In the past, through several extra-curricular activities I did in college, I received professional training to perfect my interviewing skills. Additionally, I had the privilege of being supervised by a Career and Employment Specialist whom I learned a lot from to the point where I trained others on their interviewing skills.
Here is a quick read and some minor tips to help improve your interviewing skills and quality.
Interview setting and background: As a result of the pandemic, most interviews are now conducted via video or phone calls. At the start of the pandemic, I purchased two equipment pieces to help with the mechanical aspects – A light ring and a phone holder. I realized that I performed better at interviews where I felt my appearance was clear, and I didn’t have to worry about my phone slipping at some point or the weather changing the lightning. I also recommend sitting upright on a chair – not your sofa and having a good background like your curtains or a plain wall at least. Lastly, I sat in an area where family members won’t be of disturbance.
Read the job description aloud 10-minutes before the interview: Reading the job description aloud before the interviews allowed me to feel more confident approaching the interview. As a result, I could tailor my experiences to my responses during the interview.
Research the interviewer(s) before the interview: I learn about every interviewer before the interview, even if it was a group interview. I used LinkedIn and the company’s website to identify the following information:
Write questions you’ll ask the interviewer: Always have at least 3-5 questions to ask an interviewer at the end of your discussion. Here is my guide for curating the questions. Ask:
How to answer your interview questions effectively: I have helped train many people, some of whom have been extremely nervous about their interviewing skills. Here are some tips I have found helpful in responding to interview questions and calming one’s self.
Except if a concise answer is required, aim to say at least 7 sentences when responding to a question. Sometimes, being nervous can make you limit your answers. However, if you keep in mind to say about 7-10 sentences to respond to a question, or even count your fingers underneath the table, it can help keep you calm. So, for example, if someone says, tell me about yourself, here are 7 prompt lines for your response:
If someone asks, what are your goals, here are some prompt lines for your response:
Pause if needed. When you are asked a question, if you need to take 10 seconds, say “hmm, let me think for a second” or take a sip of water to stalk briefly but not too long.
After the interview, what should you do? Always send a thank you email to your interviewer within 24hrs. In your email:
I hope you find these tips useful.