Being skilled and qualified is not enough.
It is also necessary to interview very well. Most readers of this blog will fall into one of the following three categories, they are happily employed but looking for better opportunities, they have not interviewed in years and need a quick re-cap on common practices or they have interviewed, multiple times, without much success. We all start somewhere, why not here!
Prepare before the interview
Interviews can be stressful. A little preparation can go a long way to help you prepare and be more confident.
Always perform research on the company (and employee interaction history), employees you will interview with (interviewers), and track any departmental changes. The interview is your chance to demonstrate you are a good fit and how your skills will match up to their job description. I recommend using Glassdoor, LinkedIn company pages, your active LinkedIn network, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Indeed for research.
For salary research, I recommend SalaryList, Payscale, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and SalaryExplorer.
I also trust O*NET OnLine for all industry occupation descriptions, related titles, expected growth outlook, job role demands, skills/knowledge needed, education requirements, and wage and employment trends by state and zip code.
Discover the best way to prepare for an interview with these helpful tips.
- Research on the organization.
- Dress to impress.
- Be prepared, practice more than 1X on camera and/or voice recording.
- Be prepared for a panel of interviewers.
- Arrive early (even virtually, employers are aware of your log-in time).
- Your interview may be in-person, virtual, over the phone, all three or a combination of these.
- Practice your speaking skills, eye contact, voice, tone, and body language (and potentially presentation skills).
- Reiterate your interest in the position.
- Know who you are being interviewed by, if possible, and research them.
- Align your skills with the job roles before your interview.
- Showcase your strengths and accomplishments.
- Identify any potential challenges you might face with the company and the job role.
- If you have any gaps in employment, provide clarifying answers.
- Create a genuine connection/common ground with your interviewer. Engage in casual conversation.
- Prepare answers to common questions.
- Create uncommon questions to ask the interviewer.
- Thank your interviewer in person. Follow-up with your thank you email within 24 to 48 hours after the interview.
- Lastly, practice patience with yourself, trust your brand, and strengths.
What’s changed since your last interview?
We’ve gone VIRTUAL! The last time most of us interviewed we were making sure traffic was calculated into our GPS navigating system or have our public transit (train or bus) schedule beforehand with our estimated ETA. Now, we worry less about arriving on time and more about securing a quiet place with great lighting for our interview. The stress has shifted from travel time to in-home office space. Make sure to follow common virtual interviewing practices for the best outcome.
Fitting in to the company’s work CULTURE is almost essential. In today’s virtual team work environment, it is important to be cognizant of diversity and inclusive work culture to create a welcoming and stress-free environment. During the interview, you will be assessed not only for your skills and accomplishments but also for your emotional intelligence and work culture competencies. It is important to ask what the company’s management style is and what type of background do you feel would be best suited for success in the position. Never be blind-sighted about the work environment you are committing to.
Interview Questions to Prepare For
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your weaknesses? Strengths?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years (goals for the future)?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What keeps you up at night?
- Tell us about a mistake and how you corrected it.
- What skills do you bring to the team?
- Describe a difficult team/project experience and its outcome.
- What do you expect to gain from X company?
- Why do you want to leave (or left) your job?
- What are your goals?
- Tell me about a time you found a creative solution for your former/current employer.
- What are your salary expectations?
- How do you handle stress and pressure in the workplace?
- How do you handle difficult clients?
Interview Questions to Ask the Interviewer
- What skills qualify a candidate for this position?
- Is this a new role? If not, why is this job available?
- Can you name a few challenges that a candidate may face in this position?
- What training opportunities do you offer to employees?
- How long have you been in your role? What is the most exciting part about working in this role?
- Can you discuss how your role has changed since you’ve started working for the organization?
- How does the company evaluate the performance of employees? Is there a 30/60/90 day evaluation plan?
- Is travel required?
- Is remote work possible?
- How does one advance within the company?
- How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- What does the the typical work week look like?
- What are the work hours? Is over-time expected?
- How many people are on the team/department?
- What type of background do you feel would be best suited for the role?
- Does the company provide professional development opportunities?
- Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?
- Is there anything I can clarify for you about my resume or qualifications?
- If I am offered the position, how soon would you like me to start?
- What are the next steps? When can I expect to hear from you?
- What is the company’s management style?
- Do you have a policy for onboarding new members of the team?
- How long is the training process for this role?
Interview Questions to Avoid
- What does the company do?
- What are the requirements of the job?
- What other jobs do you have available?
- How soon can I apply for another job within the company?
- How quickly can I get promoted? Raise?
- How do you track the work of remote employees? (vs. How are remote employees managed?)
- Do you have security cameras in the workplace?
- Are emails and web data tracked?
- What is the process before someone is fired? How many warnings before dismissal?
- Did I get the job?
- Avoid race, gender, interviewer’s family and history.
- Avoid “me” questions. These usually involve second interview questions like salary, benefits, holiday pay/PTO, etc.
- What are the down sides of this working for the company?
- Do I have to work weekends?
These recommendations come from various workshops, client and self experience. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to comment below or reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a direct reply.
Thank you for reading my blog.