Often at this time of the year, we reflect on change and the possibilities of looking for a new job. There are many reasons why we consider other positions, but once we have decided to do so, then our preparation begins, and step one is getting ready for the interview.
A job interview is your chance to show the hiring manager what kind of employee he or she will get if you are hired for the position. That is why it is essential to be well prepared for the job interview. Preparing means knowing about the industry, the hiring manager, the position and yourself. It means paying attention to details including personal appearance, punctuality and demeanor.
Knowledge and preparation is always your greatest advantage and so you should arm yourself with plenty of it. The following is an effective interview process that will enhance your chances of being successful.
Interviewing for a New Position Process
Qualifying (prior to the interview)
- Review the selection criteria, job posting and job description.
- Analyze your qualifications against the selection criteria.
- Know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for.
- Update your resume.
- Follow the Organization’s application and selection process for qualifying and being asked to the job interview (if applicable).
Preparing for the Interview
- Research the job position thoroughly.
- Identify examples of where you have successfully used the skills you’ve acquired.
- Itemize your skills, values and interests.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Anticipate the kinds of questions you will be asked.
- Have great responses with solid examples of how you have successfully acquired the knowledge and skills need for this position.
- Practice verbally responding to these commonly asked questions.
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
- Practice verbally asking your prepared questions.
- Review your updated resume and references.
During the Interview
- Dress appropriately for the job interview.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
- Establish rapport with the interviewer(s).
- Demonstrate effective communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.
- Answer the interview questions.
- Ask your questions.
- Stay calm.
Post Interview Follow-up
- Follow up with a thank you and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Ask for feedback on what went well and areas for improvement.
Most recruitment practices use a blend of traditional and behavioral interviews.
In a traditional interview, you are asked a series of questions which typically have straight-forward answers like:
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- “What major challenges and problems have you faced in your current job?”
- “How did you handle them?”
- “Describe a typical work day?”
A behavioral interview is based on how you previously acted in specific employment-related situations. The logic is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future, i.e., past performance predicts future performance. Depending upon the responsibilities of the job and the working environment, you might be asked to describe a time that required problem solving skills, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, multi-tasking, initiative or stress management. You will be asked how you dealt with the situations.
Behavioral interview questions will be more pointed, more probing and more specific than traditional interview questions:
- “Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem?”
- “Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it?”
- “Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it?”
- “Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how?”
- “What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it?”
- “Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it?”
- “Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?”
- “Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure?”
- “Give me an example of how you have multi-tasked in your previous work experience?”
Anticipating the kinds of questions you will be asked, and preparing great responses supported by specific examples, is the key to success when being interviewed for a job position.
For a complete list of sample behavioral questions that can be used to help job seekers and interviewers alike, in the preparation for an upcoming interview, contact Geoff Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org.