Job interviews are stressful enough without the extra worry of making a great first impression. Along with having the swagger to pull it off, you need to tell recruiters why you’re the best candidate.  Career Communications Group’s Job Readiness expert Courtney Taborn shares tips to help you build confidence, and walk into a room locked and loaded.

STAR preparation

One of the most common styles you will come across is the behavioral interview question.

Behavioral interview questions aim to identify how you might react to general workplace challenges. Topics typically covered are time management, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, teamwork, and problem-solving. To answer these types of questions you should use the S.T.A.R. (situation, task, action, results) method.

Begin by describing the situation, the task you were responsible for, the actions you took to complete the task, and the results of the situation. If you prepare a few answers beforehand using the STAR method for different types of questions you should be able to answer 99% of the questions an interviewer will ask you.

What you need to know 

Every interview is about figuring out a position. Finding a good fit begins with applying to companies whose mission you believe in and whose leadership teams’ values align with your own. Therefore, before an interview, you need to familiarize yourself with the organization’s current leadership team as well as any major initiatives they are currently working on. By the end of the interview, you should have an idea of the scope of the position and what skills you will need to be successful.

Answering  difficult questions

There are three things you should never do: Immediately say I don’t know,  invent facts,  or, panic. If you know you have an unusual circumstance that might require an explanation, such as a gap in your employment history or a few extra years in college, the best thing to do is prepare a simple and honest answer. If the question is skill based, begin with clarifying questions. If you have some familiarity with the subject think through your answer out loud. If all else fails, tell the interviewer what you do know and how you would go about finding the answer.

Good questions to ask

Any question that helps determine whether the company is a good fit for you is a great question. Try asking about the work dynamics to figure out the company culture, and get insights into what the job entails.

Bad questions

You don’t want to ask about benefits on the first interview.

 “So tell me about yourself’?

Don’t overthink this question. Begin with your academic and professional background and then talk a bit about your professional goals and interests. In this context, it is not necessary or usually appropriate to talk about your personal life.

What do you do after the interview?

Take a minute to reflect. Think about the things you did well and congratulate yourself. Next, make a note of the things you can improve. After, take a moment to decompress and remember to send your interviewer a thank you card within 7 days.

Mistakes to avoid

Not researching the company you’re interviewing with and being unfamiliar with your current resume.

Another common mistake is not being able to support artifacts on your resume with concrete examples. Prepare. I cannot stress this enough. That, and relax!

Body language

Your body language can tell the interviewer a lot about your attitude, confidence level, and social skills.

Career Communications Group Inc. is the company behind the BEYA STEM Conference. Click here for more information on JobMatch

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