Some Secret Tips On How You Can Nail That Next Interview
With college and post-grad life, the need to constantly prove worth and capability to unknown prospective employers and anonymous recruiters is an integral part of the grind. The interview process is necessary, from internships, part-time gigs, freelance opportunities, and full-time jobs.
The “Tell Us About Yourself” Question Is the Most Important Question
As we all know, the “tell us about yourself” question is ubiquitous, and it’s essential to nail this one. It’s the first impression, which is almost always an elevator pitch of who you are, where you are in your career, and what you hope to achieve. Definitelyrehearse this multiple times, practice answering any follow-ups before an interview, and even have it on the computer screen for reference, if attending a Zoom interview.
Do Your Research: Content is King
A lot of the scoop on big companies is public information. For instance, Goldman Sachs and other banking institutions publish quarterly reports, and big think tanks and political organizations often have extensive media and an online presence. Microsoft records its earning calls, and most smaller companies and start-ups also have blogs and Linkedin pages.
It’s also necessary to keep updated with current affairs, news, and general industry knowledge to provide context and talking points for your answers during the interview. Some common topics I’ve brought up include emerging technologies, ESG, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, public health and epidemiology, and the decentralization of financial institutions.
Keep the STAR Method Handy ⭐
Most of us tend to ramble while answering complex questions. Many behavioral interviews involve candidates reflecting back on past job experiences and recounting their actions. When in doubt or trouble, rely on the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) method to effectively communicate and structure your response. Provide metrics, numbers, and figures to quantify the “result” portion, if you can. Remember to outline your skills, competency, and past experiences during every question. Ensure that you keep every answer under 2 minutes.
The situation will help you describe your experience or statement. The task will focus on your role in which you should position yourself accurately. The action should be a clear and concise statement about your direct output to your team. The result should be an actionable sentence.
If you are doing Zoom interviews, it also helps to have a few prepared keywords and notes from your resume that you can rely on.
Be Bold and Express Engagement With The Role
It helps to be a bit bold and ask important questions. Be proactive in asking questions about the job scope. Try asking what day-to-day responsibilities in the role would be like, the expectations for the role, future growth, company culture, career opportunities, or even examples of projects you might be working on.
I usually ask something very niche to the position or the company to prove my knowledge and commitment to the role.
I would also recommend being very direct and asking for the next steps in the interview process to prove your seriousness for the role or even asking for feedback after the interview.
Here are a few other questions that might set you apart:
- Where do you see the company in a few years?
- Who would you say are your biggest competitors?
- What stood out about my profile, and where do I stand compared to other candidates?
- What are some qualities you’re looking for in a successful candidate?
The Bottom Line
Be it summer internships or full-time jobs, while the waiting game might be challenging, sending follow-up emails and checking in about the timeline for recruitment or the application process is crucial so that you can better organize and plan your time. Sharpening your interview skills, perfecting body language, and improving your communication skills will become a lifelong practice.
Rejection is usually redirection as you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, these internal dialogues and reflections might even prompt you to change your outlook and choices completely.
Ultimately, it’s crucial to treat interviews as practice rounds for the one that will one day help you land your dream job!
Read More: 9 Interview Tips To Help You Land A Job