“I got an interview!” These words can bring with them both excitement and tremendous anxiety. You’re close to landing a new job, but going through the interview and screening process can be daunting. Below I have compiled all the best tips and tricks I’ve gained from years working in the tech field. Interviews can be scary, I’ve been there. But using my suggestions below we can get you prepped and ready to score your next dream job. Let’s dive in!
Research The Company
The best way to start is by researching the company that is hiring you. Go to the mission page of their company website. Read about their motto. Find out where the company is heading and what their major goals are. Check them out on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites. Don’t just read words… read the tone! These sources can give you valuable insight into the culture of the company. Sites like ‘Glassdoor’ can show you what current and past employees have to say about them. If you know who will be interviewing you, check out their profile on LinkedIn. All of this is giving you knowledge on what to expect and how to be ready.
Prepare For The Questions
The type of interview you will be facing will depend on the company culture. Below are some of the most common questions asked during an interview.
- Tell us about yourself.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What interests you most about this position?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your strengths?
This is how you can answer these commonly asked questions.
“Tell Me About Yourself”
(Tips: Never talk about your personal life and hobbies. Talk about what work you have done in the past, what you are doing in the present, and where you would like to be in the future.Highlight how you have used your skills in the companies you worked for in the past.)
“Well, I come from a design background, having worked at FUNctional Designs for the past six years. I collaborate with a design team and various clients. I have a portfolio of my solo projects. I am currently looking for a new challenge and the opportunity to expand my design expertise. I have a passion for digital design and photography. I keep up with new design concepts and implement them in my own work. I would love nothing more than to bring my design expertise into the team here at Creative Designs.”
“Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
Tip: Research the company online and come up with a few reasons why you would like to work there.
“I have been a fan of the designs your company has created. I know that your team has opened up new design concepts that connect practicality with beautiful aesthetics. I was very impressed with your company’s drive to push the boundaries in design and the projects that you have scheduled for the near future. It would be a pleasure to work for a company like yours and I am sure that my background, experience, and skills can be put to use to the company’s mission.”
“What Interests You Most About This Position?”
(Tip: Highlight that you understand the role and that you would enjoy your duties.)
“What interests me most about this position is the opportunity to create designs that are unconventional and unique. Other design companies I have interviewed with do not encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking and restrict designers to set templates. They seem very quantity not quality driven. Creating designs that are unconventional or not yet tried has always been a dream of mine, and I feel that Creative Designs strives for that goal. I am confident that by allowing me to be part of the Design Team we will be able to push those boundaries even more.”
“Why Should We Hire You?”
Tip: Practice this with a friend to make sure your tone comes across balanced and not overly self-assured.You can write this elevator pitch in advance to help with the nerves.
“I think you should hire me because I love learning new things and can pick up new skills quickly. I know how to get the job done. I also worked all throughout college, giving me years of experience. I can assure you that I will put my all in every project I am assigned and always be flexible in learning new methods.
“What Are Your Strengths?”
(Tip: Don’t list out your best qualities. Rather, tell a story of how you became that person.)
“One of my strengths is that I am eclectic. I love mixing different designs that wouldn’t normally be paired together.
My friends always told me that I dressed a little different. I just had a very unique way of pushing the norms. I would love the opportunity to bring my creative spirit and ‘anything is possible’ attitude to this amazing design team.”
PREPARE TO ASK THEM QUESTIONS
Most interviewers will end the interview by asking you “Do you have any questions for me?” This scary question will never go out of style. Here are some ideas of what you can ask.
What skills and qualities should the ideal candidate have for this role?
What would you expect the person hired to accomplish in the first 3 months?
How do you measure success for the role?
What would be my future career progression from [name of role]?
What are the opportunities for career growth available within the company?
The reason why you don’t want to dismiss these questions is because they give you valuable information about the role and the company. They demonstrate the depth of your interest. Don’t forget: the interview is also your opportunity to learn about them. As much as they are looking for the ideal candidate you should also be looking for the ideal company. Don’t be afraid to ask what you want to know.
BODY LANGUAGE AND VOICE
It is commonly known we read body language even more than the words that are spoken. Keeping this in mind, the interviewer will subconsciously pay attention to your body language. Keep in mind these areas:
Hands: Give them a firm handshake. This will signal confidence and strength, as well as mutual respect. Using hand gestures while talking can help you look more self-assured. Make sure you don’t use them excessively. Pick one or two places as you rehearse your interview as to where you could include some hand gestures.
Posture: Whether the interview is through video or in-person make sure to sit up straight. It helps to plant your feet on the ground and touch the back of your chair. Angle your boy toward the interviewer as this signals interest.
Facial Expressions: Try to keep direct eye contact with the interviewer. This is much easier in person. To attain the same feeling through video make sure to look at your camera rather than your screen. Remember to nod when it is appropriate in the conversation as this will signal that you are listening.
Tone Of Voice: Before the interview, take a few deep breaths. This will help you feel less tense and will help reduce high pitched voices. A high tone of voice signals stress. One thing that helps is imagining you already got the job. Imagine you’re telling a friend about your new job. Be assertive but not aggressive. This helps you sound excited rather than anxious during the interview. Try to avoid rambling on. Rehearsing what you will say in practice interviews will help smooth out your answers.
But what’s the best way to practice?
Mock interviews are where you pretend to be at the interview and go through some of the questions you may be asked. It’s most helpful when you make the situation as realistic as possible. Have friends or family members practice with you for the interview. If your interview is in-person, then practice it in that manner. If it’s over video conference, then do your practice through that means. This will help you see where you should be sitting and how to position yourself. You can also record yourself, observe the results, and adjust. It’s best to practice a phone interview while walking or standing. This allows more air into your lungs and helps reduce stress significantly. If you don’t have anyone to help you, practicing in front of a mirror is also very useful.
Some job positions include a very rigorous interview process. If you feel that you need more training to ace the interview process, reach out to a career coach. Career coaches will be able to conduct mock interviews with you and offer professional interview training. Career coaches are also in the know of what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a candidate’s interview.
Things Not To Forget
If in-person don’t forget to bring extra copies of your resume or cover letter. Bring a pen and paper in case you want to take notes.
Attire- remember you want to impress. While you conduct your research on the company look at how the employees are dressed. Try to be slightly more formal than the typical work attire for the company, as you want to stand out.
This is the one step many people forget.
After you have finished your interview, follow up with the company. Thank them for their time with a message or a thank you card. Send a handwritten note or email within 24 hours of the interview.
Sample follow up thank you note:
Subject Line: Great speaking with you
Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for the opportunity to interview with [company name]. I appreciate the time you took to explain more about the organization and share expectations for the ideal candidate.
After learning more about the position, I believe that my years of experience in fundraising for nonprofit organizations will help garner new opportunities to be part of your team.
Please get in touch if I can provide any further information regarding successful projects completed.
Email: [email protected]
Don’t feel discouraged when seeing all you have to do to ace the interview. By knowing all these tips you are already ahead of the pack and will surely stand out.