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What is the best way to 'ace' an interview?

#interviews #job-application #career

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John’s Answer

Elise first impressions are crucial in the job market, which is part of the reason job interviews can be so intimidating, so demonstrate confidence right away by greeting each person you meet with a friendly handshake and warm smile. Stand tall, make eye contact, and give a firm handshake and a smile when you meet the interviewer. Managers want to hire people they'll enjoy working with, so show you are approachable and have a positive disposition. Employers want to know that you are qualified for a position, but they also want to know how well you’ll fit in with the company culture. The only way to assess this is to get a sense of your personality. That said, there's a fine line between being engaging, amusing, and overdoing it. What’s important is to show the interviewer that you're personable and easy to get along with, managers don’t like having to manage difficult employees.

So, what's the best way to showcase your personality during an interview. Basically, relax and be yourself. By coming into the interview feeling calm and collected, you will be able to focus on letting your personality, rather than your nerves, come through. Practice answering common interview questions beforehand to boost your confidence. Find a friend or fellow student who’s willing to act as the interviewer and read the questions to you so that you can practice answering out loud. Also consider employing some relaxation techniques (like deep breathing or meditation) right before the interview. Coming to the interview relaxed and prepared will help you to feel at ease and to focus on putting your best foot forward. Keep in mind that interviewers want to see the real you and how you react under pressure. By remaining honest but polite, and by appearing composed during the meeting, you'll highlight your strengths and ability to work well as part of a team, even in trying situations.

Hopefully, some of these interview tips give you the confidence you need to crush your next interview Elise.
Thank you comment icon I didn't think about how important it was to just be honest with the kind of person I am. So, this really helped me, thank you for the advice. Elise
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Elise. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. John Frick
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Leo’s Answer

Remember that an interview is a conversation about how a new person - and their skills, personality, interests, motivations, goals - fit into an existing team/organization and help them achieve a shared set of goals.

Enter the interview prepared by knowing what it is that the person interviewing you and their team needs help with. Learn about the organization: Google search, ask others that may work there or have similar jobs. Read the job description carefully, and come up with your own questions/answers for what you think a new person should bring to help complete the team.

Then ask questions during the interview and understand the perspective of the person you're talking to. You'll be working with them as well, so make sure you'd be happy joining them to tackle challenges together. Great interviews end with both parties understanding what the other is looking for and offering, and can see how you both fit together.

And don't fret if you don't get the job. Reflect on what the gaps were, and sometimes, you're just not the right fit for that particular team during that particular interview. Keep at it until you find the right opportunity!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the feedback! Elise
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Haley’s Answer

Hi Elise - This is a great question and an important topic to familiarize yourself with when you're job hunting! I graduated in 2019, at which point I began the job search process and had many interviews, so hopefully I can give you a fresh perspective.

Hopefully, if you've been offered to interview for a position, you've looked into the company and have an idea of how you could contribute given your personal skillset. The interviewer is going to want to hear about how you can add value in your position, and what qualities or skills you possess that will help you excel. However, in my experience, most interviews are more of a "conversation" and less of a question and answer type meeting. Of course they will ask you direct questions about what you're looking for in an employer/work environment, your expected pay, etc, but I think it's key to figure out ways to showcase your capabilities in a conversational and casual way.

My advice would be to practice, practice, practice. Try setting up mock interviews with family members, teachers, or other adults, and practice articulating what you are proud of and how you would contribute to a role. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it really helped me.

A few technical points: Make sure to hold eye contact with the interviewer which will show you are confident and paying attention. It's also helpful to bring a notebook and a pen with a few questions prepared, and a nice additional touch would be sending a follow up email that same day to the interviewer thanking them for their time.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best!
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Mickael’s Answer

Hi Elise,

Here is what I am looking for when I interviews young hires or interns:
- be able to elegantly speak about your projects (especially one or two that have been challenging).
- know the company your are getting interviewed by.
- know your weaknesses and strengths.
- Show how you think and be ready to defend smartly your ideas (because I challenge all of them, the right like the wrong)
- Show me who you are really.
- Come with questions (yes, you have rights to ask questions).
Those are the 4 most important. You have no idea how bad this is when a candidate shows up and have almost no idea the company he is trying to get hired.
- be ready to get challenged.
- ask questions if you do not understand or if it is ambiguous.
- communicate properly.
- do not over exaggerate your abilities or be ready to defend them.

Conclusion:
Be proud of what you know, what you have learned, of who you are and just show me you can learn, you can improve things and is ready to work hard. The technical part will come with experience.

On a one hour interview for software, I usually ask up to 10 minutes technical questions. Because I am aware that after school, you have few experience and almost know nothing concrete. Like John said, what I am looking for are candidates that I will enjoy working with and teaching, that are able to think and learn and on which I see a growing path into the company.
When we hire, this is a bet on the future that you will bring new ideas to the table, help improve what we are currently doing, while we will teach you what we do. If I feel this exchange will not work in a sane manner, the candidate is off the hook.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for the tips! Elise
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Laeki’s Answer

Hi Elise!

Great question! Often interviews can appear to be intimidating but in reality, they do not have to be. First and foremost, it is important to be confident at the interview without being arrogant. You should demonstrate that you have done research on the school, internship, business/corporation, etc. Let the interviewer know that you know something about them! You should definitely be humble when the interviewer asks you questions and give well-thought out answers.

Next, make sure that you show your assertion through your body language. Try not to "talk" with your hands, speak complete sentences, try to eliminate the "uhhs" and the "umms" whenever you can. Sit up straight because that allows you to speak clearly. If you feel confused about a question the interviewer asks you, politely ask them to repeat the question and then take a deep breath before you answer the question.

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask them something about the school, business, etc. to demonstrate that the company means a lot to you. You can ask about the future of the school, business, etc., things that they are currently working on (projects, programs, etc.), or other important questions. This really shows that you are truly interested in what they have to offer.
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Ruben’s Answer

You should conduct research about the company you're interested, provide accurate information in your résumé, prepare in advance, be on time, dress appropriately (based on the setting, industry, etc.), research the interviewer's profiles, bring a copy of your résumé, prepare a few questions in advance for the audience, collect the interviewer's business contact information to send a follow up / thank you note after the interview, rehearse some of the answers to standard questions (e.g. "why do you think you're good for this role?", "tell me more about yourself?", etc.), during the interview make sure you actively listen to the interviewer, do not interrupt, listen to the entire statement being made before answering, and ask for clarification if the question is confusing or not clear, turn off your cell phone, moderate your social media profiles, clear your schedule for at least 2-4 hours after the interview in case the interviewer decides to pass you on to another round of interviews immediately after your initial conversation.
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Gloria’s Answer

HI Elise,

There is no way to ace an interview. There are so many variables in an interview, including needs beyond the job description that impact the hiring. Maybe they need someone who can start tomorrow and if you can't, you are out of the running. I think of elements like maybe the interviewer wants to hire someone of color or a woman. That may be an inner desire that is not vocalized. You can never really know all the variables. I would say that you can feel like you have had a successful interview if you are your authentic self and were prepared for the questions. All you can hope for in an interview is that you did your best to get the job.

Gloria
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jerry’s Answer

I agree with the answers provided. I would add you should know what you want from the position and be able to relate this to the description of the job you are applying for. Make sure there's a good match so that you can approach the interview by the exciting prospects and opportunities it offers you. Also, be honest in your answers so that if offered the job, you know you're being accepted for who you are.
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Jared’s Answer

Hi Elise! This is a wonderful question - unfortunately loaded in the sense there is no real standardization to any interview. However, there are similarities within every interview which you should become extremely familiar with, the biggest being "Walk me through your resume". This is tough in it of itself because you must create balance between being concise and punctual. Outside of the walk me through your resume, I tend to always go in with some story or connection to subliminally answer the "why" question. why us? Why here? Building repour with the interviewer through your understanding of the Company or role has served me well through countless interviews. But I would just say remember, you must persist through all interviews to find what works best for YOU! Some people are less technical more personable, while other are the complete opposite.
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Carla’s Answer

Hi Elise - over the years, I have interviewed quite a few candidates and have also been an interviewee. The best advice I can give you is always be prepared! Do your due diligence on the company, the people you are meeting with (if possible) and prepare questions in advance. It is important to go into the interview with confidence. Always make sure you are on time, dressed appropriately and have clean copies of your resume; and don't forget, try to stay relaxed and be yourself! When the interviews are over, it is definitely a nice touch to send a thank you email or handwritten note.
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Stuart’s Answer

Here are some suggestions...

1. Be confident, but not arrogant
2. Research the company BEFORE submitting your resume and make minor modifications if needed to stand out for the particular position. Companies often post multiple openings, so apply for the one that fits you best
3. Be on time and dressed appropriately
4. Be confident, but not arrogant
5. Be articulate. If you cannot explain things on your resume, it will be assumed that your resume is not accurate.
6. Smile, make eye contact and interact
7. Be confident, but not arrogant
8. Do not bring up topics like salary with non-managers / non-HR.
9. Did I mention... Be confident, but not arrogant
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Elise,
Great question! Best tip for an interview would be to make sure you do your research on the company you are interviewing with prior. Try to prepare a list of questions to ask the recruiter beforehand. Review your resume to pinpoint key areas that you can focus on which separate you from other candidates. Try to practice what you want to discuss about yourself and how you align with the companies purpose and objectives. Be on time for the interview and arrive about 15/30 minutes prior because recruiters appreciate the effort you put forth. Overall, make sure you thank the recruiter for their time and consideration with an email after the interview and reach out to them about 2/3 weeks later to emphasize that you are still interested in the position as they begin to discuss candidates to hire.
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Yumi’s Answer

Hi Elise,

I believe that the best way to ace in interview is research, and practice, practice and practice. First, you need to research about the company that you are applying for. Interviewer is definitely to ask you what you know about the company. Then, spend some time to understand the position. By doing so, you could come up with some questions that you can bring up during your interview. You should research what the typical interview questions are too so that you can be prepared to answer. Don't forget to research about yourself - what you are looking for / interested in and how you can articulate them during the interview. Once you do that, I recommend that you rehearse the interview with someone who can give you an honest feedback. Eye contact is very important. One time when I was interviewing and talking to my candidate, the person kept looking at hallway through indoor window every time someone walked by. It gave me an impression that the person was not focused on the interview. Hope this help.
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Maggie’s Answer

Tailor your answers to the company you are interviewing with - if they ask "what is your dream job" you should list qualities that the job you are interviewing for has. When they ask "why do you want to work here" tie your answer back to their mission/vision statement (usually can be found on their website). Know who you are interviewing with - find something in common - did they grow up near you? have similar hobbies? by having something in common you become more "likeable". Lastly - always be prepared to say why you want this job. If they don't ask you - say it yourself at the end of the conversation. When they say "is there any other questions you have" - always remind them "I want this job because XYZ and am qualified because XYZ" - then you can say "do you have any reservations or unaddressed questions that I can answer before we go / is there anything I can address that would prevent you from moving me forward in this process?"
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