High school students feel tremendous anxiety and apprehension as they approach the critical tests, SATs and ACTs, that will determine their academic future. These tests scores are essentially the keys that unlock the gates of respected colleges across the nation. But those feelings of anxiety and apprehension will pale in comparison to the even more critical job interview that will have to face after they graduate from college. The job interview, lasting from 15 to 60 minutes, could determine their entire career. In this context, a successful interview is the key that unlocks the gate of the ideal company or organization.
While mastering tests like the SAT require diligent review of subject material and taking practice tests, is there anything that a job-seeker can do to prepare for a job interview? Yes — in short, to paraphrase the famous French scientist, Louis Pasteur, “A successful job interview favors the prepared mind.” Be prepared. Several career advice experts have put together helpful lists of job interview tips. Bookshelf presents the best job interview tips.
Laszlo Bock, senior advisor at Goole and author of Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google that Will Transform How You Live and Lead, provides these helpful tips:
1. Predict the future: Try to anticipate the interview questions you are going to get. Research top interview questions and compile a list of the top 20 questions.
2. Plan your attack: Using your list of questions, write down the answer for each one.
3. Have a backup plan: For every question from your list, write down three answers. Bock elaborates: “Why three? You need to have a different, equally good answer for every question because the first interviewer might not like your story. You want the next interviewer to hear a different story. That way they can become your advocate.”
4. Prove yourself: Answer every question with a story that proves you can do what your are being asked about.
5. Read the room: Look around the room and look for cues that you can use as a connection with your interviewer. For example, a college banner, book, family photo, painting, etc.
6. Make it to Carnegie Hall: Bock asks “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Simple — lots of practice. Practice your interview answers out loud until they flow smoothly and without any hesitations.
The editors of U.S. News & World Report offer these tips:
1. Show up at least five minutes early.
2. Do not bring a coffee or beverage to the interview.
3. Dress appropriately and respectfully.
4. Bring a pen, notebook, copies of resume, list of references. Take notes during interview if necessary.
5. Have a conversation. The interview should not be one-sided. The editors elaborate: “The ability to have fluid conversation conveys preparation, intelligence, people skills, active listening and a commitment to your career. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to display these traits in the meeting.”
Steve Fogarty, a staffing partner at Waggener Edstrom writing for Monster.com, shares this list:
1. Be concise: “You really have to listen to the question, and answer the question, and answer it concisely.” In other words, do not ramble and do not go off on a tangent.
2. Provide examples: Provide specific examples of things you have done that showcase your uniqueness and achievements
3. Be honest: Fogarty writes “If you don’t have a skill, just state it. Don’t try to cover it up by talking and giving examples that aren’t relevant. You’re much better off saying you don’t have that skill but perhaps you do have some related skills, and you’re happy to tell them about that if they like.”
4. Keep your guard up: Listen carefully and always maintain a level of professionalism. Even though you might feel at ease with an interviewer, don’t tell them everything, especially something questionable that will knock them out of contention.
5. Ask great questions. Fogarty notes that nothing impresses him more than a really good question that not only shows that a candidate has researched the company in general, but also the specific job they are hoping to land.
For further reading: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/win-every-interview-6-steps-laszlo-bock?trk=mp-reader-card