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Preparing for the Interview: Top 8 Interview Tips

By February 22, 2021September 6th, 2023Candidate Perspective

You’ve got an interview coming up and are starting to feel a few nerves, some excitement, a little anxiety, or maybe a combination of all the feels! This may not be your first interview, and even if you’ve interviewed dozens of times, a bit of prep never hurt anyone!

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Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Here are our top Interview Tips:

The list can go on, but in my years helping companies of all sizes with their, I’ve noticed that these tips, while basic, provide candidates with helpful guidance (and hopefully confidence) in an interview!

Tip 1 – Do your homework. In addition to familiarizing yourself with the company’s overarching mission, spend a little time looking for recent company initiatives. Doing this not only signals that you prepared, but it also sends the message that you’re curious and interested in the organization.  

Tip 2 – Ask thoughtful questions. Part of this includes doing your homework, so you walk in with questions prepared. However, you should also pay attention to new information that surfaces during the interview- then you can incorporate it into your questions! Doing this helps let them know you’re listening.

Tip 3 – Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to project confidence and sincerity by coming to the table with a well-developed and carefully articulated sense of your strengths. Be open about your shortcomings (nothing sounds more disingenuous than “I’m 100% awesome”), but it’s ok to frame them in a positive way. 

Tip 4 – Gauge what the culture is like. Pay attention to your interviewers’ demeanor and think about what kind of work culture that demeanor belongs to. Using “vibes” to assess potential fit is essential.

Tip 5 – Don’t discuss salary & benefits. Focus on your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the company. Save the salary discussion for after they offer you the job unless they bring it up.

Tip 6 – Get sleep the night before. Treat your interviews with the same seriousness you would bring to an important presentation. Take care of your body: rest up, drink water, and put your energy toward putting your best foot forward.

Tip 7 – Think about your body language. Practice looking poised but comfortable, don’t touch your face excessively and make eye contact even virtually. If it’s a virtual interview, raise your camera so it’s level with your eyes and make sure you are looking at the camera and not another screen. If you have notes that you want to reference, put them on a post-it around the camera lens. Consider lighting, background noise, distractions, and what can be seen in your background when on camera.

Tip 8 – Tell a story. If your interviewer wanted a flat list of your accomplishments, they would just reread your resume. The interview itself is for fitting those details into a story about who you are, how you got here, and where you’re going. They want to hear about your accomplishments, what you are most proud of, and who you are to garner fit. Share with them!

The Hire Ventures Blog has a wealth of information (of course!🤗), but if you’re looking for some more interview tips, here are a few articles that I’ve found to be particularly insightful:

Forbes: 12 Surprising Interview Tips.  This article cleverly breaks up its tips into before, during, and after the interview. The specific suggestions and concrete communication frameworks add some detail to the general advice on the previous page.

The Muse: 8 Ways to Make a Great First Impression at a Job Interview. While I think the idea of “nailing” an interview in the first five minutes is kind of gimmicky, this article usefully breaks down the importance of first impressions.

US News and World Report: Top Five Interviewing Tips For Experienced Professionals. As I said, this isn’t your first rodeo. This article offers some specific insight that people with extensive backgrounds bring to the table.

Glassdoor: The 8 Questions Asked in Nearly Every Job Interview. As you know, it’s important to come to the interview with some prepared answers to specific questions. I thought this list covered the basics well.

Good luck!

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