It is time for me to graduate and the next step is for me to think about how I would like to move my career forward. Whether I stay with my current employer or look for new opportunities, I anticipate having to go through the interview process at some time in the near future. Additionally, one of my goals is to be a manager with a team of content developers and delivery professionals, so being able to successful interview future employees is also important to me. Here are a few of my favorite interview tips that I would like to share with others who are anticipating interviewing for a new job.
Use the STAR method to ace behavioral interviews (Belludi, 2008). The STAR method is an easy way to remember to reply with specific, tasks-based responses that demonstrate what actions you would take in a given situation and the results of your actions. Most employers today use behavioral interview questions and look for responses that align with their culture, their expectations, and their ideal candidate.
Based on my own experience, I have my own best practices for acing interviews. First of all, keep in mind when interviewing is to take your time and really show that you are reflecting on the question and ensuring you are responding in a meaningful way. Sometimes we are so nervous we talk fast and try to answer quickly without taking time to form our response mentally before we speak. The other thing is to speak conversationally and try to be personable without getting to personal. Like it or not, people judge interviewees not just on their skills, but also on their personalities and their likability. I always prepare for the interview by reading the latest news on a company or learning a little about the person or team I am interviewing with internally so that I have some conversation starters that allow me to connect with the interviewer.
Another important thing to do is to make sure you can address and give additional examples of your work history that are in alignment with your resume. I always make sure I have a copy of my resume in front of me when I interview, so that my answers in the interview are consistent with what’s on my resume. When I was the interviewer, I would automatically eliminate candidates whose responses in the interview contradicted what they said on their resume.
Knowing what not do do in an interview is just as important as knowing what to do. As I mentioned earlier, avoid getting to personal. You don’t know what the interviewers personal interests, biases, and assumptions are so avoiding personal conversations helps keep the focus on your skills and talents. Also make sure you dress appropriately. At my company, we have a super casual dress code (shorts, flip-flops, t-shirts, etc.), but a candidate should not dress that casual if they want to get hired. Three-piece suits and pantyhose are no longer necessary, but make sure that you present yourself in a professional manner.
Interviewing is a skill that you can hone with more practice. So my final piece of advice is to practice, practice, practice. Also, if you have been in the same company for a long time, consider applying for and interviewing for jobs in today’s job market just to keep your skills sharp, and to understand your value on the open market. This provides you with good leverage when you are having internal growth and compensation conversations with your current manager.
Good LUCK all!
Belludi, N. (2008). Use the STAR technique to ace your behavioral interview. Retrieved from http://www.rightattitudes.com/2008/07/15/star-technique-answer-interview-questions/