If you’ve developed a compelling resume that’s gotten you in the door for a job interview, it’s important to invest sufficient thought, time and energy into preparation.
Partnering with a coach to gain effective job interview tips and techniques and engage in mock interviews can be a valuable exercise and help improve your competence and confidence.
Here are my top three job interview tips that I share with my coaching clients:
- Know Your Value. Based on your research of the company and the role you’re interviewing for, determine where you can add value and what specific problems you can help the organization solve. Once you understand the organization’s/department’s pain points, you’ll be able to discern where your skills are most needed. Align this information with your areas of expertise, strengths and career successes and be sure to highlight them.
- Have Examples for Behavior-based Interview Questions. Behavioral questions typically begin with phrases like, “Tell me about a time when…”, “Describe a time/situation for me when…”, “Give me an example of when…” These questions force candidates to reflect on past experiences to provide the interviewer with deeper insight into knowledge, skills and abilities. From an employer’s perspective, it’s all about showing them what you’ve got versus just telling them. It’s much easier to say during an interview, “I’m a strong collaborator and communicator,” but another thing to prove it by pulling an example from your past experience that illustrates how you’ve demonstrated these behaviors. Understanding how you’ve handled past situations will be a clear indicator of how you’ll handle similar situations in the future. In other words, past performance is a strong indicator of future performance. As you prepare for interviews, think about examples that demonstrate your skills in areas that would be important in the role.
- Keep Your Answers Short and Sweet. Avoid longwinded and circuitous responses, ensuring you’re answering questions directly and succinctly. As a general rule of thumb, if you are speaking for longer than 60 seconds at one time, you risk losing your audience. Try writing out some of the key points you want to cover, practice aloud and time yourself to ensure you’re hitting the high points and keeping on pace.
Hiring managers will know whether you’ve invested the time to prepare for your interview. That means having articulate responses to a variety of potential interview questions – both traditional and behavioral. The more you understand what information the hiring manager is looking for, the better your chances of conveying that you’re the most qualified candidate for the position.
If you’re looking for a partner to gain effective job interview tips and prepare effectively for your next interview, contact Robin Kelley, a San Francisco-based, top professional resume writer and interview coach to schedule an introductory call.