Be the SOLUTION not the PROBLEM!
When you go into an interview, show the employers that you will help them solve their problems, not be a problem yourself.
Prepare Answers to Common Questions
Think about the questions most interviewers ask and come up with succinct, relevant answers that illustrate your experience and how you can benefit the company. Here are some example interview questions to get you started. Add questions related to the job you are applying for.
- Why do you want this job?
- What are your long-term goals?
- What are the principles you follow in _______ (your work, problem solving, etc.)?
- Tell me about your experience with ________ (situation/skill).
- What did you do before going into grad school?
- What excites you about this field?
- Tell me about a time that you had to deal with a difficult colleague?
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you had to give a presentation, would you prepare by practicing aloud? (Of course!) Then, you MUST practice answering interview questions aloud. Get a friend to ask you questions and record yourself answering those questions.
When you answer questions, speak for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Listen to yourself. Are you speaking too long? Are you giving examples? Don’t simply repeat what is on your resume. The interview is a time to share examples and stories that show how your experience meets the employer’s needs. (Show, don’t tell.)
If you don’t have direct experience, discuss other relevant experience and connect it to what the employer is looking for (you haven’t been a manager, but you successfully lead a team project).
Show that you understand the company. Spend time on their website. Understand their goals. Understand their challenges. Know who the leaders are. Know who their competitors are.
Employers don’t always look for direct experience; they are often looking for someone who can be trained and who is easy to a get along with. Many people hire for personality and work ethic. Many employers are looking for people who have particular knowledge and skills, but who are also passionate, curious, and willing to learn new things. In addition, employers are looking for people who are punctual, don’t complain, go the extra mile, can accept critical feedback, and can change when necessary.
Dress well for the interview, don’t be late, turn off your phone, bring copies of your resume.
Check your Online reputation. Have you reviewed all of the privacy settings on your Facebook page? Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Do you have an online portfolio of work that you can show the interviewer?