We all know how challenging job interviews can be. Even in a low-pressure situation, it can still feel like you’re getting the third degree.
Doing your research on the company is extremely important, as is doing research on yourself. What I mean by that is, know how to draw upon your strengths of selling yourself before walking into the interrogation room.
First of all, those conducting the interview are going to want to know one important thing: why should they hire you? Throwing out adjectives that make yourself sound great and hardworking aren’t enough to prove your qualifications.
Come to the interview prepared by having a copy of your resume in front of you, where you can point out past experiences and give examples of what you think you did well and why. Also having a portfolio is a huge asset when it comes to this question.
This could potentially kill two birds with one stone as you can answer the question of how you’ve shown initiative in the past. This is where your problem solving skills come into (dis)play as you can give real experiences from the past.
In an interview, your past and your future are both important. Seemingly difficult questions that may come up regarding the past could be in the form of “have you ever experienced a difficult employer?”
How you answer this question will give insight to your character. While I personally would have to bite my tongue in making some sort of joke, doing this (or attacking the employer) can easily have a negative impact on the interviewer’s perception of you. Instead, explain what may have been difficult and how you combatted any challenges in a positive way.
Now, despite popular opinion, it may be best to ask questions throughout the interview rather than wait until the end. I would suggest that, as soon as you get a chance, ask what your day-to-day role would be like.
This is important for you to know but it will also help you answer the popular question: “Why do you think you’d be successful here?” Knowing the day-to-day, plus your at-home research, plus observing the company culture will be key information required to answer this question.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to fully prepare for an interview because you never know what will happen. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are selling yourself as a viable employer, so knowledge and presentation are not to be overlooked.