I know how an invitation to interview for that coveted job can quickly turn from unbridled joy to sickening dread. You worked so hard to get that phone call – created a career action plan, polished your resume, conducted a targeted and strategic job search, networked, followed-up – and now, the thought that all your effort rests on a single interview is down right frightening.
So, you start talking to yourself. Right? You start conducting interview simulations in your mind and answering questions you think they might ask. You picture yourself winning over the interviewers and imagine blowing them away with your confidence and expertise.
And this is exactly what you should do. But – are you asking yourself the right questions?
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, or aren’t overly confident about the questions that will come your way, I have a great resource for you:
This is one of the best interview-question compilations I’ve seen. Not only does it tee-up questions you are sure to be asked, but it gives you strategies for answering questions you didn't predict.
When in doubt, remember that almost every question is a version of: Why should I hire you? Always frame your answer in a way that demonstrates your value as an employee.
A few more pointers:
Research the company before the interview: Review news releases, scour their website/LinkedIn, and speak with any connections you may have who work there. Know why you want to work at the company and how you can benefit the business.
Don’t arrive late or too early: 5 minutes before your scheduled time is perfect.
Supporting documents: Bring a few extra copies of your resume (it’s great to have on hand if you’re left waiting – review your accomplishments and strengths to calm your nerves), also bring a few copies of your reference sheet (you may be asked for references at the end of your interview).
Prepare questions: Have your own questions to ask the interviewer. Avoid asking about salary or perks; instead use the interview as an opportunity to learn about the expectations of the role and the work culture. Why is this position available? What are the biggest challenges the selected candidate will tackle? How long have you worked for the company – what do you like about working here? It’s also appropriate to ask about next steps in the process and when a decision will be made.
Leave with a business card: Ask for a business card as you leave the interview. This will help you write and address thank-you and follow-up emails. Having business cards on hand is especially valuable if you’re interviewed by more than one person.