Friday, June 14, 2024

How To Be Professional In An Interview

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What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses

How to Ace an Interview: 5 Tips from a Harvard Career Advisor

It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where youre expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses shows that you are self-aware with an interest in continued growth and learningtraits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Consider using this formula for your response:

1. Select an actual weakness that is honest but professionally relevant:”Im naturally shy…

2. Add context:”…From high school and into my early professional interactions, it sometimes prevented me from speaking up…

3. Provide a specific example:”…After being a part of a workgroup that didnt meet our strategic goals two quarters in a row, I knew I owed it to my team and myself to confidently share my ideas…

4. Explain how you overcame or are working to overcome it:”…I joined an improv acting class. Its fun and has really helped me overcome my shyness. I learned practical skills around leading discussions and sharing diverse perspectives. Now, in group settings, I always start conversations with the quieter folks. I know exactly how they feel, and people can be amazing once they start talking.

Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?

Take The Right Amount Of Notes

Writing down useful notes makes it easy to remember each candidate and the experience you had with them. Instead of writing down what they say word for word, use keywords to remember important points of the interview. For example, if the candidate details their day-to-day work at their last job, you can write down one or two words for each responsibility. You can also highlight or circle certain parts of their resume and make notes in the margins.

Tips For Giving The Best Answer

Quantify your response. The interviewer is looking to hire the candidate who can best solve a problem for the company, whether thats boosting sales or acquiring customers or hitting some other metric.

Statistics are particularly persuasive. Showing that you increased sales by X percent or saved the company Y amount of money provides a hiring manager with a compelling argument for offering you the job. Use numbers and percentages to show what you have accomplished.

Demonstrate proficiency in the skills highlighted in the job description. Your ability to describe your former work experience effectively will help you stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. Providing specific, quantifiable proof of your accomplishments, work ethic, and knowledge will show employers that you have transferable experience which will benefit their workplace.

Have alternative answers ready. It’s always a good idea to come prepared with several responses in case your interviewer changes tack and asks about another aspect of your experience. Know your resume well, and be prepared to discuss anything that’s on it.

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Practice Good Manners And Body Language

Related: How To Project Confidence When Meeting People

Jenn, a career coach at Indeed, explains strategies to project confidence and competence in an interview and how to create a strong first impression.

Practice confident, accessible body language from the moment you enter the building. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back. Before the interview, take a deep breath and exhale slowly to manage feelings of anxiety and encourage self-confidence. The interviewer should extend their hand first to initiate a handshake. Stand, look the person in the eye and smile. A good handshake should be firm but not crush the other persons fingers.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Job Interview Etiquette

Embrace The Pregnant Pause

How to look professional in a job interview

Many interviewers will ask a question, listen to your answer, and then not respond for what feels like an eternity. This is known as the pregnant pause. It’s a tactic employers use in an attempt to pry additional information out of you. Most candidates can’t handle the uncomfortable silence and rush to fill the void, jabbering, repeating themselves, and sharing additional details they had no intention of mentioning when the interview began. If you encounter one of these awkward pauses in conversation during an interview, resist this urge to babble. Instead, smile at the recruiter and ask, Did that answer your question? or Is there anything else you’d like to know about ?.

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Know Your Job History

Mentally review your past achievements and be prepared to describe your work experience in detail. Gather letters of reference and samples of your work to present to the interviewer as proof of your past accomplishments. Practice describing your experience in terms of your responsibilities and accomplishments at each job.

How To Do Well In An Interview And Secure A Position

Related: Interview Question: Tell Me About Yourself

In this video, Holl, a career coach at Indeed, explains how to best answer the tricky interview question, Tell me about yourself.

For most positions, the interview stage is a crucial part of the organization’s hiring process. It’s the chance for a hiring manager or recruiter to learn more about you as a candidate, and it gives you the opportunity to share more about your experience and abilities. If you’re able to succeed at the interview, your chances of getting the job are usually higher. In this article, we explain the purpose of an interview and provide some steps you can take to do well when interviewing for a position you’re interested in.

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Do You Dread Job Interviews

Many people experience job interviews as stressful. The idea of entering a room where several people are waiting to question and evaluate you can be daunting, in particular if there is a lot at stake for you.

Some of my career coaching clients come to me specifically to practise their interview skills. This can take the shape of a role play in which we go through the typical questions that might be asked at the interview.

There are many ways in which you can prepare for your job interview. Some are easy and can be done quickly. Others require more investment in time and effort. Like with everything else in life, the more effort more you put into your preparations, the higher the likelihood that you will perform well at the interview.

Here are my recommended steps for preparing for your next job interview:

Build Up Your Confidence

Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More

Hopefully some of the steps set out in this article will already help you feel more confident about the interview process. If you come across confidently in the interview this can also help the interviewer to feel more confident that you are a good candidate. They often match the energy you radiate.

If you want to improve your confidence, I recommend that you write down all the aspects that make you an excellent candidate for the job you are applying for: your education, skills, behaviours, motivation, certifications, awards and your experiences. Write down all of your achievements. Make these items specific so that they really land with you. For example, rather than writing that you are a good lawyer, list positive feedback you received, deals that you completed, cases won, business you secured, etc.

If you have not kept records of your achievements, I recommend starting a practice of collecting them going forward. Whenever you receive an email or text message with praise, print it out and collect it somewhere, for example in a folder, together with all your certificates and other work achievements. Over time you will create a library with evidence of your success that you can consult whenever your confidence is a little bit on the low side.

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What The Interviewer Wants To Know

Hiring managers, recruiters, and employers ask these questions to get a better understanding of how your background and work experience relate to the position they are looking to fill.

Your previous experience serves as an indicator of whether or not you will be a valuable asset and a good fit for their company.

Avoid answering too broadly. Try using specific examples of how past work might prepare you for the new role. The closer a match you are to the job requirements, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.

Watch Now: 3 Ways to Answer “Tell Me About Your Work Experience”

What Is Your Dream Job

Employers typically ask this question because they want to ensure that your interests and passion align with their job. A good answer will describe a role that matches the one youre interviewing for. Consider using this formula for your response:

1. Mention the skills you want to use:I enjoy guiding other team members on projects and making sure everything goes smoothly…”

2. Describe a job in general:”…My dream job would be a leadership position where the other team members are active participants and communication happens daily…

3. Discuss your values:”…I love seeing a project through to the end and celebrating everyones hard work…

4. Tailor to the job for which you are interviewing:”…For instance, if youre applying for a leadership position, you might discuss how your dream job would include supervisory responsibilities.”

Read more: Interview Question: “What Is Your Dream Job?”

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Create A Strong First Impression

First impressions count, and non-verbal cues matter even more than verbal ones. So in those first few minutes, its all about smiling confidently, shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and generally looking as if youre glad to be there and you want the job. Lean in slightly, widen your eyebrows slightly, and wait to be invited to sit down. In everything you do, project an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and interest.

Clothes-wise, try to match your dress style to that of the company youre meeting. You should be able to get a good idea of the companys typical dress code through its website and social media output, especially any content about its working culture, and your recruiter can advise you too. You want to project some personality and charisma, but you also want to come across as a good fit, so if in doubt always err on the formal side.

What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position

How to Choose the Best Interview Format

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.

Read more: Interview Question: “What Did You Like Least About Your Last Job?”

Also Check: What Are Great Questions To Ask An Interviewer

What Are Your Biggest Strengths

There are two answers you could go for here: what your actual strengths are, and what you think the hiring manager or HR representative wants to hear. We would most certainly suggest you go with the first answer.

For this question, you would want to narrow your answer down to at most three strengths. Pick 1 or 2 skills that would help you really excel at the job, and 1 or 2 personal skills.

Not sure which ones are your top strengths? Check out the table below to learn which ones perfect for your field:

After picking your strengths, back it up with a situation or story that shows how you have used it to benefit you on the job.

After all, words are just that – words. The HR cant know whether your natural leadership is an actual strength, or just means that you were super active in your high school class.

As you probably already know, this is one of the most common interview questions out there, so make sure youre prepared for it before facing the HR manager!

  • Sample Answer 1:

My biggest strength is that Im good at picking up new skills. Ive worked a variety of different odd jobs – things like working as a waiter, house-keeper, cook, and a lot more .

For most of those jobs, I ended up picking up all the needed skills within 1 or 2 weeks .

So, Im pretty sure while I dont have any experience as a bartender, I have the right certification, and I believe I can get good at it within a week or two.

  • Possible answer 2:

How To Introduce Yourself

Here are seven easy steps to introduce yourself to your interviewer and leave a great impression:

  • Start by researching the company and your interviewers.

  • Dress professionally for the interview.

  • Avoid distractions and keep eye contact.

  • Smilebe confident and comfortable.

  • Use open, professional body language.

  • Prepare a short greeting and introduction of yourself.

  • Rehearse your introduction with a friend.

  • Also Check: What Is Your Management Style Interview Answer

    Carefully Examine The Job Description

    During your prep work, you should use the employers posted job description as a guide. The job description is a list of the qualifications, qualities and background the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. The more you can align yourself with these details, the more the employer will be able to see that you are qualified. The job description may also give you ideas about questions the employer may ask throughout the interview.

    What’s The Purpose Of An Interview

    How to Prepare for An Interview – The Best Pre-Interview Strategy | Indeed Career Tips

    An interview is a conversation between a hiring manager or HR professional and a candidate who has applied for an open position. Interviews are important because candidates are able to showcase their qualifications, while hiring managers can determine which candidate is the best one to hire. An interviewer may ask questions to understand more about your abilities, skill set, education, experience, personality and values, so they can feel confident in the person they extend a job offer to.

    Although some organizations only use one interview to make this determination, others may include several interviews as part of their hiring process, including peer or group interviews, so current employees can provide feedback on the candidates.

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    What Are Your Salary Requirements

    This is always a tricky question. You dont want to lowball yourself, but at the same time, you dont want to be told No because you gave such an outrageous number.

    When answering, keep these 3 things in mind:

    • Whats the average salary for someone of your skill-level?
    • How much does the company pay employees of your skill level? GlassDoor should be super helpful here.
    • Finally, how much are you getting paid in your current company? In most cases, you can probably negotiate a pay bump from what youre currently getting.

    The final number you tell them should incorporate all 3 of the points we just mentioned. Do you know for a fact that the company is doing well ? Youd quote a higher salary.

    Is your skill-level above average? This should be reflected in your salary.

    As a rule of thumb, you can figure out 2 numbers: whats the good scenario, and whats the best scenario?

    Answer the interviewer with your best pay, and worst case scenario, theyll negotiate it down.

    Or, you can also answer with a range, and chances are, theyll pick the number somewhere in the middle.

    My salary requirement is in the $30,000 – $40,000 range annually.

    How To Introduce Yourself At A Job Interview

    Maddy Price / The Balance

    First impressions can play a major role in how an employer perceives you as a candidate. What you say during the first phase of the interview can make a difference in the outcomein a good way or in a bad way. You don’t want to come across as awkward and lacking in social skills. Rather, you’ll want to show that you have the professionalism and communication skills to be an asset to the company if hired.

    Some hiring managers may even make a decision to reject a candidate based on a poor first impression. For instance, showing up late or checking the phone throughout the interview, can lead the hiring manager to perceive a candidate as having an inability to make a commitment, meet deadlines, focus, and follow-through, which are not qualities that will impress an employer.

    Little things make a big difference at this stage of a job search. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to interview manners and to think through how you will introduce yourself during the job interview.

    Review these simple steps for introducing yourself, with examples of what to do and say to everyone you meet during the hiring process, so you can make a positive impression.

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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

    In this video, Jenn, a career coach at Indeed, provides a comprehensive look at the interviewing process and shares tips on how to position yourself for success by knowing which questions to ask the interviewer.

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