You’ve Landed the Interview - Now What??
Congratulations on scoring the onsite interview! There is some prep work that you will need to do before the interview from both a research perspective and from the interviewer’s perspective.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the in-person interview.
- Research the company — Why do you want to work there? Have this down in 3 concise sentences.
- Practice answering behavioral-based interview questions. They will ask you situational questions that relate to the role. Tell me about a time when… Write these answers down and know them. They should follow the S.T.A.R. format: Situational, Task-oriented, Action, Result. To practice this, you need to do #3.
- Analyze the job description. These are the very questions they will be asking you about in an interview. Turn the bullet points into questions they will ask. It’s like getting the answers to the test. You can do this.
- What questions do you have for them? If they don’t ask you, prompt them to have this discussion. Always end with, “Do you have any concerns about my experience for this role?” This will allow you to clarify any potential red flags they have about your candidacy.
Typical Questions to Prepare for:
- Tell me about yourself? This is a great warm-up question. It is your time to tell them why you are the right person for the role in 4-5 concise sentences. Who are you – skills, qualifications, and strengths. Tailoring your answer to the role and company will open the door to them wanting to know more.
- Why do you want to work for us? This question is directly asking you what you are good at and how you would fit into the role as well as the company. Apply what you have just studied and talk about how your skills directly work for the position and tie it back to the mission of the company. How have you been successful in this type of role in the past?
- What are some of your weaknesses? This is where you discuss some past challenges that you are working to overcome. Don’t use the word ‘weakness’ -- talk about an area of improvement that isn’t vital to the job.
- What is a difficult situation you have faced at work? Showcase an example of where you felt a situation was difficult and how you used logic to find a resolution. Be sure to choose an example of a situation that you did not create and describe how you contributed to the solution in stride.
- What do you like/dislike about your current employer? Focus on what you like about your role, what you have learned, and highlight the transferable skills. When expressing your dislike, don’t focus on your skills but generic thoughts on company size or prolonged decision-making. This answer is a two-fold purpose because it also reflects why you want to leave your current employer.
In short, write it all down, practice it out loud, and know who you will be meeting with. Don’t forget to send a thank-you note! Handwritten always goes a long way, but email will suffice for today’s world. Make sure you thank them for their time and remind them why you are right for the role – stay positive!
A good recruiter like Fran McManus at McManus Recruiting will help you prepare to put your right foot forward.
If you need further resume expertise, please confer with my colleague Shelley Karpaty at shelleykarpaty.com, she has a background in recruiting, is passionate in assisting people showcasing their skills in their resumes, and provides coaching during the job search process.