Interviews can be stressful. However, the more prepared you are the better the outcome. While you can’t prepare for all questions in the most effective way, there are some basic rules that can help you give the best interview possible. Here are some dos/don’ts to keep in mind.
- Write down questions you would ask if you were the hiring manager. Develop the best answers. Practice answering those questions you know will be asked. Even if you are prepared for only half of the questions asked, you will have that much better results.
- Bring your resume with you, just in case the interviewer is not prepared, which is not a good sign.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer when asked, “What would you like to know?” A great question would be: “What are the expected results of this position in the first 6 to 12 months”? A weak question would be: “How many days of vacation are available”?
- Have a list of references, but make sure they have consented. You should make sure all references understand the job requirements and how they can support your candidacy
- Be prepared to take a few notes. The hiring manager may lay out issues, opportunities or strategies that the open position will be responsible to problem-solve or implement
- Be on time, dress appropriately, and maintain a positive attitude
- Be careful not to project an overconfidence, dismissiveness or arrogance that will put off the hiring manager. They will be looking for behaviors that don’t fit their team culture
- Never exaggerate your skills or experiences. It’s very easy to validate whether you’ve gotten the results you’ve stated, or accomplished the goals of past jobs
- Non-verbal communications can be a negative sign, like avoiding eye contact, crossing your arms while talking, continually shifting your sitting position as if you can’t wait to leave, or slouching in the chair rather than sitting upright
- When talking about your workmates, never blame others for mistakes while vindicating your part. A fabrication or a little white lie can come back to haunt you after your hired
- Make sure your phone is turning off, you’re not chewing gum or sucking on a breath mint
- Be careful answering negative questions, like: “What disagreements have you had with your boss and how did you handle it?”, “When has your performance fallen short and why?”. The hiring manager is looking for how you handled the issues and how you answer the question: Do you accept responsibility and did you have a strategy to resolve the issue?
Here are additional questions only you can answer: Is the hiring manager someone you can learn from? Are your workmates a team, or are they individuals competing with one another? Is the culture of the organization compatible with your values and working style? Are there training/development programs available to you?
You get to hire your next organization. Make sure it’s the right one!
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