Five Most Helpful Interview Tips You Probably Haven’t Heard Before
If you’re preparing to change jobs, you’ve probably discovered that it can be a challenge to find useful advice that goes beyond basics like how to prepare a solid resume, doing your homework, and arriving early for your interviews, clean and sharp-dressed. By doing some more in-depth preparation and learning how to sell your skills effectively, you can stand above competitors who stick to the basics in preparing to interview for a new job. Make a more memorable impression by giving your interviewers a stronger sense of your capabilities and potential contributions to their companies’ success.
- Make Best Use Of Your Research – Of course, you’re going to do some research into each company you’re interviewing with, but do you know how best to use the information you gain? Look up resources like the company’s bog posts, press releases, and periodic reports like quarterlies and annuals. Look for clues as to that company’s challenges and future plans, and think about how you see yourself contributing to their success in those specific areas, so when you’re asked a question like what you think their greatest opportunity or challenge might be, you’re ready with a crafted response that shows interviewers that you’ve actually put some thought into working for their company.
- Polish Your Online Presence – Everyone knows that some employers search prospective employees’ social media profiles. What many job seekers don’t realize is that this is now standard practice, and not only should you consider what appears on your own social media, but anything that shows up in a Google search of your name: Blog posts, comments on blog posts or social media of others, open letters, and posts related to hobbies. Review your photos, posts, and remarks before you start sending out resumes.
- Turn Dud Questions To Your Advantage – Almost every interview includes at least one dud question or prompt like, “Tell me about yourself,” or, “Walk me through your resume.” These things are so vague that it can be a challenge to give an answer that works to your advantage. Vague questions can be a black hole that sucks you into giving trite, ineffective replies, but if you’ve prepared yourself, they can also be an opening for you to take control of the interview and tell them what you want them to know without missing a beat. Start with a biographical “elevator speech” that includes only the highlights of your background and experience that are relevant to the company and job you’re interviewing for. Another common dud question is, “What’s your biggest weakness?” Plan a response for this one by considering which weakness you’ve done best at overcoming already, then talk about the steps you’ve taken to overcome that weakness and what results you’ve seen.
- Use PAR Statements – One invaluable tool for presenting yourself and your abilities in an interview is the PAR statement: problem, action, and result. An effective PAR statement is succinct, and it implies a promise of quantifiable, repeatable success. By preparing PAR statements for your most impressive accomplishments that relate to the position you’re interviewing for, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of questions like “Walk me through your resume,” or, “Tell me about the most challenging project you worked on.”
- Let Interviewers See Inside Your Head – Some interviewers like to ask candidates to offer solutions to a hypothetical question or situation. It can be a stressful moment, because you don’t want to stay silent for too long while working out an intelligent response, but it’s also important to not blurt out a fast response you’ll kick yourself over on the way home. By verbalizing your thought process, the assumptions or estimates you’re making as you proceed, and your internal dialogue, you demonstrate your logical process and your ability to communicate as you brainstorm.