Get Ready For The World: Ace The Interview

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Emily Charles

Emily Charles

LifeTech Academy Blogger

Do you have a job interview coming up that has you feeling a little nervous? Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to feel that way, and we’ve got you covered! If you follow the tips outlined below you’ll feel confident and ready for your  interview! 

Research The Company

Before every interview it is a good idea to do research on the company you are interviewing with. More than likely you will be asked “what do you know about _______ company” or “why do you want to work for _____ company?” Having an answer to those questions shows that you haven prepared for the interview and that you care about getting the position. A shocking number of recruiters that I have spoken to say that the majority of candidates they interview don’t do company research before the interview and it is obvious in their answers. 

A great resource to use for company research is Glassdoor and their company website. Your research doesn’t have to be super extensive, just know their mission statement and values, have a basic understanding for what they do, and know a little about the company’s history. While this isn’t necessary to get a job, it definitely goes a long way in helping you to stand out as a top candidate. 

Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

It is always a good idea to practice answering commonly asked interview questions before you go in. This way your answers come out sounding well spoken and thought out. Have examples of your work, accomplishments, and times you’ve used skills relevant to the job in all of your answers. Glassdoor has interview questions and reviews from people that have interviewed with that company before available for free! I can not stress enough how valuable Glassdoor is as a resource to prepare you for an interview. I have a list of questions that might come up that you can use to practice at the end of this blog.

Have Questions For Your Interviewer(s)

Just because you are going in to be interviewed doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the time and interview them too! It’s important to come with questions for your interviewer. This is so you have a better idea of what role you are interviewing for and to show them you care about getting the role. Some of the questions I like to ask are:

  • What does the day-to-day look like in this role?
  • What does success look like in this role? 
  • What are some common challenges new hires come across in their first year?
  • What does the training look like for this role?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • What type of management style can I expect from my manager?
  • What is your favorite part about working at this company?

Update Your Resume

Your resume should be altered to fit each job you’re interviewing for. Make sure it is up to date and fit it for the job description of the role you’re applying for. Use the common language you see in the job description in your resume. For example: If they use the word “manage” in their description a lot and you have experience leading a team listed on your resume, change the phrase “lead a team” to “manage a team.” 

Dress To Impress

Before an interviewer asks you a single question they have already judged you. The average person judges someone within seconds of laying eyes on them (whether they know it or not). So dress to impress and make a good first impression! It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed so dress up and let your confidence shine.

Show Up Early

This tip goes right along with making a good first impression. You could research the company, crush the interview questions, look great, and have really good questions for them, but if you showed up late you could still leave a bad impression on them. Showing up late to the job interview just tells the employer that you’re going to show up late for your shifts and meetings, too. My dad always said “if you’re early then you’re on time and if you’re on time then you’re late.” 

Practice Makes Perfect!

My final piece of advice is to be confident and positive throughout the experience.  This is an interview, but think of it like a conversation, the company is trying to get to know you to see if you would be a good fit for the role and your best self doesn’t come through when you’re nervous and closed off. Below I have a list of some of the most commonly asked interview questions along with the kind of answer that an employer is looking for.

From your friends at LifeTech Academy, good Luck with your interview!

Commonly Asked Interview Questions:

  • What are your greatest strengths?Your greatest strength is something they need.
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?  Too much of a good thing approach is popular. Example: I sometimes have trouble saying “no” and end up overwhelmed by my workload. Earlier in my career, I would take on so many projects that I’d work evenings and weekends.
  • What is your greatest professional achievement? You could try to relate it to something on their job description or a skill sought by employer
  • Tell me about a challenge or conflict you have faced and how you overcame/handled it.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?They want to see if you’ve thought about your professional future and are ambitious and hard-working
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How do you deal with pressure or high stress situations? They want to know that you can stay composed and overcome challenges
  • What are your goals for the future? Do they fit into your goals? 
  • Do you have any questions for me? Some great ideas:  What do you love about working for this company?” “What would success look like in this role?” “What are some of the challenges people typically face in this position?” 
  • What do you know about the company? Make sure to research the company before the interview (on their website, their LinkedIn page, and Google). Understand what industry they’re in, what they sell and how they make money. Try to have some sense of their company size. Are they 100 employees? More than 10,000 employees? In your answer, show you’ve done research and show that you’re excited about interviewing with their  company.
  • Tell me about a time you failed and how you overcame it?
  • How does this role fit into your career plans?
  • What was a difficult decision you had to make and would you have done anything differently?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this position?

General Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself. Kept answer short and simple and connected to the position.
  • Why did you leave your first job?
  • What is your range for your desired salary? Demonstrated knowledge of what others are making/average/median salary in the industry
  • What are your goals for the future? Elaborate on experiences and goals relating to the applied position. Gave examples of positive impacts you want to make related goals to company.

Questions That Might Throw You Off:

  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  • If you were a color, what color would you be?
  • If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
  • If you were a part of a bike, what part of the bike would you be?
  • Seemingly random personality-test type questions like these come up in interviews generally because hiring managers want to see how you can think on your feet. There’s no wrong answer here, but you’ll immediately gain bonus points if your answer helps you share your strengths or personality or connect with the hiring manager.
  • Pro tip: Come up with a stalling tactic to buy yourself some thinking time, such as saying, “Now, that is a great question. I think I would have to say… ”
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