Interview Insight: Tips to Prepare Like a Pro [Part 2]

Posted by Paladin on March 05, 2014

To continue our Interview Insight series from last week, we’re bringing you an additional 10 tips to help prepare you like a professional. In addition to preparation tips like arriving early, practicing, and bringing extra copies of your resumé, we offer tips for what happens once you’re sitting across the table from your interviewer.

To continue to work toward turning that interview into a job offer, here’s more advice from our expert recruiters:

    1. Answer all questions clearly and concisely:  Ramblers rarely get the job. Take a breath before answering your question as a way to calm your thoughts and slow yourself down, then begin to speak. Because you’ve had plenty of practice, you should be able to control or take note of any personal fast talking or mumbling issues.
    2. Don’t trash-talk old employers: Or you’ll risk seeming petty by prospective ones. We can’t stress this enough. You never know who knows who, and if the interviewer happens to know the old boss you’ve expressed disdain for, chances are you’re not getting that job. Even if you did leave because of an issue with your employer, our next tip addresses how to address the question “Why did you leave your last job?” properly and positively.
    3. Be positive about why you’re leaving: Use the word “more” – as in you’re seeking “more challenges” and “more responsibilities.” As we mentioned above, even if it’s not the main reason why you left your old job, it’s a positive way to say that you’re looking for bigger and better opportunities outside of your former company. Besides, by saying “more,”  it makes you look like a real go-getter.
    4. Quantify your accomplishments: Stress specific facts, figures and measurable results – especially as they relate to the job and to your interviewer’s company. As a marketing example, if you saw significant click-thru rates for the Google Ads you created for your “XYZ Campaign,” share that! Don’t be afraid to share the hard facts and figures, because that’s truly what your interviewer wants to hear about.
    5. Be honest: Be straightforward about your talents.  You want to be hired for what you can do – not what the interviewer wants to hear. If you don’t have Adobe InDesign experience, but you have worked in Adobe Illustrator, say that, but also admit that you’re willing to adopt and learn InDesign. They’ll appreciate you for your honesty. If you lie, you’re just setting yourself up for failure and waisting the interviewer’s time.
    6. Mitigate the negatives: When asked about negative experiences, point out what you learned and what you do to prevent them. When asked about negative experiences, the interviewer is really just curious to know how you overcame them. Be honest and thoughtful about those experiences because there’s a lot to be learned about a candidate by how they react in poor situations.
    7. Answer the tough questions: Don’t dance around difficult issues, and if you need more time, ask your interviewer to repeat the question – this can give you time to consider it more carefully. By being thoughtful and honest (again, honesty is important!) you will gain more respect. Tough questions don’t go away after you get the job, so skating through these questions is ill-advised.
    8. Say it like you mean it: If you’d be thrilled to get the job, make sure your interviewer knows that.  Leave no doubt that you’re not just shopping around. After the interview, send hand written thank you notes in the mail. It’s always a personal touch that lets the interviewer know that you are looking forward to joining their team.
    9. Be proactive: To confirm your excitement about the opportunity, always ask your interviewer about next steps. Again, contact them after the interview to thank them personally for their time, and let them know that you look forward to speaking to them again. Put in their minds the idea of a future with you as an employee.
    10. Your recruiter has your back: Our focus is to get you your next job, so don’t hesitate to contact your recruiter if you need support before the interview.  After the interview, give them a call to let them know how it went and discuss next steps.

The interview is just one part of your job search, but we can help you every step of the way.  From resume writing tips and career advice to online training and mock interviews, we can help take your job search to the next level. As always, to find out more, contact your local Paladin branch today.

Posted in: Hiring Information, Job Seekers

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