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Master the Job Hunt: Interviewing Tips

The first thing that comes to mind when job hunting is the all-important interviewing. Mastering the interview process can be a fairly easy thing to do as long as you prepare for it beforehand.

Dress Appropriately

  • Dressing in a presentable manor is the first and most important thing to prepare. People cast judgements on each other after the first 7 seconds of seeing someone.
  • If you are able to, visit the place the day before. From your visit, note down how people tend to dress. Are they a suit and tie company or a jean and a t-shirt company? Mimic the everyday dress code that you saw. If they wear business professional every day, make sure you wear business professional clothing.
  • When in doubt, dress up. People know you’re coming in for an interview, dressing a little more formally or conservatively is called for in this type of situation. Under-dressing, on the other hand, can get you dismissed as a poor candidate immediately.
  • Appropriate dress typically includes: slacks or dress pants or a skirt, a button up shirt or blouse, potentially a blazer or suit jacket, and often a tie for men.

Be Early to The Interview, and make sure you update your Zoom info

  • If you are on time, then you are late. Make sure to arrive at most 15 minutes early to the interview. You never want to be late for an interview because it leaves a bad impression. Also, don’t get to the job more than 30 minutes early. You don’t want to seem too eager or run the chance of annoying anyone.
  • If you are running late (sometimes it’s a series of unpreventable, unforeseeable circumstances) make sure to call as soon as possible to inform the hiring manager and/or HR of what’s happening. Explain the legitimate reason as to why you’re running behind. A call ahead can mitigate many issues but showing up late with an excuse will typically get you labeled as unreliable.

Be Friendly to Everyone

  • Be friendly to everyone that you meet at the job site. This could be the janitor or the receptionist. The employer wants to know that you have a personality that would fit in with everyone at the firm. Showcase your amazing personality and manners to everyone that you encounter.
  • Have a firm handshake and look people in the eye. It helps put people at ease and sets the tone for the rest of the interview.

Prepare for the Interview Questions

  • This will take up most of your time to do. Prepping for interview questions is the most vital part of the interview. There are two main types of interview questions that you might get:
    • Situational: These are questions where the interviewer will give you a situation and you would describe how you would handle it. These are to test you on situations that may occur and understand your through process for making decisions that align with the company values. For example: What would you do if you made a mistake and no one else noticed
    • Behavioral: Ever heard of the phrase: “Your past behavior predicts your future behavior”? This is the reason for behavioral questions. They are meant to highlight the skills and decisions that you have made in the past to evaluate how you may react to on-the-job tasks in the future. For example: “Tell me about a time where you were in conflict with a co-worker?”  
  • Describe your skills with examples. An interviewer will likely ask you about your past work experiences. Describe whatever tasks you’ve listed on your resume with examples so that it’s easier for your interviewer to get a sense of the responsibilities and tasks you’ve spent time on. Bonus points if you’re able to quantify what was accomplished. 
  • Have questions of your own ready. Nearly every interview ends with “So, what questions do you have for me?” Be prepared by having some thoughtful questions ready. 

Be Confident 

  • Remember that a really good interview should feel like a conversation. People want to hire good candidates but they also want to feel like that person will fit in with the rest of the team. Don’t be afraid to have a little bit of personality, share interests, or converse normally. This can help you appear less stiff to a hiring manager and more like a “person” and potentially a good fit.  
  • Be confident in yourself and your abilities. The interviewer brought you in because they thought your resume was great. Highlight all the amazing qualities that you can bring to the job to the recruiter and they will love to hire you.