27 Aug Tips to Ace your Interview!
Following on from tips for making your CV stand out, this post presents some handy tips on acing your interview, whether in person, over the phone or via Skype. Adapted from articles published by themuse and ModernAnalyst.com.
So… your CV got noticed, your skills and experience are relevant and of interest to someone and you have secured an interview (Congratulations!) – What now?!
The first question to address is what type of interview you will be facing.
Most commonly, an interview will be in person, such as one-on-one or before a panel, but it could also take the form of a phone or Skype interview or screening, with less common forms of interviews including group, working and ‘lunch’ interviews. Knowing exactly what to expect can go a long way to easing the initial anxiety of an interview.
Regardless of the form that an interview takes, it can be stressful, so preparation (including research) is key!
“Compile the details you need to remember, jot down notes about what you want to say and ask, and check off all the essentials you need to bring… read it over the morning of, and you’ll be good to go!”
If you find that you make it through screening and a round or two of interviews, but do not secure an offer, it may be that your preparation needs to be more thorough – on the role/position, the company and/or the team.
Another factor is delivery – you need understanding, aided by research, but you also need to convey your knowledge – and this may need practice. Just as you can refine and finalise your CV by reading it aloud, so you can practice interview questions with a friend or trusted colleague.
Remember to include competency-based types of questions in your practice sessions (for example: can you remember a time when you had to work with a difficult colleague – how did you manage?) as well as technical, skills-based questions (for example – being asked to map a process if you are a BA or hypothesise over a project delivery scenario).
Knowing the details, or what to expect, coupled with thorough preparation, are cornerstones for a successful interview!
Some helpful interview guidelines on presenting your best to the prospective employer include to…
- Relax – but remain professional
- Dress one degree better than the group / company dress code
- Turn your cell phones and pagers off
- Understand the question – Listen carefully and ask for clarification where needed
- Show interest – and, at the end of the interview, thank the interviewer/s for their time
- Show confidence, not arrogance
- No badmouthing – Be positive and avoid making negative remarks about former jobs, managers, or employers
- Do your research – Make a list of questions to ask the interviewer; Convey what you’ve learned and what you found interesting about the company / role
- Be on time – Plan to show up at least 15 minutes early, and plan for unexpected delays; If you are held up, be sure to call and let the interviewer know that you may be arriving late.
– Now… Go get your dream role!
A summary of tips, covering a range of aspects of an interview, from pre- to post-interview, is presented below.
Go to: “10 Types of Interviews (and How to Ace Them)” (The Muse Editor); “3 Reasons You Keep Getting Interviews, But No Offers” (Lily Zhang); “Your 30-Second Guide to Interview Dos and Dont’s” (Scott Dockweiler) with Infographic courtesy of Rasmussen College; and “Interviewing Tips for the Business Analyst and Systems Analyst” (modernanalyst.com) to read the key original articles.