Check out these tips & tricks from our own expert recruiters on how to ace your next nerve-racking interview!
You’ve perfected your resume and you’ve proofread your cover letter (a million times). You’ve found a position that sounds like it would fit your lifestyle & goals perfectly and you’ve landed the interview! But now what? How do you ensure that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste? After all, this is the last step standing between you & your future career. A few of our recruiters got together to compile a list of their top tips & tricks that they recommend to all their candidates before sending them off to an interview. Keep these things in mind and you’ll have that job in no time!
Eric Gleason – Recruiter of 15 years
“It is important not to forget the S.T.A.R. method but only use this when answering situational based questions. The hiring manager wants to know what actions you specifically took & what were the results of your actions. Be sure to first describe the (S) Situation, describe the (T) Task that needed to be complete, discuss what (A) Approach you took and finally what were the (R) Results?”
Leslie Pomerleau – Recruiter of 7 years
“Try to have a concise answer to each question that doesn’t exceed much more than 60 seconds. Being brief is much better than being long-winded. When answering the question, “tell me about one of your weaknesses”, choose a weakness that doesn’t correlate with the job, so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Last, make good eye contact, be calm, and smile–being confident is key (fake it till you make it if you have to!)”
Neil Tenenbaum – Recruiter of 10 years
“I’ve learned a lot in my 10 years in the business & have many tips that have helped our candidates land positions year after year!”
Re-read you own resume – Always make sure to re-read your own resume before interviewing so you refresh what info the interviewer is seeing. Often, they ask questions based off your resume. For example, “At company A I see you used Tableau for reporting, what type of data were your reporting on?”
Keep in mind what you are interviewing for – Think about the job title you are interviewing for and be ready with specific examples to share about related project work. Be sure to speak to what your responsibilities were, tools you used, etc. as opposed to what the team completed or used. Do not be general with your answers. For example, if a Project Manager is asked to describe a full SDLC project he or she recently managed, do not reply with “I have managed lots of projects through the full SDLC, there is nothing I have not seen.” Pick one and briefly let them know what you did through each phase.
Avoid being negative about prior employers – Even if you did not have the best experience. Employers want to know that you are considerate and professional even in difficult scenarios.
Always answer the question that was asked – It may seem odd but very often with rejections we get feedback that candidates spoke to questions that had not been asked. If you do not know the answer, it’s ok to say “I have not worked with that specifically” as it can be a door opener to provide similar skills. You can also then ask if those are similar to what the hiring manager is seeking. For example, “Have you used Agile DevOps for documentation?”. You may answer “No, I have not had the opportunity, but is that similar to Jira? I used Jira to document requirements in my prior position.” They may then say “Yes, that is similar, and we can help you ramp up on certain tools.”
Tate Rost – Recruiter of 1 year
“Throughout my experience as a Sales Development Representative & the knowledge I’ve gained from our team of seasoned recruiters, I always give the following advice to my candidates before interviewing. Be engaged and be sure to ask the hiring team thoughtful questions. Also, make sure to follow up with a thank you note after an interview. An act of kindness can go a long way!”
Well, there you have it! With combined experience of over 30 years in the business (and that’s only from 4 members of our team), our recruiters have shown time & time again that keeping these things in mind will work in your advantage. You now have all the tools you need to nail this interview. On behalf of AP Professionals, Good Luck!