Thursday, August 16, 2012

Top Tips on How to Interview Well

Know the Company

Interviewers expect you to have done your research so that you know about their company and their company's needs, and they will ask the difficult questions to determine whether you've done that research or not. It may help to remember that the interview is less about you and more about whether you can help the company with their needs. Focus your research on how you can solve their problem if you are limited on time to prepare.

Prepare Your Answers

Although you will not know the exact questions you will be asked, you can still be prepared with bullet point responses that cover a variety of situations. Generally speaking, hiring managers want to know about your background, your knowledge of the position (including information about their company), your skills, your personality, and your future goals. Consider using the STAR method to formulate your answers. STAR stands for:

· Situation - describe what the overall situation was 
· Task or problem - what issue did you face in that situation? 
· Action - what action or actions did you take to solve the issue? 
· Result - offer a quantifiable result of your actions.

This method helps you to accurately and appropriately describe your experiences and ensures that you are able to offer real results from those experiences.

Dress to Impress

No matter how casual the company culture, you should dress professionally for your interview. Your appearance will make an impression throughout your discussion, and you want that impression to underline your professionalism. When in doubt, wear a suit; it is always better to be overdressed than it is to be underdressed.

Have a Conversation, Not an Interrogation

If you believe that interviews should be questions on their side and answers on your side, you're not making the most of your interview. This is the ideal occasion for the company to get to know you, but it is also the ideal time for you to get to know more about the company and the position you're applying for. Ask appropriate questions as they come up so that you can engage your interviewer in a conversation that allows you both to learn more about each other and whether you and the company are a good fit for each other.

Send a Thank You Note

Let your interviewer to know that you are grateful for the opportunity they've given you by sending them a note expressing your gratitude. Though a hand-written note is always the preferred method, you could also send a thank you email. Whichever way you choose to go with expressing your thanks, be sure to thank every person involved in your interview process and make sure that your note presents you professionally. Good grammar, legible handwriting, and high quality stationary all help to make a good impression.

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