Interviewing Techniques and Tips
Putting Your Best Self Forward and Getting the Job
Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking. You may feel uncomfortable “selling” yourself or fielding unexpected questions. Or the prospect of having to meet and impress new people may be enough to trigger anxiety. However, interviewing is a skill you can learn. With the right tips and techniques, you can become a master at sharing your value with potential employers, presenting yourself effectively at interviews, and getting the job you want.
- Tip 1: Interview for as much as you can
- Tip 2: Develop a compelling story
- Tip 3: Tailor your story to the job
- Tip 4: Manage stress
- Tip 5: Be prepared
- Tip 6: Anticipate likely questions
- Tip 7: Ask questions during the interview
- Tip 8: Boost your EQ (Emotional Intelligence)
One way to apply emotional awareness in an interview situation is to find common human connections with the interviewer. If you set out with the intention to discover how you and the person interviewing you are connected and what you share, you will discover commonalities much faster. And the interviewing process will be much less intimidating because of it.
Tips for discovering commonalities with your interviewer
- Do your research. Google every person you know you are going to meet or think you might meet in the interview, especially senior executives. Learn what might be common areas of interest in advance.
- Listen and pay attention. If you listen during the interview and look for commonalities, they will seem omnipresent. When your interviewer mentions his or her alma mater, weekend plans, kids, or favorite restaurant, you have the chance to ask questions and find common ground. You can also take a look around the office. Do you see a book you’ve read, a product you want or just bought, or a photo you like? If so, you have a means to discuss commonalities.
- Lead with your interests and passions. How you introduce yourself and talk about yourself in the interview matters. If you integrate facts and interests into your spiel about yourself, then you create opportunities to connect. After the “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself” query, tell your story.
- Find common ground in the context. Where you are meeting, your surroundings, and the purpose of your connection are all reference points. There is a reason why both of you find yourself at this unique place and time. Why are you both in this business? Do you know the any of the same people?
While searching for commonalities, avoid pummeling your interviewer with a series of set questions. Let the interview happen naturally, but keep an eye out for hints of commonalities. Once you do, the world will feel like a smaller, friendlier place and your anxiety over interviewing will shrink.
Questions to ask potential employers in job interviews
- The people who do well at your company: what skills and attributes do they usually have?
- What do you like best about working at _____?
- What results are expected?
- What specific problems are you hoping to solve during the first six months?
- Who are the key internal customers? Any special issues with them?
- What happened to the person who had this job before?
- What communication style do you prefer?
- What is your philosophy regarding on-the-job growth and development?
- What are your goals for the department?
Source: Circle of Experts
Authors: John E. Kobara and Melinda Smith, M.A. Last updated: May 2016.