Tips For Job Interview
1. Develop your story
Navigate the tricky waters of the job interview world with a few simple tips.
- Develop your story.
Have an answer prepared for the most common interview question: “Tell me about yourself.” It’s an ice breaker, and it gives you a chance to set the tone for the rest of the interview. Don’t be discouraged if you feel like every bit of it is rehearsed—it should be! That way, when you get asked that question in an actual interview, it will sound natural, not forced or practiced. Keep your response short (no more than two minutes), and cover the basics: who you are, where you’re from, your education background and work experience. You can also touch on what kind of position you’re looking to fill in your next company.
- Research the company
Make sure that before any interview at any company, you know a little bit about them—at least enough to tell them why they’re so great!
2. Prepare for the unexpected
“How to prepare for a video interview”
- Research the company you’re applying to. Do some research on the companies you’re interviewing at, what they do, who their customers are and so forth. When you have this information, it will help as you prepare for your interviews. Prepare questions about what the company does or has done in the past. It doesn’t have to be super detailed; just give them a sense of who they are and what their values are.
“How to prepare for a group interview”
- This is actually quite simple: just separately prepare answers for each of the individuals in your group and then ask them questions that you think they would ask. The best way to avoid stumbling on question is to practice answering these questions quickly with a friend or colleague beforehand. You can even do mock interviews with yourself! See above section “Interview Tips For Job Interview”.
“How to prepare for a tough interview question”
- Prepare answers that spark conversation because most job interviews go like this: 1) interviewer asks question 2) interviewer asks follow up question 3) candidate says something appropriate 4) interviewer gives feedback 5) candidate thanks interviewer and shakes hands
3. Practice your answers to common interview questions
The point of the interview is for them to get to know you and the best way for them to do that is for you to be yourself. But it’s also important to understand what they are asking you when they ask you a question. I like this description: “Preparing your answers ahead of time will allow you to articulate your answer clearly, concisely, and with confidence. You’ll show your interviewer that you have done your homework, which will go a long way toward impressing him or her.”
4. Research the company
“So, tell me about yourself,” is one of the most popular interview questions. So often, people answer this question by saying their name and where they live.
If you really want to nail your next job interview, take some time to research the company. By doing so, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the job as well as a good fit for the company. You don’t want to look like someone who is just looking for any job; you want them to know that this specific organization is your first choice. So here’s how it works:
- Learn about the company’s products, services, and history (e.g., “Your flagship product has been around since 19XX; I’ve used it myself since 19YY.”)
- Understand the company’s mission and values (e.g., “Since its founding in 19XX, this company has been dedicated to YYYY.”)
- Understand its market position (“As a leader in XXZ industry with more than X million customers…”)
- Have a sense of where the organization is going (“With expansion plans into AABB territory and an increasing emphasis on CCDD…”)
5. Dress professionally
Are you confident about a job interview but have no idea how to dress? Let me help you out. First off, yes, this is the time to pull out your best clothes. You don’t wear a tuxedo to the beach, so don’t wear an old T-shirt or jeans to a job interview. This doesn’t mean that you should go to Macy’s and spend half of your paycheck on a fancy suit or dress. But it does mean dressing for the job you want, not the one you have!
It’s important that your clothing be in good repair—this will show that you care about the impression you are making. Nobody should expect designer duds from someone looking for entry-level employment, but what they can expect is cleanliness and respectability. It is always better to err on the side of too conservative than too casual!
Keep talk is cheap, show me the code
- Keep talk is cheap, show me the code. When you are asked about a technical solution or task, keep your answer simple and clear. Don’t write a Wall of Text on the whiteboard or piece of paper.
- Show me the code. You need to write clean and simple code on whiteboard or paper (aka working code) as opposed to discussing theory or architecture that you don’t know yet.
Practice ahead of time.
- Practice ahead of time.
- Prepare for common interview questions.
- Prepare to answer the question, “What do you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”
- Know what questions to ask the interviewer.
The first thing you should do to prepare for a job interview is make sure you have a hard copy of your resume with you. The interviewer should already have it, but if they don’t, or they forget something on it, this will ensure that you can provide the information they are looking for. You will also want to research the company and know what the job is about before going into an interview. If there is anything in particular that makes you think you would be a great fit for this job, make sure to mention it. Finally, ask your own questions at the end of an interview to show that you are interested in working there.
Be confident and professional.
- Be confident and professional. Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and use a firm handshake to convey confidence. Dress appropriately for the interview so that you look professional and fit with the company culture. Then when it comes to answering questions, keep your answers short and to the point. Avoid interrupting the interviewer when they are speaking or rambling on about something unrelated to the question asked of you. Instead, take a moment to compose yourself if you are caught off guard by an unexpected question or need some time to think before responding. Don’t be afraid to smile naturally throughout the interview, but don’t force it either!
Try your best to relax.
- Try your best to relax. We’ve all been there—lots of effort, preparation, and hope has gone into this interview and you feel like it’s make or break time. Take a deep breath right now and remember that this is a conversation between two human beings. You’re not talking to an alien behind a desk. Try to smile, even if you are nervous—the interviewer may just be as nervous as you are! And don’t forget about good posture (it shows confidence).
- Practice the interview ahead of time. There is no way around it: practicing for something (a musical instrument, a sport, etc.) helps you get better at it. Practicing the interview ahead of time can help reduce those pre-interview jitters because you’ll have a lot more confidence in what you’re going to say walking into that office building than if you hadn’t practiced at all.
- Breathe, relax, and think positively. Even if things aren’t going like clockwork during an interview (someone talks over you or takes too long to respond), try to not overreact with your body language (crossed arms/fidgety fingers) or show frustration on your face. Breathe deeply and try to channel any negative energy into positive energy—be mentally prepared for when they ask “Do you have any questions?”
Use this as an opportunity to network.
No matter what, be polite and friendly to everyone. They may not be the hiring manager, but they’re part of your network now. And if you want to build your career as a quantum physicist at NASA, it can’t hurt to get on their good side. You never know who will become important later in your career.
You can have the job!
If you’re having trouble landing a job, don’t worry—it can be done. It may take some time and effort to prepare yourself for a job interview and put together your best foot forward. All you need is a bit of direction and the right preparation, and you’ll be on your way.