One hour with a Career Coach. Part IV: The Perfect Job Interview in 4 Simple Steps
This is the fourth and last part of the interview to Career Coach Skye London in which I got valuable insights to help Finance students get their first industry-related job in Australia as part of The Financial Fox project.
Skye has a strong history working across Human Resources and Recruitment, one that has earned her a reputation as a prominent and passionate industry leader.
Back in 2012, Skye London and Josh Morison founded Y Executive which focus on career and professional development.
Today, we will learn about interviews.
The Perfect Job Interview in 4 Simple Steps
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
You should always go a job interview, knowing as much as possible about the company and the job you are trying to land.
This will not only help you to make sure that this job is the one you are really looking for, but it will also help the interviewer because you will be showing that you are a prepared person, who already knows how the company works , and that you take seriously the opportunity they are offering you.
What is relevant about the company? That will depend on the position you present yourself to, but you could learn more about the type of products or services they sell, what their main market is, what new projects they are working on, their economic-financial data, what have been their greatest successes, etc.
Currently social networks can be a great source of information (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter …) and thanks to them you could find out more about other people who already occupy that position, giving you an idea of what would be the qualities of the ideal candidate.
Prepare your answers. Put yourself in the place of the interviewer: make a list of questions that you would ask a candidate and think what would be the best answer for each one.
They can ask you several types of questions, from the most common ones and oriented towards your studies or previous work and level of responsibility in them, going through those directed to your professional competences for the resolution of objectives or conflicts, and even those related to your personality and life plan.
2. Remember that first impressions count!
Many times the decision whether hire you or not is made in the first 30 seconds. Give a good first impression!
Dress in line with the culture of the company. If you were interviewing at Google you would wear something different to if you were interviewing at Goldman Sachs.
This isn’t rocket science but you would be surprised at how many people still suit up for roles in a more creative or casual environments (and vice versa).
Research the company and find out what their employees wear to work. Be on the conservative side if you’re not sure though.
Wear a statement piece. If you have a statement or signature piece that defines your style then you should wear it. If you have a fantastic necklace, pair of boots or a killer blazer and you feel confident in it then be sure to wear it.
Be punctual. If possible, arrive 15 minutes early, so you are relaxed. Maintain a proper posture, watch your tone of voice and be natural. Remember that nonverbal communication says a lot about you; do not keep an aggressive look, do not talk with your arms crossed, and always look at the interviewer. Avoid defensive attitudes to difficult questions.
Knowing how to listen and have confidence are key aspects for a successful interview. Employers want to see you are an enthusiastic and informed individual. It is also an opportunity for you to evaluate the company. Do you want to work there? Can you contribute, learn new skills or have the opportunity to advance your career?
3. Use the STAR method to answer questions.
Recruiters often seek interviewees to provide examples of previous work experiences or past projects. How they have reacted in times of crisis, or how they have solved some unexpected problem in the company.
This gives them an idea of the professional they have before them.
To properly answer these types of questions, a good strategy is to apply the STAR method (Situation, Task, Actions and Results).
In reality, it is nothing more than a guide that allows you to clearly expose your performance in the past.
This technique is based on constructing your answer based on these four steps:
Situation: It is the problem to solve. In this step, it details the context: What? Where? When?
Task: It refers to your mission. In this case, describe what was the challenge and the expectations that were on you. What should be done?
Action: Describe what actions you put in place to solve the problem, why you chose them, how you applied them and what means you used.
Result: Finally, state what you got. Explain the success and improvements achieved with your behavior, quantify it to offer objective data of your performance.
4. Ask relevant questions at the end.
Ask some of the questions you prepared prior to the interview.
The time to do them is not defined, so maybe you can do some at the time of introducing yourself, as a way to break the ice:
- How long have you been working in the company?
- What position do you occupy in the company?
- I have read about your new projects / products. How are they working?
Or perhaps during the interview or at the end of it:
- What responsibilities would correspond to me?
- Do you have training plans in placed?
Your questions must be worked on, you can not ask the first thing that crosses your mind or ask things that were already clear in the job offer.
Skye also encourage you to never EVER Say These 5 Things In A Job Interview:
1. What does this company do?
2 . My manager was so incompetent (or anything else negative)
3 . My weakness is that I am a perfectionist / work too hard
4 . I am a f*@king super star
5 . I don’t have any questions
Full article about this on: https://www.yexecutive.com/never-ever-say-these-5-things-in-a-job-interview/
Finally, send a follow up email. This is a simple gesture that will see you reaping the rewards. In your follow up email say thanks for meeting with you and enthusiastically let them know what you learned about the company, team or role.
If you forgot to mention anything about your skill set or give an example of one of your achievements then you should do that too. You should also say that you look forward to hearing back from them. Keep this concise. Every word must count.
Skye recommend us sending this email the day after your interview. This is so you and your amazing skills are pushed back in front of the interviewers the next day and you are back in their thoughts once again.