Co-authored with Jarett MacLeod.
Good news, you landed the interview. Now what? It’s time to practice. Whether it’s practicing with friends or family or during the interview process itself, your skills improve over time. Read on to find out how to further level up your interview game!
- Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail
I remember when I thought to prepare for the job interview meant a once over of the companies website, and reading over the job description. Preparing examples of how your experience aligns with the role, some background research via Glassdoor interview reviews and building a bank of potential answers to common questions will help you be ready for whatever is thrown at you.
2. Master Your Response to “Tell Me About Yourself”
While this seems like an easy question, it’s often the most bungled. Whether going off on tangents, sharing irrelevant information or going into far too much detail it’s an easy one to tank. Treat it as a high-level overview of your career, what you’ve done, what you’ve learned and what’s motivating you to apply to the opportunity in front of you. The answer should be concise, well thought out, and have a clear beginning, middle and end. The Muse wrote a fantastic article with tips for mastering this question.
3. Actively Listen
Sometimes it’s nerves, sometimes it’s eagerness but cutting your interviewer off mid-question will leave them questioning your communication skills. Listening is just as important as talking — make sure you’ve heard the entire question before starting to answer. It will also give you time to collect your thoughts instead of responding with a neverending stream of consciousness.
4. Be Conscious of Time
Screening interviews are often short, and often the key determinant whether you get a second interview. Stay conscious of how much time you’re spending on your answers, spending no more than 2 minutes speaking at a time. Make sure your answers are succinct and to the point, or you may lose the opportunity to really showcase your abilities because you spend too long answering some introductory questions.
Be prepared. Come with at least two questions, that demonstrate your interest and that you have thought about the opportunity and the company. For example:
- What’s the most pressing deliverable for this role?
- That’s the biggest challenge in the role?
- Our favourite — are there any concerns about me as a candidate I can address for you?
Finally, know your audience. and tailor your questions appropriately. Your questions will vary depending on the interviewer.