Improving Your Interview Skills

Improving Your Interview Skills

Enhance your success with expert tips: Improving Your Interview Skills. Nail your next interview and land your dream job.

General Tips

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early
  • Greet interviewer with a firm handshake, good eye contact, and a smile
  • Monitor your body language
  • Monitor the interviewer’s body language. If they stop taking notes and seem ready to move on finish your point
  • Avoid slang expressions such as, “ya know “or “like”
  • Send a thank you card

7 Steps of a Successful Interview

  1. Do your homework
  2. Build confidence
  3. Make a great first impression
  4. Establish credibility
  5. Answering questions
  6. Asking questions
  7. Follow up

Know Your Legal Rights

Under the employment standards act, questions pertaining to age, race, ancestry, religion, color, sex, marital status, physical/mental disability, place of origin, political beliefs, family status, and sexual orientation are illegal (unless directly related to the position). You should not answer questions about these subjects.

Introducing Yourself

Employers often begin an interview by asking you to tell them something about yourself.  Respond with the PAWS formula:

  • Personal – Describe yourself in 3 words. Why did you choose your program?
  • Academic – Your academic accomplishments and what you enjoyed about your program.
  • Work – Previous work or volunteer experience. Don’t expect the company to connect the dots on how your previous experience relates to the position you are applying for.
  • Skills – Skills you have learned in school that match what the company is currently seeking.

What to Bring

  • Extra copies of your resume
  • A list of your references
  • A pen and notebook

Behavioral Questions

These questions require you to tell a “story” from your past experience to demonstrate how you handled a particular situation. Employers ask these types of questions to assess how you might act in similar situations in the future. Answer behavioral based questions by using the STAR method:

  • Situation – Have you describe a specific situation
  • Task – Describe exact tasks you completed in said situation
  • Action – Give examples of your past actions
  • Result – Describe results of the past situation

Criminal Background

A criminal background is not a barrier to finding employment, it will however require extra preparation and research on your part.

  • Get specifics on your charges. You need to be prepared for what will come up on a background check and it’s important to note that some arrests without convictions can show up.
  • Seek out positions at companies that have a reputation for extending second chances to people with a criminal past.
  • During an interview it is important to be honest about your background. 52% of employers are likely to hire someone with a criminal history if that is disclosed prior to the background check. Be careful about the information shared, it is best to stick with the facts about what happened and why it won’t be an issue any longer.
  • When answering questions regarding your past you have to focus on the positive and talk about how you have improved and rehabilitated yourself. Find opportunities to volunteer to counteract any lack of employment history and to start developing a network of people that can potentially be references.
Contact Barracuda for personalized advice on improving your interview skills. Let us help you nail that next interview and secure your dream job.