive impression during a job interview, whether its in person or online.
Below are some tips from executives and entrepreneurs about creative approaches to interviewing that make candidates stand out in a good way.
Mirror The Interviewers Body Language
The chameleon effect is a psychological phenomenon that describes how people tend to like each other more when theyre exhibiting similar body language.
Body language expert Patti Wood says that, ideally, it should look like youre dancing with the other person. Otherwise it can seem like youre not interested in what theyre saying, youre not a team player, or even that youre lying.
So if your interviewer is leaning forward in his chair and putting his hands on the table, feel free to do the same. Chances are he wont notice that youre copying him.
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Research Your Potential Employer
Before your interview, research the organization so you can be knowledgeable about its accomplishments, goals and mission. Browse the companys website to learn about its history, recent announcements, executive officers, values and culture. Then search for recent news about the organization to study its latest achievements and future goals.
You can also search the company on Indeed Company Pages to read about the company and browse reviews, open jobs, Q& A and more. Doing your research will help you contextualize your interview answers. With knowledge about the organization, youll be able to quickly tie your background, qualifications and achievements back to the company.
Answer questions using the STAR method
Recruit a friend to practice answering questions
Be prepared with examples of your work
Plan your interview attire the night before
Prepare smart questions for your interviews
Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen
Tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments
Different Types Of Interview
Preparing according to the type of interview youll be having is highly important. It could be your first, second, or final interview, and it can be a video/phone call interview, a group interview, or an out of the office interview.
1. Video/Phone Interview
With the technology being such an irreplaceable part of our lives, some companies prefer to have interviews over video or phone calls. For such conversations, youll need a quiet place, a good connection, etc. If you are not sure about the connection/device quality you have at home, have a trial with a friend before the interview.
Make sure you let other people in the house know that they should not bother you during the interview.
2. Group Interviews
Group interviews can be done in two ways first being interviewed by a group of people, and second is being interviewed with other candidates. In both cases, its essential to show that you are a good listener and give proper responses with your body language.
If youre not sure about what kind of interview youll be having, never hesitate to ask your potential employer.
3. Out of Office Interviews
Job interviews can be done over a lunch or a dinner meeting as well. Search online about the place youll be having your interview and get an idea of appropriate clothing. Make sure to arrive 5-10 minutes before the interview time.
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Arent You Overqualified For This Position
When you reach a certain level in your career and lose your job, chances are good that at some point during your job search, that hideous term overqualified will rear its unwelcome head. How should you respond when it does?
First, lets interpret what hiring managers are telling you when they trot out this term. They may say or imply that your skills and experience far exceed what the position requires, but what they really mean is:
- I think your former salary was so high that we wont be able to afford you.
- Im worried that if I hire you at a lower wage than you used to get, you wont be as committed to this position.
- Im concerned that youre older than the usual age range for people who typically fill this type of position.
- Im concerned that youre older than the person who will be managing you.
- I think youre desperate and will stay only until something better comes along.
The best way to put these fears to rest is by making the job the focus of your conversations, emphasizing the value you can bring to that job and to the company. You need to reassure hiring managers that you will be committed to the job and satisfied with a position at that level.
How To Follow Up An Interview
Congratulations! You made it through the initial interview process, hopefully picking up some great job interview tips we provided in the preceding sections.
Don’t stop there. The next part of the process is just as important, if not more so. In today’s competitive job market it’s imperative you follow up your initial job interview with a thank-you email to reiterate your interest in the role, and brush up on your second interview skills.
Read below for tips on what to do after the interview to make it into the next round of interviews – and successfully achieve your dream job.
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Get Familiar With Your Resume
This is one of the more important interview preparation tips, and one of the easiest. Glance over your resume if you havent in a while. Be ready to explain past job changes in a positive light. If you left a job because your manager was horrible, say that you went to an organization that had more supportive management. Its all about how you phrase it. Well look at more examples of how to deliver this in Part II coming up.
Also think of a couple of challenges and accomplishments in your last 1-2 positions. Interviewers love specific examples of accomplishments.
Thats it, youre done with Part I. At this point youve already done more than 80% of job applicants, and you have good answers prepared for some of the most common interview questions. Lets move on
Know When To Ask For A Time
If you dont know the answer to a question or you feel yourself panicking a little, take a deep breath and ask confidently and calmly if you can get back to the question later. Avoid rambling on and on and dont let any panic show. Its much better if you build up your confidence with some other questions and then return to this tougher one later. Word of warning though: Dont rely on this too much and only skip questions if absolutely necessary asking to skip a question too many times could make you seem unprepared.
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Find A Suitable Example
The STAR interview method wont be helpful to you if you use it to structure an answer using a totally irrelevant anecdote. Thats why the crucial starting point is to find an appropriate scenario from your professional history that you can expand on.
Theres no way for you to know ahead of time exactly what the interviewer will ask you . With that in mind, its smart to have a few stories and examples ready to go that you can tweak and adapt for different questions.
Brainstorm a few examples of particular success in your previous job, and think through how to discuss that success using the STAR framework, says Lydia Bowers, a human resources professional. Repeat that exercise for a few types of questions.
If youre struggling during your interview to come up with an example that fits, dont be afraid to ask to take a minute. Im always impressed when a candidate asks for a moment to think so that they can provide a good answer, says Emma Flowers, a career coach here at The Muse. Its OK to take a few seconds.
Dont Interview On The Same Day As The Strongest Candidates
Research suggests that interviewers base their evaluations of individual candidates on who else theyve interviewed that day.
One study, from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, found that applicants who interviewed at the end of a day after a series of strong candidates were rated lower than expected. On the other hand, those who interviewed after a series of weak candidates were rated higher than expected.
Its not clear whether this is an unconscious phenomenon, or whether interviewers are consciously rating the last candidates higher or lower than they should because they dont want their supervisors to think theyre giving everyone the same ratings.
Either way, if you have any knowledge of who else is interviewing and when, choose to come in after comparatively unqualified candidates.
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Get Ready For The Call
Before the call, confirm all the details, including the date, time, and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.
If something goes wrong and you miss the call, or the recruiter doesn’t call on time, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. You should be able to get the call back on track or reschedule if need be.
Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space with no distractions so you can focus on the interview.
If you’ll be using your cellphone, make sure it’s fully charged, and you are in a spot with good reception for the call. You may also find that standing during an interview helps you sound more energetic during the call.
Skype Of Facetime Interview Tips
I have also done my fair share of Skype interviews! I had two separate Skype interviews for my internship with Lou & Grey. The first was a complete hot mess, but I still made it work! Ideally youre supposed to have a quiet room in your home or apartment and/or a study room on campus. However, I found out the day I arrived at my Airbnb in Charleston that I had my first Skype interview that week!
Luckily I think quickly on my feet and that, since Im a blogger, I had a ton of clothes in my car from a photoshoot Id done that week. I also got lucky that my Airbnb was in a quiet part of town. I was able to use a plain wall, two TV dinner trays, a table lamp, and my suitcase to create a perfect little office.
Before you have your Skype/Facetime interview, be sure to have someone test that it works on your computer. If push comes to shove, prop your phone up against something chest level and do your interview that way! Make sure that you look professional and sound professional too!
You want to make sure you have/do the following:
- Good lighting
- A solid background
- A room free of noise
- Are wearing a business casual outfit
- Are making eye contact with the CAMERAand not the screen
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Reiterate Your Interest And Leave A Tangible Takeaway
Lori B. Rassas, HR consultant and author of the book The Portable Perpetual Paycheck, explained that although the pandemic has created a lot of opportunities for individuals seeking new roles, the job market is still highly competitive. As such, you want to take advantage of any opportunities you may have to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
One piece of advice that Rassas always gives applicants is to provide every prospective employer with what she calls a takeaway. She continues, The idea is that, as you walk out the door, you reiterate your interest in the role and hand the interviewer a tangible piece of evidence to support what you are saying, Rassas said.
She added that if you are interviewing via Zoom, you can either let the hiring manager know you will be following up with a takeaway, or simply email it as soon as you conclude the meeting.
A takeaway can be a writing sample or a sample presentation , a relevant blog post you wrote, or an article that quoted you. Rassas suggested that depending on your interest in the role, you could even create something more targeted.
More Tips On Job Hunting
The importance of learning cannot be underestimated. Learning empowers us to fulfill our ideas and realize our full potential. The speed of gaining new knowledge is practically as important as its volume. Who wouldnt love to remember tons of information as quickly as possible?
If you want to start learning faster, you need a new approach towards the process which would enable you to comprehend the essence of the matter and relate it with new concepts you encounter.
The following 10 tips will help you become a fast learner:
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