With the school year wrapping up and Summer just around the corner, Summer job hunting is at an all time high. Interviews are an essential part of the employee selection process, and can leave either a positive or negative impression on a potential employer. Interviews may seem scary at first, but the key to success is being prepared and confident. Find out more about how to stay calm, cool, and collected during your upcoming interviews below!
Before the Interview
1. Ensure you look over your resume to re-familiarize yourself with any experience that could be brought up by the interviewer. Often times, an interviewer asks for a more in-depth explanation of relevant experience. Being prepared to be asked about your experience, and relate it to your new potential job is an admirable quality for employers. In light of this, also ensure that your resume is constantly being updated.
2. Research the company beforehand. If possible, find out a little information on the employee that will be conducting the interview with you so that you can try to relate to him or her. An efficient means of researching companies and employees is the website LinkedIn. It is essential to know background information about your desired place of employment when walking into an interview so that you can readily identify why you are a good fit in comparison to other applicants for the company.
3. Film or record yourself answering the sample questions listed below. Being able to witness yourself answering questions from an outside perspective helps you to be aware of what the interviewer will see. This step can help you make important changes to your posture and response time, and can assist you by letting you practice forming your thoughts into complete sentences.
4. Be on time to the interview! A company will not hire someone who makes a bad first impression, and being late is one of the worst impressions you can make. Wasting the interviewer’s time is ill-advised because the interview will begin on a sour note. This could cause the horn effect to take place, during which the employer regards you as a bad person based on one poor action. To find out more about impressions, such as the horn effect, check out our blog post on perception. If something goes wrong and you are running late, make sure to send an email or message to let the interviewer know so that they are not waiting for you.
During the Interview
1. Be prepared for the “Tell Me About Yourself” question. This question is often dreaded, but in reality, represents a unique opportunity to let the interviewer know more about your most relevant assets. This question gives the interviewee the opportunity to steer the interview in whichever way he or she wants and permits focusing on the best qualities instead of qualities that may be lacking. The best way to do this is by telling a story about a past experience that relates your skills to the desired position.
2. Maintain eye contact and monitor body language at all times. Ensure that your body communicates that you are engaged in the conversation, and happy to be considered for the position. If you are slouching or looking around the room during the interview, the interviewer will understand that you are uninterested and unavailable.
3. Ensure that you have questions prepared for the interviewer about the company. Questions about the position demonstrate your desire to learn, and your eagerness about the position. Showing interest can set you apart from other, less passionate interviewees.
4. Dress appropriately, and according to a business casual dress code. As mentioned previously, first impressions are imperative to a successful interview. Even if you are interviewing for a casual job, business casual attire will show your interest in the job and avoid you looking unprepared.
After the Interview
Ensure to send a follow up thank you email acknowledging the person’s time spent with you. This leaves the interview on a high note and demonstrates that you are still interested after the interview as well. A simple, “Thank you again for sitting down to chat with me today, I appreciate your time” will suffice.
Some Sample Questions:
Tell Me About Yourself?
How Did You Hear About This Position?
Why Do You Think You Are Qualified For This Position?
What Drew You To Our Company Specifically?
Why Do You Want This Job?
Tell Me About A Time When You Exercised Leadership/Teamwork/Responsibility In A Professional Setting?
What Is A Conflict You’ve Faced At Work, And How Did You Overcome It?
What Do You Consider Your Greatest Weakness?
How Would Your Ex-Boss And Coworkers Describe You?