Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Just getting an interview can already be a tremendous hurdle to clear. If you are serious about trying to obtain a new position, there are a few steps to keep in mind.
1. Prepare for the Basics
The first basic request you need to answer is usually, “Tell me about yourself.” You will need to keep this brief, just highlighting overall professional experience. This short statement can be considered your elevator speech. This elevator speech should be around 30 seconds, consisting of 5-8 sentences. It should start with an emphasis on how many years of work or educational experience you have with a nod to direct, relevant experience. Then mention your education or training, and how you have applied that in your career. Lastly, encapsulate the overall knowledge or skills that you have obtained from your career.
The second basic question you need to be prepared for is, “Why are you interested in this position?” This is just as straightforward, but there are some things you must avoid. Do not answer this with a blasé reply, such as “I saw it online and I thought I would be a good fit.” This nonchalant answer will certainly get you immediately rejected. By doing some research in preparation for an interview, talk about the company. You can comment about the company’s values, vision, or community impact that the company has. Remark how this will be beneficial to your career (growth, industry exploration, skill application, etc.).
2. Write It Down
Write down everything. Write down memories. Write down possible questions and answers. Write down any past mistakes and the lessons you learned from them. Be direct and concise and follow a format of STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Remember, this boils down to story-telling and how you tell the adventure of your career. It's important that you re-familiarize and try to remember your past accomplishments, successes and achievements, but also your mistakes. Some of these things might be on your resume but recollect any other memories that might be pertinent to the position that you are interviewing for. When in doubt, write it down to help you remember the logical steps of each point and memory.
After writing it down. Rehearse telling your stories. Your responses to basic, standard interview question should be no longer than 2-3 minutes. Ask a friend or significant other to roleplay with questions as the interviewer. You can also practice in a mirror. Be aware of your cadence, tone and timing. Slow it down more than you are used to because most individuals who are nervous speed up their speech. Continued rehearsing usually can help decrease nervousness because it eliminates any uncertainty. Execution of your answers then becomes the pivot point for success.
While these tips are by no means guarantees, they certainly help you come across as able and confident in your approach. One thing we hear consistently from prospective candidates who work with TriMech Staffing is how much better prepared they feel heading into interviews. If any part of these tips seems difficult for you to implement or you just want a guiding hand, contact TriMech Staffing for more help.
Interested in working with TriMech Staffing, but unsure of the process? Download our infographic to see each step of the process.