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Attending an interview is one of the most difficult parts about job hunting. To make sure you are prepared for the interview process, Ashton College shares key interview tips that will help you feel confident and make a lasting positive impression.
Many interviewees experience stress before and during the interviews, and may find that their nerves have interfered with their ability to present themselves as suitable candidates for the position.
In order to reduce anxiety, try to think of a job interview as a strategic conversation with a purpose. Of course, your goal is to show the employer that you have the skills, background, and desire to do the job. At the same time, you should also be gathering information about the organization, your role and future career opportunities. Remember: the interview is a chance both for you and for the employer to determine if the job and the work environment are a good fit for you and your skillset.
For more tips on the interview mindset, check out our earlier success tips feature!
Ensure that you have collected enough information about the company, as it gives the interviewer the impression that you are enthusiastic and interested in the company. You will need to be prepared to answer questions such as “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to work here?”
Think about conducting a mock interview before attending the real interview. Practice with a friend or a career adviser. You could also record or videotape your responses, so you can replay the interview and see how well you did. Make sure to prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions, especially questions like “Tell us about yourself?” or “What are some of your weaknesses?”
It seems like a simple step, but being late due t transit or traffic can make a bad first impression. Look up directions ahead of time, bring a hard copy of your resume, and arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time to give yourself time to check your appearance, straighten your outfit and silence your phone before entering the building.
The rule is, when in doubt, overdress. Recent trends have dictated business-casual attire, but it’s still appropriate to wear a business suit.
The employer is interested in getting to know you, so think of the interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation.
Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to respond to questions and highlight past accomplishments.
It is likely that you will be asked some questions that you never heard or read anywhere. Many interviewers include questions that are not necessarily related to the job, such as “If you could be any superhero, who would you be?” These questions are designed to test your ability to think on your feet and to get to know you as a person.
If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate to ask your interviewer to repeat it. You have a better shot at giving your best answer if you know exactly what they’re asking.
Smart questions do not include anything about potential salary or time off. Consider: “How would you describe the ideal candidate?” or “What have you enjoyed the most about working here?”
It’s good etiquette to thank interviewers for their time. Make sure you get a business card from the person or people that you meet with and send a letter or e-mail to each one as soon as possible after the interview.