Why Is A Job Interview Important
Job interviews are important because they give you insight into whether you want to hire a candidate. Often in conversation form, the questions asked in an interview can show you a persons skills, job capabilities, and how they contribute to the success of a team or organization. You can use job interviews to compare candidates or build a list of future talent options for other open positions.
A Cliche Interview Questions
You might have noticed that many of the common questions to ask in an interview are missing. These are questions were all familiar with such as Whats your greatest weakness? or Why should we hire you? The biggest problem with these questions is that theyre some of the most asked interview questions and candidates likely have prepared their answers ahead of time. There is plenty of content online for candidates instructing them how to answer these questions, meaning you may not get a truthful answer at all.
Plus, you cant be sure what exactly the answers to these questions indicate. Granted, if someone says I dont have any weaknesses or offers the covert brag of Im too hard-working, youll know they may not have the attitude youre looking for. But, most candidates will likely take the middle road naming a weakness thats small and unimportant. So, how do you compare answers of different candidates? You probably cant at least not confidently.
So, every time youre thinking of asking a well-worn, cliched question, consider a refreshing alternative not to catch the candidate off-guard, but to get a more genuine answer from them. Here are some examples:
Old question: Why should we hire you?
Better alternative: If you were hired, how do you think you could help with this project?
Old question: What is your greatest weakness?
Better alternative: Describe a time when you failed in your previous job.
Old question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tips For After The Interview
When the interview is over, give yourself the best chances of moving forward by doing the following:
20. Ask about next steps. After your interview, it is appropriate to ask either your interviewer, hiring manager or recruiter about what you should expect next. This will likely be a follow-up email with results from your interview, additional requirements like an assignment or reference list or another interview.
21. Send a personalized thank you letter after the interview. Ask for the business card of each person you speak with during the interview process so that you can follow up individually with a separate thank you email. If you interviewed in the morning, send your follow-up emails the same day. If you interviewed in the afternoon, the next morning is fine. Make certain that each email is distinct from the others, using the notes you took during the conversations.
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Things To Do Right In An Interview
These tips will help you prepare for the big day of your professional interview! Follow these tips and you’ll get through the big interview with flying colors! Whether you have a mock interview, or are starting to prepare for your professional career, practice these tips to properly prepare for the big day!
1) Dressing the Part
In order to impress the company you’re interviewing with, you must dress accordingly. Wearing business attire, suites, a nice dress, or a pantsuit if you’re a girl, you want to avoid dressing in your normal day clothes, including yoga pants.
Always wear the appropriate attire, and make sure to wear professional business attire as well as to practice good hygiene and present yourself like you want the company to see you.
2) Review the Questions The Interviewers Will Ask You
Make sure to prepare a list of questions that could possibly be asked by the interviewer. You can practice your interviewing skills with a friend, or you could sign up for an interview with Interviewstream through the Pomerantz Career Center. The Interviewstream will ask questions assimilated with actual professional interviews, and you will get to see the feedback from your interview. All you need is a camera, or you can even schedule an interview in the interview stream room at the Pomerantz Career Center!
3) Do Enough Research on the Company
4) Be Respectful of the Interviewers
5) Good Non-Verbal Behavior
Consider The Style And Number Of Interviewers
Interviews can happen via video, over the phone, or in person, so consider what style of interview is best and plan accordingly. You can also determine how many people you need to hold an interview, like a panel of colleagues for a prominent role or multiple rounds of interviews for a high-level position. Involving other relevant leaders in the interview process can also be useful to get different perspectives on the candidates experience and abilities.
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What Is Your Weakness And Strength Sample Answer
Examples: How to answer what are your weaknesses? #1) I tend to be overly critical of myself. Whenever I complete a project, I cant help but feel that I could have done more even if my work received a positive response. #3) I tend to want to take on complete projects all on my own without any outside help.
How Do You Talk About Weaknesses In A Reference
References should stay away from mentioning any weaknesses of character, such as stubbornness or inability to work well as part of a group. These characteristics, while weaknesses, will not help the applicants case any and likely will stand out more in a reference letter than any positive qualities will.
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Don’t Be Too Familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.
Stay Up To Date With The Latest Employer Insights & Events
The following interviewer tips will help you to conduct the perfect interview.
1. Understand what you are looking for
Before the job interview starts, its important that you know what youre looking for in a candidate. You need more than a well-written job description.
Think about how your ideal employee would behave in the role. As the interviewer, you need to ask interview questions that test your interviewee against your expectations.
Writing a checklist of these expectations will help you compare interviewees and make it easier for you to make a decision on who to hire.
2. Know what questions to ask
Its essential you prepare a list of questions when running a job interview. The balance of question types is equally important.
You should include competency questions to see how the interviewee would approach the role. Character questions test how the candidate will fit with your team. Asking about career goals lets you learn what motivates your interviewee. Remember to ask open questions that cant be answered yes or no to encourage the candidate to talk in more detail.
Preparation is key: from greetings to the final question, make sure you have all bases covered.
3. Prepare beyond the job interview
Dont underestimate the importance of little details in the job interview. You want your interviewee to be comfortable enough to get their true personality across.
4. Practice makes perfect
5. Make it a conversation
6. Listen more
7. Be aware of unconscious bias
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What Do You Think We Could Do Better Or Differently
This question can really do a number on you. How do you give a meaty answer without insulting the company or, worse, the person youre speaking with? Well first, take a deep breath. Then start your response with something positive about the company or specific product youve been asked to discuss. When youre ready to give your constructive feedback, give some background on the perspective youre bringing to the table and explain why youd make the change youre suggesting . And if you end with a question, you can show them youre curious about the company or product and open to other points of view. Try: Did you consider that approach here? Id love to know more about your process.
Tell Me About A Challenge Or Conflict Youve Faced At Work And How You Dealt With It
Youre probably not eager to talk about conflicts youve had at work during a job interview. But if youre asked directly, dont pretend youve never had one. Be honest about a difficult situation youve faced . Most people who ask are only looking for evidence that youre willing to face these kinds of issues head-on and make a sincere attempt at coming to a resolution, former recruiter Richard Moy says. Stay calm and professional as you tell the story , spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict, and mention what youd do differently next time to show youre open to learning from tough experiences.
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Commit To Truth In Advertising
Its natural to want to present your organization and the job youre hiring for in the best light, but its crucial that candidates have a thorough and realistic understanding of what theyd be signing up for: the job, the organization, the culture, the manager, and the people. Resist any temptation to downplay less appealing aspects of the job . In fact, on the contrary, be proactive about disclosing those things. Otherwise youll end up with a hire who feels misled and who might not stick around.
Perform Research On The Company And Role
Researching the company youre applying to is an important part of preparing for an interview. Not only will it help provide context for your interview conversations, but it will also help you when preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewers.
Researching the company and role as much as possible will give you an edge over the competition. Not only that, but fully preparing for an interview will help you remain calm so that you can be at your best. Here are a few things you should know before you walk into your interview:
Research the product or service:Even if the role isn’t directly related to the company’s product or service, you’re still looking to be part of the team. It’s important to learn all you can about the product or service the company produces and promotes. You don’t necessarily need to understand each and every detail, especially if it’s a technical product, and you’re interviewing for a non-technical position, but you should have a basic understanding of the main products or services the company offers.
If possible, request a sample of the product to familiarize yourself with the customers perspective. The more you can tell them about the product from both a company and customer standpoint, the better you’ll perform in your interview.
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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.
I Am Energetic And Have A Positive Attitude
Employers are looking for candidates with optimism and a “can-do” attitude. Attitudes are contagious and directly affect company morale. Let the optimist in you shine during the interview process.
Be sure to always speak positively about past employers. will make you look petty. If you bad-mouth your past company, employers are liable to believe that you will do the same thing to them.
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Prepare And Memorize Your Must
Write down the items you know youll need to ask the candidate about based on the job description and your hiring criteria. Try to commit these core questions to memory. Then, you can focus on maintaining eye contact with the candidate, whether youre meeting in person or by video. That can help you create an interview experience thats more conversational and relaxed.
Job Interview Questions Answers And Tips To Prepare
Theresa Chiechi / The Balance
Do you have a job interview coming up? Are you prepared? The best way to get ready for an interview is to take the time to review the most common interview questions you will most likely be asked, along with examples of the best answers. Knowing what you’re going to say can eliminate a lot of interview stress.
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Why Are You Interested In This Position
Interviewers typically want to be sure that you applied for this job because youre genuinely interested in it. Avoid voicing concerns about your current position or companynegative comments about your employer are often interpreted as unprofessional. A good answer will positively frame your transition and communicate your desire to grow in the role youre interviewing for.
Research the role and company ahead of time to understand how it relates to your background. Ask yourself questions such as, How will this position help me advance in my career?, How does the position align with my future goals? and What makes me a good fit for this company or role?
Example answer:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to grow in my career. Im also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.
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.
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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?
Tell Me About A Time You Made A Mistake
Youre probably not too eager to dig into past blunders when youre trying to impress an interviewer and land a job. But talking about a mistake and winning someone over arent mutually exclusive, Moy says. In fact, if you do it right, it can help you. The key is to be honest without placing blame on other people, then explain what you learned from your mistake and what actions you took to ensure it didnt happen again. At the end of the day, employers are looking for folks who are self-aware, can take feedback, and care about doing better.
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Dont Forget About Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication plays a major role in a job interview. Are you looking at your feet? Do you have your arms crossed? Do you lean on the back of your chair? All these signs will show inward-looking attitudes to the interviewer and he wont feel free to get to know you better. Make sure to keep this in mind. Also, employers will be looking at your appearance and how you present yourself. Dress sober and clean.
Tip: Dont forget to give a nice and firm handshake to the employer before and after the interview.
What Can You Bring To The Company
This question is similar to, Why should we hire you? A strong answer will demonstrate the skills you have to be successful in this role as well as your potential to bring a new perspective to the business.
Research the company in-depth to understand its culture and business needs. Explain why your skills, experience and characteristics uniquely position you to advance organizational objectives. Use an example from your work experience that speaks to your skill set.
Example answer:My problem-solving abilities allow me to work extremely well under pressure, which I understand is a common occurrence in this role. In a previous position as the purchasing lead, I had to decide which supplies to order to stay within the budget, but I had a limited amount of time to make a decision. I quickly created a spreadsheet that helped me compare manufacturers prices and was able to order the necessary supplies on time and within our budget. I used the spreadsheet throughout the rest of my time with the company to help them save over $500,000. I will bring the same interest and motivation for making an impact here at ABC Company.
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