How to Ace Your Job Interview
interview is one of the most important parts of the job search and your chance
If you are lucky enough to have gotten an interview, you have gotten past the
screening stage and you may have beaten hundreds of other candidates to get to
The Type Of Interview
The first place to start in preparing for your interview is to understand the
potential formats that are used to determine your fit within the organization.
1) Telephone Interview
The first format is the phone interview. This allows the employer to screen
the candidate at a low cost and time effective manner. These interviews are
generally around 30 minutes in length and often performed by a human resource
manager. This technique is often used to narrow the pool of candidates for
To be most successful in the phone interview, you should be sure to follow
these steps. Use a landline, as they are less likely to be dropped. Turn off
call-waiting as a call coming in may distract you in the middle of an answer.
Make sure the interview takes place in a quiet space with limited distractions.
Without visual clues, you will have to be careful to focus on the questions they
are asking you. Enunciate and speak clearly.
2) One To One Interview
second format is the traditional in person one to one interview. This allows
employers to get to know you on an individual level and ask pertinent questions
to their area of work.
These are most often performed by the decision maker, which is potentially
your boss. They are going to be concerned with how well you are going to fit in
and you are going to support them in their jobs.
To be most successful in the one to one interview, you need to focus on
non-verbal behaviors, like eye contact, tone of voice, and body language. One
study shows that 93% of your message is conveyed in this way and not in words.
Body language will vary based on the country that you are interviewing in. For
example, in some countries, eye contact is direct and others it is not. Also
remember to dress the part. You want them to see you as a potential employee.
3) Panel Or Group Interview
The third format is a panel or group interview. This format allows the employer
to save time and also get multiple opinions that can lead to more valid and fair
decisions about candidates. Remember that each individual on the panel will have
a different perspective.
Try to understand how their position relates to the one you are applying for.
This will help you tailor your answers to their particular needs and concerns.
To be most successful in panel interviews, body language is still important. A
few points to remember include, make your introductions count, make eye contact
and use their names.
4) Video Or Online Interview
final type of interview is the online video interview. It is similar to the in
person interview but it allows the employer to cut down on travel and cost. You
will want to follow the same advice and in addition these steps.
Perform test runs on the equipment well before the interview. Arrive on video
early so you can make any adjustments to lighting or appearance prior to the
interview or coming online. Use the in picture mode so you know how you appear.
Make sure your environment looks clean, professional, and there are no immediate
distractions in the area.
The Types Of Interview Questions
How often have you been to an interview and been surprised by the questions
you were asked? By understanding the three basic types of questions employers
use, you can actually prepare for an interview and take away much of the
anticipation. The first and most common are behavioral questions.
The concept is to use your past behavior to predict your future
behavior. It will often take the form of, tell me about a time, or give me an
example, to allow you to draw upon your past experiences to show your skills and
knowledge. For example, tell me about a time when you had to meet a deadline,
and you did not meet expectations. Or, give me an example of a time when you
innovated on a project.
The second type of question is case or situational. The purpose is to evaluate
your problem solving and analytical abilities. It will often take the form of,
how would you or what would you do? Your answer shows how you would approach a
problem, or a work situation, and allows them to see how you think on your feet.
For example, how would you change our website? Or, what would you do if you had
an angry client?
third type is resume-based questions. The purpose is to gain more information on
experiences you have highlighted and confirm the depth of your skills and
They will ask you direct questions from your resume. So you will need to be
able to expand on it in detail. For example, you mentioned in your resume that
you have HTML experience.
Can you tell me where you have used this?
You Must Practice
Practicing for the interview helps you feel confident and focused on the
interviewer, not stressed out about what you are going to say. There are several
options for you; from do-it-yourself, to fee-based services.
Practice On Your Own
If you choose to do this on your own, you will want to mirror an actual
interview as closely as possible. Set up a space that is conducive to
interviews, dress the part, and have a friend or family member play the part of
the interviewer. You can also create flashcards that will allow you to shuffle
them and be comfortable answering in any order. Be sure to record yourself so
that you assess your body language and confidence.
Practice By Hiring Help
You may also want to consider the many online fee-based interview practice
They provide a pressure free environment that will give you randomized
questions with little work on your part.
The disadvantage of many fee-based services is that they do not provide you
with specific questions based on the job you are after. Regardless of the method
you choose, the more you practice, the better prepared you will be for the
How Did It Go?
Once you have completed the interview, you are in the stage to follow-up. A
crucial step is to assess your performance; how well did you do? You want to
think about what went well and what did not.
An excellent way to assess your performance is through performance-based
To analyze your performance, you will first want to outline the factors that
will make a successful candidate in their organization. Start with what the
interviewer focused on and list these first. Then go back to the job description
and identify areas that came up in the interview and that you feel are
Next, for each of these factors, put an example you used in the interview.
Take the time to reflect on your answers to determine how strong they matched up
with each need. Third, rate how you performed on a scale of 1-5; 1 being
unqualified and 5 meaning exceeds qualifications.
the best case, the hiring manager will call you to extend an offer. In this case
you want to let them know you are excited to get the offer and ask for details.
Then ask them for time to think about the offer.
If the hiring manager has not gotten back to you and it has been more than
two weeks, there can be many reasons for this, but it is reasonable to follow-up
with a short email, checking in and expressing your interest. You may still be
in the running.
The third scenario would be that you do not get the position. At this point
you do not know how close you came, so you want to keep the door open. You
should send a thank you note to the hiring manager. Try to connect at future
conferences or events to stay in touch. You need to continue to network.
Remember, just because you did not get this job, does not mean you will not get
the next one.
Unfortunately, employers do not always deliver the bad news. Many people who
are hiring somebody do not get back to the candidates who did not get the job.
Although not a professional practice, it does happen.
If it has been more than a month, send a second note reiterating your
interest in the position and your hope to hear from them about future positions.
During your job search, it is important to open as many doors as you can, but it
is just as important to keep them open. A kind or thoughtful thank you note
will enhance your network of possible employers.
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