How You Succeed At Every Job Interview
———————–Andreas von der Heydt is the Country Manager of Amazon BuyVIP in Germany. Before that he hold senior management positions at L’Oréal. He´s a leadership expert, management coach and NLP master. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.Make sure you click ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from Andreas in the future. Feel also free to connect via his or via and .Other recent and popular articles by Andreas von der Heydt:
Think Of Two Reasons Youre Interested In The Company
Use the company research youve done to come up with a business-related reason youre excited about them. It could be a new business model, new clients, new partnership, etc.
Actual example: I recently had a phone interview with a tech company that was built as a review/info website. They recently started handling transactions instead of sending the buyers out to other websites to complete the transaction. I read this in the news and mentioned it as an exciting development and a really good business move. The interviewer was extremely impressed that I had read the news, and understood the implications. Total time spent researching: less than 3 minutes.
Along with one business reason, try to come up with a secondary reason too. Maybe community involvement. Or company culture. Almost every company has a blurb about their culture on the website. Read it and mention what you read as a secondary reason for being interested.
Youll seem extremely well-prepared and well-rounded for having two very different reasons.
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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I: Job Interview Preparation
Each step below will prepare you for the actual interview. None of this is very time consuming but it will set you apart from everyone else applying for the job, making it easy for the company to decide who to hire
Here are the basic interview preparation steps to remember. Ive put the estimated time next to each one.
Do You Know How To Make Your Case To An Interviewer Follow These 10 Interview Tips To Boost Your Chances Of Landing The Job
10 interview tips to boost your chances of landing the job.
The day has come: You found an awesome job on Monster, applied, and got a call from a real-live human being who wants to meet with you. Congrats! But your work has only just begun. Right about now, you need some interview tips. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few good ones.
Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for their job interview. Why, you ask? Interview skills are learned, and there are no second chances to make a great first impression. These 10 interview tips will teach you how to answer interview questions and convince the hiring manager that you are the one for the job.
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Use Calming Techniques The Day Of The Interview
You can help yourself stay calm on the day of your interview by making sure you’re prepared and practicing stress-management techniques. Being on time, ideally 15 minutes early, is one way of showing your potential employer your professionalism. Drive to the location ahead of time so you can find out the exact location before the day of the interview. If traffic is heavy in the area, prepare enough time for the drive there.
If you are feeling nervous, ask to visit the restroom before the interview. Take a deep breath and be confident that you have prepared well for it. Being nervous is normal, but try to stay as calm as you can during the interview. Ask for clarification if you haven’t understood a question, and take your time to give the best answer you can.
Avoid A Robotic Introduction
When interviewing a candidate, always start by giving a short introduction to yourself, the company, as well as the vacancy you are hiring for. This may sound like a simple task, but it can be surprisingly easy to slip up here.
Avoid giving an unstructured, generic introduction, by simply rattling off information in the job description and company website. Instead bring the opportunity to life for the candidate, and give them an insight that they wouldnt have been able to find during their preparation for the interview. Explain how the role has evolved, why it is important to the companys purpose and objectives, and what a typical working day might look like. Talk about the company culture, the team dynamic, and your favourite aspects of working here. Ultimately, make the candidate feel excited about the opportunity and able to picture themselves in the role.
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Selling Your Skills And Abilities
Though this point may sound obvious, selling yourself is something that many find an uncomfortable task. Remember, the interview is your chance to demonstrate why youre the best candidate for the job.
Recruiters see a job vacancy as a problem, a gap that needs to be filled, so you need to market yourself as the solution to their problem.
You should know your CV and the job description inside out. Use these documents to guide you through the interview, and pick examples of your experience or education that demonstrate why youd be successful in the role.
Be sure to tailor each pitch to the job youre applying for. Pick the examples that fit best with not only the role but also the company and its values.
How To Conduct An Effective Job Interview
The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know and assess a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell if a candidate will be a good fit? And finally, should you really ask questions like: Whats your greatest weakness?
What the Experts Say As the employment market improves and candidates have more options, hiring the right person for the job has become increasingly difficult. Pipelines are depleted and more companies are competing for top talent, says Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder and author of Its Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best. Applicants also have more information about each companys selection process than ever before. Career websites like Glassdoor have taken the mystique and mystery out of interviews, says John Sullivan, an HR expert, professor of management at San Francisco State University, and author of 1000 Ways to Recruit Top Talent. If your organizations interview process turns candidates off, they will roll their eyes and find other opportunities, he warns. Your job is to assess candidates but also to convince the best ones to stay. Heres how to make the interview process work for you and for them.
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Develop A Connection With The Interviewer
In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions.
If youre prone to forgetting names, jot it down somewhere discreet, like in small letters at the bottom of your notepad.
Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seems to be a good fit for the company’s culture. Here’s how to get the hiring manager on your side.
How To Practice For Your Video Job Interview
- Have your resume, job application, notes, and company website on-hand. Remember, you are in total control of your environment, and being able to pivot and respond to questions quickly is a video interview perk. Make sure you also have your interviewers email address and phone number handy in case of any emergency disconnections.
- Practice, practice, practice! Youve heard it before, but let us repeat. Make sure that you do your homework, research your company, and prepare for commonly asked questions!
- Set up your tech. Make sure your laptop , lighting, headphones and any other hardware you are using is working, charged, plugged in, and ready to go. Test a video call with a friend one to two days before, and make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Weve listed a few favorite go-to tools we use for video interviews below.
- Know if your video interview is live or recorded. While many companies set a typical appointment date and time to meet with you virtually and ask interview questions, many companies are going the way of pre-recorded interviews. The setup is the same, but it is important to know if you are able to engage with your interviewer, or if you will need to practice polished, concise responses that will record well to be watched at a later date.
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Explain Why Youre Interested In Interviewing With Them
After walking them through your resume, youll probably be asked why youre looking to make a job change, and/or why youre interested in their company in particular. This is where the research youve done pays off. You should already have two specific reasons for wanting to interview with their company.
When explaining your reason for job searching in general, I mentioned one example of how to turn a negative into a positive in Part I. Here are 2 more examples:
If your current company has no room for upward growth, say that youre looking for a job with more room for upward growth. If you dont like your coworkers, say youre hoping to find a team thats more collaborative. See the difference? Youre saying the same thing without sounding negative.
Whatever you say youre looking for, be prepared for them to ask why you cant get that in your current company. Just answer by saying that you dont think theres an opportunity to get this, and you considered this before starting to look externally. Simple and easy. That should end the line of questioning.
Treat Everyone With Respect
You’ll most likely meet multiple before your interview, and it’s important to treat everyone with respect to make a positive impression overall. If the hiring manager asks for feedback about you from other employees, you can be confident knowing you were friendly and professional in all of your interactions.
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Understand Behavioural Competency And Situational Interview Questions
When preparing for a job interview, you should next make sure you understand how to answer job interview questions. To get to the motivations and working style of a potential employee, interviewers often turn to behavioural, competency, and situational interview questions to understand your behaviours and establish your core skills and competencies relevant to the role, such as teamwork, creativity and innovation, decision making ability, business awareness or conflict resolution.Behavioural and competency based interview questions usually begin with, Tell me about a time when or Give me an example of an occasion when Both behavioural and competency based interviewing are based on the idea that past behaviour can predict future action.
Sample competency based interview questions and behavioural based interview questions include
- Describe a situation in which you didnt meet your stated goal. How did you handle it?
- Describe a situation in which you took the initiative to change a process or system and make it better. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about instituting change?
- Describe a time when you were required to use your analytical skills to make an informed decision.
- Tell me about a time when you used your creativity to solve a problem.
Sample situational interview questions include:
Dont Be Too Quick To Judge
During your preparation for the interview, be mindful not to form any preconceived ideas or opinions about the candidates suitability for the role. Perhaps, after reading their CV, you are concerned about a possible skills gap or career decision that they made. While these concerns may well be justified, dont rule any candidate out or make any snap judgements before or while interviewing them. Keep an open mind and give the candidate a fair chance.
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Prepare Answers To Common Questions
Here are some common questions you may hear in an interview:
Can you tell me about yourself?
How did you hear about this job?
Why do you want this job?
Why should we hire you?
What are your strengths?
What do you know about the company?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What is your work ethic?
What kind of environment do you prefer to work in?
How do you handle work-related disagreements with your colleagues?
How would your current employer and colleagues describe you?
How do you handle pressure?
Do you have any questions for me?
In addition to preparing answers to these common interview questions, make sure you’ve also prepared some questions for the interviewer in return. This will show your investment in both the position and the organization.
Tips on responding to “Tell me about yourselfâ:
Start by discussing your current situation
Work backwards by hitting key points along your professional journey
Connect your background, interests and qualifications back to the job
Ask Your Interviewer Insightful Questions
You should have prepared some questions before your job interview, and you shouldnt underestimate what these questions could say about you as a candidate.
Asking intelligent questions is not only going to help you decide whether you are interested in the role, but it will also demonstrate to the interviewer that youre interested and serious about the job. Asking questions about measuring future success and whats expected of you will show youre a forward thinker and keen to contribute to the success of the company.
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Tips For During The Interview
After youve spent time preparing, you can be successful on interview day by practicing these tips:
9. Plan your interview attire the night before. If youre speaking to a recruiter before the interview, you can ask them about the dress code in the workplace and choose your outfit accordingly. If you dont have someone to ask, research the company to learn whats appropriate.
10. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen. Take at least five copies of your printed resume on clean paper in case of multiple interviewers. Highlight specific accomplishments on your copy that you can easily refer to and discuss. Bring a pen and a small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or another electronic device. Write information down so that you can refer to these details in your follow-up thank-you notes. Maintain eye contact as much as possible. For more, visit What to Bring to the Interview.
11. Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 1015 minutes early. Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. Consider doing a practice run. If youre taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closures.
Tip: When you arrive early, use the extra minutes to observe workplace dynamics.
18. Keep your answers concise and focused. Your time with each interviewer is limited so be mindful of rambling. Practicing your answers beforehand can help keep you focused.
How To Prepare Your Wardrobe For Your Video Job Interview
- Make sure youre dressed head to toe. It will also help boost your confidence!
- Avoid wearing bright, flashy colors. This can be distracting during the video interviewyou want the interviewer to focus on you.
- Dont blend in with your surroundings. Same as aboveselect colors that are flattering but set you apart from your surroundings.
- Make sure your outfit is neatly pressed, if needed. You dont want to come across as disheveled when the interviewer has a limited impression.
- Consider your hair and makeup. If you regularly wear makeup, now may be the time to go ahead and get dolled up. Video cameras can distort your appearance and wash you out on screen. You want to look fresh and professional, but dont overdo it.
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Poor Communication And Body Language
However valuable or insightful your answers are during an interview, poor communication or body language can discredit you.
Focus on being a polite and clear communicator during your interview. Don’t interrupt, no matter how eager you may be to answer the question. If you accidentally talk before the interviewer has finished, apologize quickly and let them continue speaking.
Speak clearly when it is your turn mumbling comes across as inconsiderate, and it diminishes your confidence.
Be aware of your body language. Nervous behaviors like fidgeting or tapping your knee are common in stressful situations, but in an interview setting, you run the risk of appearing rude or impatient. Sit up straight and avoid fidgeting as much as possible, and maintain appropriate eye contact.
The goal is to be engaged and interactive. Looking someone in the eye when they speak to you and while you’re responding indicates respect for the person and that you are present in the moment. Frequently looking away or over your shoulder while talking to them conveys disinterest.