An interview is an opportunity for an employer to determine if you are the right candidate for the job. Make the most of your opportunity to impress and show your skills. Also, you can use it to determine if the job and company are right for you. It’s important that you spend time preparing for an interview beforehand so that you make the best impression possible.
Before you go into your interview make sure you’re phone is turned off. Use breathing techniques to keep calm, and when invited in greet your interviewer with a smile. Don’t be afraid to ask for water if you feel you need it. Below are some tips for the interview itself.
In the event that you’re offered the job, let the company know in good time whether you’re interested. If you decide not to accept the job, decline it politely and promptly. If you do not get offered the job:
STAR stands for situation, task, action, result. It’s a method of structuring answers to show your skills and knowledge with real-world outcomes.
When choosing an example for your STAR answer it’s vital that it’s relevant and real.
It’s common in a multi-stage hiring process to start with a telephone interview. This tends to be a call to get a better idea of who you are, a little about your experience, and to see if you’d be a good fit at the company.
More and more companies are embracing remote working and remote hiring these days. And that means instead of face-to-face interviews, video interviews are becoming increasingly common. Preparation for a video interview is mostly similar to preparing for a face-to-face interview, but there are a few factors you should take into consideration.
The interviewer often asks this as an opening question, partly as a way to get to know you better, but mostly to see how you respond. You have full control over the situation, and you should make the most of it. However, they have not asked for your life story. Don’t stray too far from the topic, and try to keep your response relevant. Keep in mind that the interviewer is not just making small talk.
A 2-3 minute answer that sums up your educational background, your interest in the field, and your work history is what most hiring managers are looking for.
Try to make this a positive answer; with a focus on good reasons for changing jobs such as the desire to face new challenges, or a company whose ethos fits you better.
This is not a time to say “because I need the money.” Instead, think back to your cover letter when you listed your skills against the requirements of the company. This question needs a similar answer – The company needs someone with X, Y, and Z, and how you can offer this. Remember to use the STAR method to give evidence of your skills.
A classic interview question, this aims to see whether or not you’ve thought of the future, and what your ambitions are. The employer wants to ensure that the job they’re hiring for isn’t going to be a stop-gap for you. Your answer should show passion about the industry. It should also match your career goals with the organization’s objectives, show ambition, and make use of your strengths
If you do have a gap in your work history and this question comes up, just remember: honesty is the best policy. If it was for personal reasons, then tell the truth. If not, stating that you were taking a break while searching for a different career path will be enough to keep the interview moving.
This question provides a great chance to provide several clear and concise examples of your professional and personal strengths. It is better to have three good strengths than five mediocre ones. Be specific, avoid cliches, and make them count.
Employers are looking for self-aware workers who are willing to improve themselves, so identify your real weaknesses that can be overcome and explain how you are already bettering yourself. The right answer to this question has a simple formula weakness + how you address it = (eventually) strength/
e.g. “One of my greatest weaknesses is that I have difficulty saying no to requests. I sometimes take on more than I am capable of. As a result, I now use a project management app so that I can see how much work I have at any given time and determine when I have time to help others.”
Make the most of this question – it’s an opportunity to shine a spotlight on your past achievements, ideally by choosing something that relates to the role you’re applying for. Use STAR when answering.
You have a good opportunity to be positive about yourself. Try to keep it within reasonable boundaries – for instance, a time when you took on more responsibilities than normal and handled them well.
Instead of thinking like an employee, try to think like an employer when you answer this. Do not just say the money is good or the workload is light; align your interests with those of the company and any goals you know they are working towards!
It’s important that you prepare a few questions you can ask in return during an interview. Remember, and interview is to check that you’re suitable for the job, but also that the job is suitable for you. Take this opportunity to get answers to any questions you have. Do note that you shouldn’t be asking about salary at this point, rather keep your questions role focused.
e.g. “what does a typical day in the department look like” or “what’s the company’s onboarding process?”