Wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk into that next interview with confidence, a smile on your face, and a clear answer to the question “why should we choose you?” The truth is that YOU have a lot to offer, and the most challenging part of an interview is communicating your value clearly and effectively with employers. In the below steps, you will learn how to successfully prepare for the interview process and develop an unwavering sense of your talents so that you can wow employers and land that job!
In an interview, you will be asked many “why” questions such as “why are you interested in this job?”, “why are you leaving your current position?”, and “why are you transitioning to a new field?”
These questions get to the root of your decisions and they can be overwhelming to answer because – let’s face it – the interview is NOT a time to talk about money, that boss you couldn’t stand, or personal hardships. During an interview, you want to put yourself in the best light possible, and that means you should NEVER say anything negative about another person (including yourself). Even if they ask about your weakness, briefly mention the area of improvement and elaborate on the steps you have taken to overcome the weakness.
Before you go to your interview, think very critically about “why” you do the things you do. What motivates you to work each day? What are the essential values that impact your happiness and success at work?
Every person has strengths that are unique to them. You may hear similar “buzz words” said over and over again – but there are things that YOU do completely differently than anyone else. The trick to interviewing with confidence is figuring out and accurately communicating the things that really make you special!
If you struggle to identify your strengths, there are many strength assessments you can use. My personal favorite is StrengthsFinder, and you can take the paid assessment or read the strength descriptions here:https://www.strengthsquest.com/193541/themes-full-description.aspx. Additionally, you can take the VIA Character Strengths assessment for free here:http://www.viacharacter.org/www/.
When you are identifying your top strengths, please do not choose descriptors that are vague and common (e.g. high work ethic), and instead, find words that really resonate with you and capture your unique style. Please also consider what the employer’s needs are and what they are looking for. In addition to strengths, be prepared to answer questions about your weaknesses, and make sure that your answer is unique to you.
We all know that employers LOVE those behavioral questions that start with “tell me about a time when…”. The theory behind these questions is that the best predictor of your future performance is your past performance. Employers want to hear SPECIFIC examples of your work in the past that relates to the work you may do with them in the future.
The best way to walk into the interview room with your head held high and a big, confident smile on your face is to know examples in and out. When you practice, be sure to use the START Technique:
Situation– describe the situation at hand
Task– briefly walk them through the task asked of you
Action– spend time expanding on the action you took. Be sure to say “I” instead of “we”.
Result– do not forget to mention the positive result of the action you took
Take-Away– explain what you learned from this experience, and connect it back to them
Did you know that nearly half of what makes an interview good or bad are questions you ask them? Most interviews allow time for questions at the end or throughout the interview. Some employers will begin with “what questions do you have for us?” and the last thing you want is to blank on what to ask.
Use the steps below to brainstorm thought provoking questions for your interview:
Research the company and look at their website to come up with specific questions.
Pretend you received the job offer! What would you want to know before accepting?
Think of questions that will engage the employers in your answer and allow them to thinkcritically. For example: “what makes you love working here?”
The final step to feeling ready and poised to rock your interview is managing your thoughts and your interview attire. The way we think directly impacts how we feel. The way we feel impacts how we act. And the way we act is what employers will see at an interview – which will determine if we get the job.
Get excited about the company & job!
Believe you are PERFECT for the job.
Practice out loud – or better yet, with another person.
Visualize yourself succeeding.
Dress to maximize your confidence.