Saturday, May 18, 2024

How To Do A Proper Interview

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What To Say When You Meet The Hiring Manager

Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More

You may have to wait a few minutes for your appointment. Then, you will either be escorted to the interview room, or the hiring manager will come out to meet you in the reception area. Even though you have an appointment, take the time to introduce yourself so the interviewer knows who you are.

Stand up if you’re seated, and offer to shake hands even if the interviewer doesn’t offer their hand first. It’s proper etiquette to include a handshake as part of your introduction.

Tell the interviewer that it is a pleasure to meet them, smile, and make eye contact. For example:

  • I’m Tina Lionel, it’s a pleasure to meet you.

Avoid common interview mistakes, like not paying attention or dressing inappropriately. And if you know that youre prone to interview stress, avoid a problem by researching the company, preparing for the interview, and practicing positive thinking.

To avoid sweaty palms, stop in the restroom prior to the interview and wash and dry your hands. If that’s not feasible, use a tissue to dry off your hands ahead of time.

Apply The Star Interview Structure

A common interview technique is STAR, which stands for:

  • Situation: A situation or challenge faced
  • Task: A task, duty, or responsibility of an individual
  • Action: The action done to overcome, improve, or resolve an issue or challenge
  • Result: The outcome of the actions taken

Candidates often use the STAR interview method when answering behavioural questions, like discussing a time they dealt with challenging customers or colleagues. The STAR structure for questions and answers can give you insight into how applicants approach problems and apply decision-making abilities to lead to positive outcomes. If an applicant doesnt answer fully, consider asking follow-up questions or guide them to be more specific about the situation.

Choose Your Interview Attire

The day before your interview, choose what you intend to wear so you don’t feel rushed. Make sure your clothes are free of wrinkles and stains and they fit correctly. If you’re unsure of the dress code at the company, it’s best to dress more professionally to make a good impression. You can also call or email the person you’ve been communicating with to get more information about the dress code.

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Study The Candidates Resume Or Cv

Look over the candidates resume. Using a blind resume might offer an opportunity to limit the influence of unconscious bias. You can familiarize yourself with their work history and background. Reviewing the CV in depth ahead of time ensures that you maximize the time you have in the interview. Why?

Many general questions are often easily answered with just a quick scan of someones CV. When you start with this knowledge already in hand, you can take advantage of the interview to really dig deep into the candidates skills and abilities.

You can also take the time to highlight any areas in their resume that may seem vague or unclear, or perhaps that contains something that may be unknown to you, such as a unique hobby. Allow the interviewee the opportunity to expand on those areas as it may reveal possible behaviors or personality traits that will have an impact on effective job performance.

Get Some Questions Ready

How to Be a Good Interviewer

At the end of every interview, you typically have a chance to ask the hiring manager a few questions. Make sure you have a few ready to go. That way, you wont be at a loss when that moment arrives.

If you dont know where to begin, ask them to describe a typical day in the position. You can also ask if theres anything preventing them from considering you the top candidate, giving you a chance to address any concerns head-on.

Check out our article for more questions you can ask the hiring manager!

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Immediately Take Any Additional Notes

Before you do anything else, jot down notes on anything you didnt have time to write down during the interview. You should also reflect on the totality of the interview, taking notes on your overall impression of the candidate. Youll value these notes later once youve interviewed half-a-dozen other candidates.

Optimize Your Interview Process

Whichever employee you end up sending a job offer letter to, you want to optimize the candidate experience for each applicant. Using recruitment software will make it easy to see all the candidates currently in the pipeline for various roles.

It will also provide key recruitment metrics which will provide insight into whether you need to recruit externally or promote internally and whether you have understaffing or overstaffing problems.

Resources for HR professionals

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Understand The Importance Of Body Language And Tone Of Voice

Your tone of voice can say volumes about your personality traits and your confidence. If you want to make a lasting impression on the interviewers, practice speaking in a confident and strong voice that is professional but friendly at the same time. Also, focus on your body language and pay attention to how you shake hands, how you walk into a room, how you maintain eye contact, and when and how you smile.

Remember Manners Matter At Job Interviews

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Regardless of the job you are applying for, you will be expected to act professionally throughout every phase of the interview process, from greeting the interviewer to saying thank you after your interview.

Review job interview etiquette tips for before, during, and after a job interview to ensure that you’re minding your manners. Make sure you know what to say, what to bring with you, and how to answer and ask questions politely and professionally to make the best possible impression.

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Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

Part of arriving fully prepared entails bringing all the things that you need to make a great first impression. Make sure to take the following items with you to job interviews:

  • Several copies of your resume. You may meet more employees that you originally expected to, says Rachel Loock, a career coach at the University of Maryland.
  • Business cards. Providing a business card allows you to establish yourself as a professional.
  • Portfolio/work samples. This is a must in creative fields like advertising, journalism, graphic design, architecture, or fashion.
  • References. If the interview goes well, the hiring manager may ask you for them on the spot.
  • Pen and notepad. Taking notes shows youre actively listening to the interviewer and engaged in the conversation.
  • You may need to provide identification to enter the building.

Prepare For Small Talk

You may find yourself interacting on a personal level with your interviewer. You can practice some common casual conversation topics to help you feel more confident if your interview turns into an informal conversation. Here are some small talk tips that can help you:

  • Focus on the environment you are in. You can comment on the design of the office or its location.

  • Compliment the employer on an award the team might have won recently or other similar achievements.

  • Find a common interest and talk about that.

  • Be positive during the conversation.

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Make Eye Contact With The Camera

If it helps, consider putting some googly eyes next to your webcam to remind you to look directly at it throughout the call. This gives the appearance of making eye contact, not distractedly staring at your screen! Making eye contact, even if through a laptop, helps foster a sense of genuine connection and attentiveness it can make all the difference when trying to hit it off with your interviewer.

Research The Company And Industry

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We often hear from employers that candidates do not know enough about their companies when they interview. Employers gauge how interested you are by how much you know about their organization. This research is an easy way to improve your interview skills.

Find out as much as you can about the position, company, and industry.

  • Learn about current trends and events that might impact your future employer.
  • Review the organizations website and social media activity.
  • Try to speak to people in the organization through LinkedIn, peers, faculty, or family to gain insider knowledge.
  • Make sure that you reread the job description and can communicate why you would be a good t for the position.

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Research The Company And Show What You Know

Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?” If this question is not asked, you should try to demonstrate what you know about the company on your own.

You can do this by tying what youve learned about the company into your responses. For example, you might say:

I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well-versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.

You should be able to find out a lot of information about the companys history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.

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.

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Create A List Of Questions To Ask The Interviewers

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will probably ask you if you have any questions. Have a few questions prepared to show the hiring manager you’re interested in the job and company. Reread the job description and review the company’s website to craft thoughtful questions that can help you learn more about what it would be like to work there. Some good questions to ask include:

  • How would you describe the company culture?

  • What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like?

  • Who would I work with most?

  • How would my performance be measured?

  • Why is the position open?

  • What are the next steps in the interview?

What Does A Good Work Environment Look Like To You

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Employers may ask this question to see if you’re the right fit for their work environment. They may also want advice on how they can improve their working conditions. For your answer, think of which of your previous jobs had the best work environment. Include which particular aspects of this work environment were the best and discuss why you enjoyed them.

Example:”I think a good work environment is one where everyone feels respected. In previous housekeeping roles I’ve had, I felt the most respect when my employer valued my time and efforts. I think it’s important to have an employer who remembers we all have a life outside of work and helps us maintain a healthy work-life balance. I also think a good work environment is one where employees can cooperate and work together. For example, if there was a particularly big mess, I naturally appreciate it if my coworkers worked with me to clean it up.”

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Be Prepared For Follow

The interviewer may follow up on your introduction with more questions, so it’s important to remember that you will need to support and expand on whatever assertions you make during your introduction.

Be prepared to provide specific examples of how and where you have utilized your assets to successfully carry out work or volunteer roles, academic projects, or other productive endeavors. One way to provide detailed responses is to use the STAR interview technique to describe your accomplishments and achievements.

You should also be prepared to ask questions during the interview. Have a short list of questions you’d like to know about the job and the company ready to ask the interviewer. Use the interview not only as a chance to highlight your qualifications, but also, to determine whether this job and employer are a good fit for you and your career goals.

Dress For The Job Or Company

Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

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Experiment With A Different Interview Format

Unstructured interviews that flow like friendly conversations make the process pleasant for both candidates and interviewers. But, they arent the most effective way to hire the best candidate.

Structured interviews are better predictors of job performance, more legally defensible and better for record-keeping. During structured interviews, you ask the same questions to all candidates in a specific order and score them with a predetermined rating scale. Your Applicant Tracking System may have built-in checklists or interview scorecards to help you rate candidates this way.

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Prepare For The Type Of Interview

How to Choose the Best Interview Format

Interviews can be conducted in different formats and settings. Knowing what kind of interview to expect can help you enter the meeting feeling more prepared and confident. Some interview formats that differ from the traditional one-on-one meeting include:

Out-of-office interviews

Arrive a few minutes before your interviewer for a lunch or dinner interview. Browse through the restaurant menu online before arriving, and learn about what type of restaurant you’ll be visiting to determine how you should dress.

Phone and video interviews

Find a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted to do the interview. Make sure the technology you will be using works efficiently, and practice using it before the interview.

Group interviews

A group interview is when a panel of people interviews you. It could also be an interview with a group of candidates. Besides practicing your answers to common questions, it will also help to practice your listening skills before going into this type of interview.

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Know What You Want To Ask The Interviewer

It’s common for hiring managers to take some time at the end of your interview to ask if you have any questions for them. Prepare some questions you can ask based on your experience during the interview and any information the hiring manager may have shared with you. Simply having a question to ask can show your interest in the organization.

Interviews Are Your Chance To Sell Your Skills And Abilities

They also give you a chance to find out if the job and company are right for you. Follow the tips here to ace your interviews.

Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:

  • Strengths
  • Willingness to work and flexibility
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability and willingness to learn new things
  • Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
  • Creativity in solving problems and working with people

Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview so you can convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill.

Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This might include commenting on the news you learned from the company website, and then asking a question related to it. Also ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
  • Could you explain your organizational structure?
  • What computer equipment and software do you use?
  • What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?

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Tips For Acing A Phone Interview

Follow these tips for a successful phone interview:

Create a checklist. Review the job posting and make a list of how your qualifications match the hiring criteria. Have the list available so you can glance at it during the interview.

Have your resume handy. Keep your resume in clear view so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.

Be prepared to take notes. Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.

Don’t get interrupted. Turn off call waiting so your call isn’t interrupted. Put your cellphone on “Do not disturb” so you won’t hear beeps or buzzes from apps, text messages, and so on.

Reschedule if you have to. If the call wasn’t scheduled, and isn’t at a convenient time, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.

Clear the room. Evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.

Use a landline. If you have a landline, use that instead of your cellphone. That way, you’ll eliminate the possibility of poor reception or dropped calls.

Define The Role Requirements And Write A Clear Job Description

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This point may seem obvious, but the nuances shouldnt be overlooked. Hopefully, you did this before you posted the job description. If somehow you made it to this point without writing a great job description, then now is the time to answer some important questions, like:

  • What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What hard or soft skills do other top performers in your organization possess?
  • What gaps currently exist on your team?
  • What are your deal breakers?

The more you can explicitly define the role and the qualities youre looking for in a candidate, the easier it will be to know what to ask during the interview.

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