Preparing For An Interview
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Lets look at the steps to preparing for an interview.
What Do You Look For In A Boss
When an interviewer asks this question, theyâre probably trying to gauge how youâll fit in with the company culture and current leaders. The best path? Be honest without getting too specific you never know what type of leaders youâll be working with. Stick with traits that are universally positive such as fairness, good listener, capable, intelligent, etc. Most managers like to think they embody these traits, so thereâs no risk of alienating your potential boss.
Mention The Name Of Your Main Recipient In The Salutation
In other professional emails you receive, using Dear Sir or Dear Maam in the salutation section is already enough. While you may also apply this when responding to a job interview invite, it is recommended that you mention the name of your main recipient.
For example, if her name is Michelle Smith, you may indicate Dear Michelle, Dear Ms. Michelle, or Dear Ms. Smith, in the salutation.
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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.
Final tip: If you dont know the answer to a certain question, it is perfectly acceptable to pause for a moment and simply state, Let me think about that for a moment. The employer will appreciate you taking the time to give them a thoughtful answer. Be sure to provide specific examples wherever possible. Taking time to prepare for an interview will ultimately help you feel more relaxed and confident during the process.
What Can You Bring To This Role
This is key, because its one of a few typical interview questions that gives you a chance to really sell yourself and all your relevant skills. Regardless of whether or not you have any professional experience in a similar role, you can still talk about the skills you picked up during your degree, an internship or part-time job. Try to relate these skills to the role you are interviewing for. For example, your part time job might have taught you how to work well in a team, as well as how to build strong professional relationships with your colleagues and clients.
If youve already been offered an interview, the chances are that the interviewer is aware of what experience you have and sees potential in you. Provide examples of times when youve utilized the skills theyre looking for in a different context. If youre a new graduate, nows the chance to highlight all the transferable skills you gained during your degree, such as analytical ability, written and spoken communication skills and IT mastery, to name but a few.
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You Need To Do More Than Just Confirm The Interview
Before we examine the process you should use in your email reply, it is worth explaining why you need to do more than just confirm that you will be there. While it might be tempting to simply send out a short I’ll be there reply, it is vital to focus on being professional at every stage of the hiring process. A formal offer for an interview requires a formal reply that accepts or declines the offer.
Bring The Right Things
It’s important to know what to bring to a job interview a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, a list of references, and questions you have for the interviewer. Be sure you have everything you need ready to go. If youre job searching in earnest, its a good idea to prepare a bag with all your materials so that you can be ready to interview whenever an opportunity arises.
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Behavioral Interview Questions And Sample Answers
Here are some common behavioral interview questions you may be asked during a job interview. Review the responses and consider how you would answer the questions, so you’ll be prepared to give a strong answer.
As you can see from the sample responses, it’s important to be ready with specific examples and anecdotes.
While you don’t need to memorize answers, have a sense of what experiences you would share and how to describe them to the interviewer. You’ll want your examples to be both clear and succinct.
What Salary Are You Seeking
When you’re asked, “What salary are you seeking?” it is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: “I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”
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Why Were You Fired
Of course, they may ask the follow-up question: Why were you let go? If you lost your job due to layoffs, you can simply say, The company and unfortunately my was eliminated. But what if you were fired for performance reasons? Your best bet is to be honest . But it doesnt have to be a deal breaker. Frame it as a learning experience: Share how youve grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. And if you can portray your growth as an advantage for this next job, even better.
What Are Some Tips For Interviewing Over The Phone
With the large surge of phone interviews in todays work world, its nice to have a few tips and tricks in your pocket to stick out. Here are a few tips to help during your next phone interview:
Find a nice, quiet place away from other distractions
Do some research on the company prior to the interview
Write down talking points prior to the call
Keep your resume in front of you
Dont speed through questions
Take your time
Prepare some question to ask
Ask if they noticed anything from the conversation that you can work on
Send a thank you email
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Are You A Team Player
Wherever youre applying, the answer to this question should be a Yes!
Even if youre applying for a completely solo role, chances are, youre still going to have to work in a team occasionally.
Wed recommend being very specific about your answer here – dont just say yes. Give the interviewer an exact example of when you excelled at working with a team.
- Sample Answer 1:
Im much better at working in a team than alone, actually. Thats what I love about working in advertising – everyone has their own specific type of a creative spark, and when you combine it all, magic happens!
Im good at both leading and following in terms of creativity and brainstorming. Im also super receptive to others ideas, and do my best to help them execute it without nay-saying or criticism.
- Sample Answer 2:
Yep, definitely. I excel at team-work.
This one time while working at , I was assigned to an existing team working on a web application for a business process management company.
They were working on a tight deadline, and needed help on the API side.
I optimised their development cycles and oversaw a team of three developers while collaborating with the other two dev teams.
Everything went pretty well, and we managed to finish the project on time.
How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure
What They Want to Know: What you do when work gets stressful? Do you stay calm under pressure? Or do you have a difficult time in stressful situations? If you’re interviewing for a high-pressure position, the interviewer will want to know that you can deal with the stress.
Im pretty good at recognizing when Im beginning to feel stressed. When this happens, I take five minutes to focus on my breathing. I also practice guided meditation in the morning before work for 30 minutes and exercise for an hour in the evening. This keeps me on an even keel.
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How Much Do You Expect To Get Paid
What They Want to Know: Employers want to know that your salary demands are reasonable. The safest strategy is to provide a believable ballpark figure, accompanied by a statement of your willingness to negotiate your pay scale.
Sample Answer: The major online salary calculators indicate that retail managers at my level of experience here in Miami can expect to earn between $48K and $52K. Im more than open to negotiating this, depending upon your benefits package.
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Being Rude To The Receptionist Or Support Staff
It is vital that you are kind to everyone in the office when you go in for an interview. You never know who has a say in whether you get the job.
According to the Recruiter Nation report, the worst thing an interviewee can do is be rude to the receptionist or support staff. In fact, 86% of recruiters reported that if a potential employee was rude to the receptionist, they would take the candidate out of the running for the job.
Be courteous, professional and polite to everyone you interact with during the entire process, and make sure to thank people for their time as you leave.
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Other Tips When Responding To A Job Interview Email
Aside from the guidelines mentioned above on how to respond to a job interview email, here are additional reminders for you:
- Make sure to reply in less than 24 hours. Doing so is a sign of your interest in getting interviewed. It is an indication that you check your email regularly, too. Generally, it is an indication of being a responsible person.
- Reply in a direct manner. Make sure not to include unnecessary details. Dont say, I would like to express my sincere apology for not being able to reply as soon as possible, as I had to attend to my childrens needs. They know that you have other important things to do, but you dont have to specify them. Stick to the topic. Answer the questions directly. It is an indication of being an efficient person.
- If the recruiter did not indicate any further instructions in the email, feel free to ask about it in your email response. You may ask if theres anything you need to bring on the day of your interview. Or ask if there are other requirements you need to submit via email.
- Dont forget to include a professional closing. You may say, Looking forward to meeting you soon, Hoping for your favorable response, or anything else that you deem appropriate. Also, dont forget the most important thingwrite Thank you as your last sentence before indicating your signature.
Why Are You Looking To Leave Your Current Company
If youre job searching while employed, this is one of the most important interview questions and answers to know.
Otherwise, the most important thing to do when they ask why you are looking to leave your current job is to stay positive and never badmouth your current employer, boss, or even team members.
Rather than complaining or talking badly about your situation, say that youre looking for more of something positive. What are you hoping to gain from a job change?
Is your current boss a jerk? Say that youre looking for an environment with more leadership you can learn from.
- Sound positive and focus on what you want to gain by making a move
- Show gratitude for your current job
- Sound like youre ambitious, motivated, and eager to find the next challenge in your career.
- Badmouth your current employer in any way
- Sound like youre trying to escape a bad situation, or youre failing or not fitting in at your current job
- Say youre struggling or failing to perform the work
- Say its too difficult or stressful
- Say youre not sure
Good sample answer:
Im looking for more leadership opportunities. Ive been at my company for three years and have really enjoyed the experience but I feel in order to take the next step in my career, itd be helpful to join a larger organization and use what Ive learned in the past to lead more projects. Thats why this Project Manager role excited me.
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How Do You Work Under Pressure
Many jobs involve moments when, for varied reasons, there are unexpected situations that require swift action. The ability to stay calm, think logically and act correctly in such a scenario is a major asset.
This is another good instance of when to use the STAR method to talk about a specific time you were faced with a challenge, might have succumbed to stress but managed to calmly find a solution.
Example answer:Throughout my career, Ive discovered how to embrace working under pressure. I find that routine can make us complacent, so I try to look for challenges that push me to grow.
One time, I was supposed to deliver a project to a client in five days. A colleague who was working with another client had the same deadline, but he had to take a leave of absence due to personal reasons. I was forced to take up both projects at the same time. While I felt an initial sense of panic, I tried to reframe it as an opportunity to see what I might be capable of. Instead of letting the stress get to me, I came up with a very detailed time management plan and found new ways to boost my efficiency that enabled me to deliver both projects on time.
What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position
This question can tell employers about types of work you enjoy, your experience level with certain workplace scenarios and whether or not you would be a good culture add. Avoid saying anything negative about your former employer, managers or colleagues. Dont mention any aspects of your last role that youre aware would be part of this role. Make your answer about your career growth and enthusiasm for joining their organization.
Example answer:While I enjoyed my time learning and growing in my last job, there was a lack of opportunity in the way I wanted to progress in my career. I deeply enjoy being challenged and getting better at what I do, which I understand is a top priority for managers at your organization. Thats why Im excited to continue having conversations about this opportunity.
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Tips For Answering Tell Me About Yourself
First impressions matter, whether in person or digitally. Most interviewers can see the upper portion of your body as well as your background, so ensure youre dressed professionally for an interview and your background is clean and free of clutter and distractions.
Also, focus on the impression you give with your answer.
This is not the time to launch into a 20-minute monologue about your life history, Genduso said. As a hiring manager, I once had a candidate talk nonstop after that initial question, which left very little time for other questions and discussion. That can send an unintended message about your communications skills by signaling youre more interested in speaking than listening, interacting or learning about the company.
What Do You Like To Do Outside Of Work
Interviewers will sometimes ask about your hobbies or interests outside of work in order to get to know you a little betterto find out what youre passionate about and devote time to during your off-hours. Its another chance to let your personality shine. Be honest, but keep it professional and be mindful of answers that might make it sound like youre going to spend all your time focusing on something other than the job youre applying for.
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What Are Your Future Goals
This interview question, like the previous one, is intended to see if you’ll be a good long-term fit with the company.
The interviewer is looking for commitment and motivation.
How to Answer:
Focus on your career goals that align with the company. Demonstrate your understanding of the company’s mission, and how you can find your place there.
If there is a clear promotion path available that you’re interested in, feel free to mention it.
Eventually I’d like to make my way into a project management position. I’m already familiar with many of the aspects of the work, so I’d like to improve my knowledge in the areas I’m less familiar with so that I can oversee an entire project.
I enjoy working with people and helping to resolve conflicts, so I can see myself moving up in HR eventually.