3 answers

What tips would you give to help me get a leg up on the competition when it comes to interviewing for a job?

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I'd like to do well when it comes to interviewing for a future job. I'd like to know how I can perform my best and stand out in an interview. #interview

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3 answers

Tammy’s Answer

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First, dress for an interview and arrive on time or a little early. It’s okay to ask the person who scheduled the interview about the dress code. If you’re not sure dress a little more formal than you think necessary. Look up the directions in advance and if necessary drive by the day prior so you know exactly where to go.

The second thing is be genuine. When I’m looking to hire I’m looking for skill match and cultural fit, with the latter being the most important.   We can train skills easier than we can train for interactions (aka ‘soft skills).   

Third, use examples to answer questions when possible. This shows that you have transferable experiences and you’re not just reciting canned responses. This can be difficult to do on the spot so look at the job posting and think about situations that you can use. The situations can be from anywhere; work, school, or social settings (as long as it’s work appropriate).   Try to use a new situation for each answer. If you need to re-use a situation quickly connect it to the new situation. Don’t be afraid to use failures as examples as long as you explain how you’ve learned from the situation and/or applied the learning. The examples of failures show self-awareness and the ability to build on past experiences.

Finally, ask about the next steps in the process. This gives you clues about when you should follow up and the topic of the follow up. Listen for clues for expectations. For example is they say “If you don’t hear from us by Friday you should contact Suzie in HR” then you know to call Suzie Friday afternoon or Monday morning.  Early in my career I was told that I received the job because I listened to the clues and followed through. The hiring manager said “You did everything I suggested. The only thing left to do was tell you when to start.”

Tammy recommends the following next steps:

  • Research 'behavior based interviews' to find examples of how to use situation examples to answer interview questions.
  • Find a job posting that you would be interested in and identify situations that you could use to show the desired skills and/or job duties.
  • Ask a friend or mentor to role play an interview asking mock interview questions where you can use the examples to answer the questions.
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Ian’s Answer

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Hi Adam!


You're off to a great start. Seeking out perspectives from hiring managers is an awesome start and I'm sure you'll get some different takes from different folks. I've listed out some of my own thoughts below:

  • Know the company: First things first is to show familiarity with the company you are applying too. This applies in every interaction, not just the interview. If you go to a career fair, doing a few minutes of research on the company before you walk up the interviewer can be the difference between getting the interview or not. If the company is publicly traded, looking at a tool like Google Finance can show you where they are investing their money which is always good for talking points.
  • Stand Out from the Crowd: My favorite thing to see from applicants is how they go above and beyond. Hearing about your coursework is awesome, but you and all your classmates had the same assignment. See what you did in your personal time to better the world / make a little money / exercise a passion is always the best differentiator in my mind.

These are just two of the things I always look for when someone is applying, but try to gather as many different opinions as possible because each will have a different perspective or background.

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Joseph’s Answer

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Adam- I would recommend that you do your research on the company you are applying for and understand their vision. I would also ensure that your resume is updated and current with the most important things you have done to date. Finally, build a PowerPoint presentation around your biggest accomplishments to date or centered on the job you are applying for and how you can bring those skills to the table.
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