Tips for a Successful Interview
We’ve all been there. The nerves, the constant stream of doubt funneling through our minds, the sweaty palms, wardrobe malfunctions, trying to decide on the right outfit. Rest assured that it does not always have to be this way. Here are a couple tips and tricks to a successful interview that I would like to share from my perspective as an interviewer. Nail your next interview with expert Tips for a Successful Interview from Barracuda. Elevate your career prospects today.
1. Research the company.
- Check out their website, blogs, reviews, and employer ratings.
- Who is the company?
- What do they do?
- What is their product and/or service?
- When did they get their start?
- How many locations do they have?
- What is their mission statement, vision, and core values?
2. Research the position.
- What are the duties and responsibilities?
- What are some similar positions?
- What have you done in your previous roles and/or what experience do you have that matches with the description of this position?
- Are there any required skills you do not have? If so, are these skills you feel you could and would want to learn/attain?
3. Research the hiring manager / interviewer.
- Check their LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Where are they from?
- Where did they go to school?
- Are they members of any professional networks/associations?
- Where have they previously worked?
4. Be Prepared.
- Know how your experience relates and be prepared to provide specific examples of how your previous experiences can translate to this position and/or this company.
- Understand the different interview styles, there are structured or unstructured interviews which can include behavioral and competency-based questions or situational questions. Understand the difference and practice your answers.
5. Research the STAR method of answering questions; Situation or Task, Action, and Result.
- Example question: Provide me with a time you had to deal with a difficult customer, what was the result?
- Situation/Task – Think of a situation you have encountered that matches that question.
- Action – What action did you take during that situation and/or task?
- Result – What happened in the end, what was the result?
6. Non-verbal communication.
- Practice a firm handshake, you will not be able to have a second chance at a first impression, make that first one count.
- Practice how you are coming across. Often interviewers are looking for what you are and are not saying by watching for non-verbal cues.
- Examples of non-verbal cues/communication are:
- Body language such as slouching in your chair or not being squared up at the table.
- Facial expressions.
- Fidgeting in your seat or with an item such as your hands or a pen.
- Eye contact or lack thereof.
- Using filler words such as uh, um, ah, etc.
- Long silences or talking too fast.
- Dress the part; understand the industry for which you are interviewing in and knowing the appropriate interview attire. When in doubt, go with Business Casual.
- Make sure you are well groomed and have good hygiene.
- Avoid wearing any type of colognes or perfumes as you do not know what sensitivities the interviewer may have, or the size of the room may make the smells too strong which distract from what is being said.
- Cover any visible tattoos and remove any facial piercings. Majority of the time you will not know what the employer’s policy is so it is best to err on the side of caution and save this for a question later in the process.
- Avoid unnatural hair colors. Again, this is an item that can be discussed at a later date on what the company’s dress code policy is regarding artificial hair colors that are acceptable if any.
8. Formulate a list of questions to ask them, have at least 3 solid questions.
- Questions can be formulated based on what you do not know that you would like to know about the company and/or the position.
- This shows the interviewer that you were prepared and are genuinely interested in the opportunity being presented.
9. Things NOT to discuss.
- Pay – this should only be discussed should there be an offer, or the conversation is leading into that direction and should be initiated by the employer.
- Religion – unless you are interviewing for an employer that is or is directly tied to a religious organization, this subject should be avoided if possible.
- Politics – this is a subject that can often times cause conflict between two opposing sides therefore it is best left for outside the workplace.
- Information that can put you in a negative light. For example, if you left a previous employer due to an argument with your manager because they were unwilling to listen to ideas on how to improve a process; this often times will cause hesitation in the mind of a hiring manager. Instead try something like this, “I did not feel it was the right fit for me and would be more comfortable in an environment that allows for open communication between members of management and direct reports.”
10. Sending a Thank You.
- Make sure to send a follow up email or handwritten note thanking each person you interviewed with within 1-2 days after your interview has concluded.
- This should include a personalized message thanking them for their time and consideration.
How Barracuda Can Help
With expert tips for a successful interview you’ll be starting your new career in no time. Barracuda’s guidance leads you to interview victory and career advancement. If you find yourself wondering where to start, give us a call at 918-488-0887.