Preparing for your job interview

Interview prepping in 2021 means you have to be physically and mentally prepared. We share our top tips to prepare for in-person or in-video (Zoom) interviews.

The Job Posting vs You

How do your skills measure up to the job duties and requirements listed on the job advert? Use this simple 3 column method:

Job duties & requirementsDescribe your past job responsibilitiesHighlight your past accomplishments
Write down all the responsibilities from the job advert.Add all responsibilities that formed part of your daily duties – even if they are not listed in your job description.Associated your accomplishments with the items in column one and 2.

The Elevator Pitch

Get ready to answer why you would like to work for this company; why you are interested in the position; and what makes you the perfect candidate for the position. Craft a 30 to 60 second pitch that highlights who you are, what you do, your unique skills and how you can be an asset to them.

Keep it simple without technical terms. Practice your pitch, record it on your phone and review.

Source: Indeed.com

Start Stories

People remember well-presented stories better than stated facts. Leave a lasting impression on your interviewer by creating stories that demonstrate how you’re the perfect fit for the position you are interviewing for.

Use the START formula to structure your responses:

  • Situation – Describe the situation in less than 3 sentences
  • Task – Explain your role in the situation in less than 3 sentences
  • Action – What actions did you take?
  • Result – Highlight the results
  • Tie – Connect the story to the company or position you are interviewing for

Do you have any questions for us?

A lot of candidates miss out on the opportunity to ask interviewers questions. Jot down your questions in your notebook before the interview.

Examples of questions to ask:

  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to measure my success?
  • What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
  • Can you describe the working culture of the company?
  • What are the most immediate projects to be addressed?
  • What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  • What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  • Is this a new role that has been created?
  • Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
  • Are there opportunities for training or progression within the role or company?

Questions pertinent to the interviewer/s

Practice

Practicing to answer questions during an interview can mean the difference between coming across as prepared and self-assured or ill-prepared. Follow these tips to prepare.

Your in-video or Zoom interview tips:

  • If you are not yet familiar with the video platform your interview will be on, download the app, test your own technology – microphone, webcam, etc.
  • Make sure you are set up in a distraction-free area with good natural lighting
  • Be on time for your interview – 5 to 10 minutes early. Use the mute button until your interview starts
  • Ensure your interview outfit is professional, wrinkle-free and clean
  • Speak slowly and clearly during your interview
  • Be aware of your body language (Body language tips: how to impress anyone quickly and easily)

Your in-person interview tips:

  • Wear a professional mask that won’t distract the interviewer/s
  • Try to connect with the interviewer by engaging them
  • Pay attention to non-verbal signals such as confusion about an answer you gave
  • Express enthusiasm by maintaining eye contact, smiling and asking questions

Sources:

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