Are you one of those people who get all nervous and anxious when it comes time for an interview? Being prepared can help keep you calm. Here are 6 tips to help you ace your next job interview.
Interviews can be intimidating but, if you are well prepared and know what to expect, it can ease a lot of the stress you might experience. In a previous post, we gave you 6 tips to help with your interview and this time we are back with more! Here are 6 more tips to help you ace your next interview.
Tip 1: Prepare for the Questions
A quick search for common interview questions can be a big help in prepping you for interview questions. In our previous blog about job interviews, we talked about how important it is to cater your answers to the job description. This can be difficult if you do not understand the kinds of questions you might get asked by an interviewer. There are a few types of questions you can learn about and prepare answers for.
Knowledge/Skill Based Questions- These questions focus on previous experience with specific tools of the trade. Interviewers might also ask you about certain skills listed on your resume. Examples of these questions would be:
- “What experience do you have with Microsoft Excel?”
- “Do you have experience with public speaking?”
- “How do you manage multiple tasks at once?”
Behavioral Questions: Behavioral questions are used to determine how you have handled previous situations. The goal here is to show problem resolution in situations specific to the workplace. Examples of these questions are things like:
- “Describe a time when you faced a challenging task.”
- “Tell me about a time when you had a difficult co-worker, how did you navigate the situation?”
- “Describe a time you failed at something; how did you deal with the situation?”
Situational-Based Questions– These questions are similar to behavioral questions, but they are usually hypothetical. They are used to gage how you would respond to different situations that might come up in your position These are questions like:
- “What would you do if you were about to finish a project but then realized you made a mistake that would require you to start over?”
- “How would you handle an angry customer?”
- “How would you handle a scenario where co-workers were not receptive to an idea you have?”
Tip 2: Use the Star Method
It is important to answer interview question in a clear and concise way. One method Indeed recommends you use to answer these types of questions is the STAR method. This method allows you to tell a story in a way that is easy to follow and easy to remember. STAR stands for:
Situation – Using a specific example, you want to very briefly give some background information about the scenario you will describe.
Task – This part is where you describe your role, the task, or the goal you tried to reach in the scenario.
Action– This part is where you describe the action you took in the situation. You want to emphasize the skills you used to take this action
Result– This final part is where you describe the outcome of the situation and how your action helped solve the problem.
Take some time to look over the job description to understand the skills and traits they are looking for. Then take some time to reflect on experiences you have had the showcases those skills. Then you can implement the STAR method to help you be able to clearly showcase this experience. It is good to have multiple scenarios in mind so that you are prepared for different questions.
You can’t anticipate every question an interviewer will ask. However, if you study the skills on the job description and apply them to situations you have been in, you will be in good shape for your interview.
Tip 3: Don’t Exhaust Yourself
While it is important to be prepared, you don’t want it to take over your life. Overpreparing can make you come off as fake to employers. It also can cause you to get extra nervous. Try to do something relaxing before your interview so you are not hyper-focused on it.
Tip 4: Have your action plan ready
It is very important to be prepared for an interview. This prep doesn’t start when you walk into the interview, it starts way before that. Here are some things to do before your interview
- Have your outfit ready to go the night before. Make sure it is clean and crisp and looks presentable.
- Print out the materials you will need like your resume, cover letter, and references. Make sure to have extra copies in case multiple people are interviewing you.
- Know when and where the interview will take place. Make sure you have a transportation plan that will allow time if things like traffic or closures arise.
- If it is a virtual interview, make sure you know what platform the interview is on (Teams, zoom, over the phone etc.) and make sure you have easy access to them. Make sure all your technology like your headphones, camera and microphone are working a head of time so there are limited amounts of technical issues that arise.
Tip 5: Arrive Early
You want to arrive 10-15 minutes early. They might have you wait somewhere until your actual interview but that is normal. Arriving early gives a great impression and gives you ease of mind. In the professional world, on time is late. If you get there earlier than that, its ok to wait in your car or find a place to wait until actually going into the interview. Take some time to ease your nerves.
Tip 6: Be Present
Interviews are stressful and can be overwhelming. You have to look presentable, go new places, meet new people, and make yourself look great. It is completely normal to just want to be done with them. It is important though, to stay engaged throughout the process. Make sure you are smiling when meeting people. Don’t be afraid of a little small talk and to listen well. Try to find something about the experience you can enjoy. It will make a lasting impression on the employers, and it will help you feel relaxed.
Interviews are stressful for everyone, but with some preparation and practice, they become a little bit easier. Whether it is reviewing a resume or doing a mock interview, The employment team here at Mary Rigg is ready to support you and your employment goals. To connect with a member of the team click here or call 317-639-6106.