Interviewing to Your Full Potential
By Wiss Associate
Here’s a quick guide on how to succeed in your next interview!
- A great interview starts with preparation. Research the company, find out what they do and find out what their culture is like to see if it’s a good fit. They will ask you what you know about their company during the interview.
- You can’t prepare for every single question that will be asked but there are a lot of similar questions that companies generally ask and you can prepare for them. Look up sample questions online that you can print out and practice answering with a friend or family member.
- Create a list of questions to ask about the company and the position during the interview. Keep it simple, 3 to 5 questions is enough. There’s no need to go overboard and end up interviewing the interviewer.
- There’s a reason you have the interview, they already like you on paper. All you have to do is prove they made a good choice face to face.
- Dress appropriately. You’d be surprised what some people think is okay to wear to an interview. A suit is always the best way to make a good first impression. Nothing too bold, keep the colors nice and simple.
- No one can predict the phenomenon that is traffic, so always arrive to the building at least 15 minutes early. You can always stay in your car if you get there too early. Have last minute practice or give yourself a confidence booster by belting your favorite song (just make sure the windows are closed if you choose the latter).
- Arrive at the reception area no earlier than 10 to 15 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. Remember, your interviewer is most likely busy until the interview time and you don’t want to cause them stress by walking in a half hour early.
- One last thing before the interview: either leave your phone in the car or make sure to turn it off if you bring it with you. There’s nothing that can interrupt the flow of an interview like getting a call from Grandma!
It’s Game Time!
- Smile, be confident, and most importantly, be yourself! An interview is not just about your qualifications, it has a lot to do with your personality.
- Be aware of your body language. A lot more is said in an interview than just your words. Positive signals include leaning forward, smiling, nodding and eye contact. To try to keep your eyes focused in the right area, make a mental triangle between the interviewer’s eyes and nose.
- It’s okay to show your personality, but an interview is still a formal conversation; avoid filler words like “Um”, “Like” and “You know”.
- Tie in some examples of your experience into your answers. This will allow for your answers to be stronger. Try to avoid using the same club or organization as an example for every answer, they like to see that you are a well-rounded individual so don’t be afraid to mix it up.
- S.T.A.R. Technique: When appropriate, use this technique to answer behavioral type questions. This type of question will generally start something like, “Describe a time when you…”.
Situation or Task: Describe the situation you were in or the task that needed to be accomplished. Give some background, but make it concise and relevant to the story.
Action: Tell them the action that you took. Explain what you did, how you did it and the reason why you did it.
Result: Explain what happened because of the action you took. Did it work out the way you wanted it to? This highlights that you were able to use your skills in order to achieve a certain objective.
After the Interview:
- Always send a thank you email or note about 24 hours after your interview. Make it personal and include something that was spoken about during your interview. The thank you note solidifies the interest in the position you are interviewing for.
If you use these tips as a guide before your next interview, you’ll be golden! Now go get’em!