We all get nervous before interviews, but focusing on the small, often overlooked, details can help the process! If you focus on the small aspects of an interview, the big ones will come with ease! Here are four simple tactics that can go a long way in your interview process:
1. Preparation – There is more to preparing for an interview than having a great resume, the perfect business attire, and a firm handshake. One of the best ways to stand out to employers is to show them how you have prepared for this interview by knowing facts and statistics about their company. You should research into the success of the company, specific numbers in relation to their business, milestones made by the company, and other similar information. It is better to know detailed information rather than basic information that can easily be found in the company’s description. Another way to prepare for interviews is by having answers ready for the common interview questions (examples seen below) you will be asked. A great resource to utilize is Glassdoor. On this website, you’ll find questions that were asked in previous interviews at that specific company so you may get similar or exact ones to those! Having confidence in your answers to these questions will set the scene for a more relaxed, smoother interview. Awkward pauses will be a thing of the past!
2. Questions – It is important to ask questions in interviews to show you care about and are interested in the specific details of the company you are applying to be a part of. Many people do not know, though, that you are allowed to have those questions already formed before the interview even starts! Having questions already planned can help you avoid asking irrelevant questions, or not being able to think of a question to ask at all. It is important to not ask questions just for the sake of asking a question, either, which often happens when people don’t prepare ahead of time. It is important to ask your questions when they fit into the flow of the conversation or to save them for when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Also, make sure not ask anything that is easily available on the company’s website. Impress your interviewer with your curiosity in their company!
3. Personal Statement – Have your personal statement, a quick description of yourself, both as a professional and a human being, that shares your best attributes and goals, essentially memorized so that you can relay parts of it in response to certain questions you may be asked, such as, “Why should we pick you?” You can use parts of it when you get stumped by the interviewer as well. For example, if the interviewer asks you, “Why did you quit your sport after sophomore year?,” you can respond with, “Because of my determination for excellence, as seen by my placement on the Dean’s List, I had to refocus my priorities in order to continue my success.” By using bits and pieces of your personal statement, you are able to respond to the interviewer in a professional manner, all while relating your response back to yourself in a positive light. For more help with creating your personal statement, check out this previous CWIB Chronicles article.
4. Tone of Voice – This is an often forgotten aspect of interviews, but it is an extremely important one. You cannot simply rely on your outgoing personality to get you through an interview. If you do, you will likely get nervous, and your voice will reflect it. If your voice sounds nervous, your interviewer will think you are not confident in your abilities, and will likely not want you for their company. Having a calm tone of voice comes with preparation, though! Use your friends, peers, and other acquaintances to your advantage. Have them conduct a mock interview with you! This will calm your nerves, and thus your tone of voice when talking to your interviewer. Another important aspect of the tone of voice is continuing to use a professional tone even when an interviewer may ask a challenging question. The worst way to respond is with a defensive attitude, including a defensive or aggressive tone of voice. Remember, what you said is just as important as HOW you said it!
Overall, sticking to a professional persona throughout your interview is the best decision. Prepare for your interview, ask questions, know your information, and speak respectively. You will be set for success if you follow these often overlooked tactics!
Good luck to all of you in your upcoming interviews!