After many hours spent writing resumes and covers and applying to multiple jobs, you just received an email asking you to come in for an interview. You’re excited that your hard work has caught the attention of a recruiter, but know you need to start preparing for the interview. Here are a few ways to shine during an interview and increase your chances of landing the job.
Prepare for the dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself”.
In every interview you have, you’ll be asked in one way or another to share “your story” with the interviewer. The point of the interview is for the employer to get your background information and decide if you’re the right fit for the job. Most candidates awkwardly fumble to talk a little bit about themselves. If you have a one to two minute background summary prepared, you’ll automatically be ahead of the competition. Briefly give one to two sentences about each of the following:
After all, these big picture details are what the interviewer is after. Discussing them early in the interview makes sure you get to share the most important reasons why you’re the best candidate.
Use Success-Based Stories to Back Up Your Claims.
Many employers use behavior-based interviewing, where you are asked to prove your capabilities by delivering answers describing past experiences. Career management professionals suggest answering these questions with PAR stories. Tell your listener about a Problem you faced on the job, explain the Actions you took to resolve it, and note the Results you received. While preparing for your interview, write down a few success stories and practice relating them to behavioral targeted questions. This way you won’t have to draw a blank on stories when you’re under pressure in the interview.
Use Visuals Where Appropriate.
If appropriate, prepare a portfolio or presentation to visually showcase your strengths to the interviewer. Examples of previous projects, graphs, diagrams, etc. can help you prove your value to the company and draw a connection between you and the job at hand. If you don’t have access to technology for a PowerPoint presentation, print out slide handouts instead. This will still help you stress the points that you really want to get across to your listener. It’ll also set you apart from other candidates that likely didn’t bring visuals.
The key to a great interview is to set yourself apart in a way that is memorable to the interviewer. You want to be the person that stays in their mind even as they interview other candidates. The best way to do this is by showcasing your strengths and highlighting your key qualifications.
If you’re ready to put your interview skills to the test, let the recruiters at Area Temps help you find the perfect position. From entry level assignments through professional opportunities, we’ll work with you to find the best assignment for your skill level. Contact us today and we won’t rest until you’ve landed an exciting new job.