Tips & Tricks for a Successful Interview
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
- Prepare a list of your essential skills and accomplishments, reflecting on past experiences.
- Work experience - pay particular attention to match your experience with the type of position you are interviewing for.
- Research the company online, gathering pertinent facts about the company’s products, services, leadership, history, and vision statement.
- Know the name of the person you are meeting. Use resources like LinkedIn or the company’s website to learn about the individual in advance.
- Dress one step up from the dress code of the company. Keep in mind the industry, company, and position for which you are applying.
- Turn off your cell phone before entering the building or starting a virtual interview.
- Bring multiple copies of your resume.
- Leave food and beverages at home or in your car.
Be sure to write a list of questions you want to ask during the interview. It demonstrates that you have prepared for the interview and are interested in the company and the position.
Whether it is Zoom, Teams, or the phone, participating remotely in work-related calls has become second nature for many. However, when it comes to interviewing, don’t rest on your laurels. It is equally important to prepare for a remote interview as you would an in-person interview.
Checklist for a Successful Remote Interview
- Your resume, work history, and any interview notes you have prepared
- Information about the company
- Calendar for scheduling future appointments
- Pen and paper
- Your questions for the interviewer
10 Tips for a Successful Video Interview
Video interviewing can be tricky. With some careful preparation, you can showcase your ease with the technology and present yourself with a level of professionalism that will separate you from the rest. Follow these ten tips for the best impact.
- Select a quiet, private environment where you have a high-bandwidth connection (such as Ethernet or good WiFi, not cellular/roaming) for your video interview location.
- Test the video software and connection on your device beforehand. Hold a test video call with your QTI recruiter or a friend.
- Plan the video frame. Have a neutral backdrop such as a blank wall behind you, avoiding any personal clutter included in the frame.
- Place your device on a stable surface to create a good steady frame. Position it on a desk, shelf, or something that puts the lens at your eye level (not below you, which is less flattering.
- Face the lens squarely, not at an angle.
- Lighting: be brightly (but not sharply) lit from the front. Avoid backlighting as it tends to put you in silhouette.
- Allow extra time before the scheduled call time to preview your appearance and framing and avoid technical problems.
- Remember, eye contact happens when you look at the camera lens, not at the on-screen image.
- Hold still, and avoid fidgeting. If seated, place your hands on the desk or in your lap. If standing, clasp your hands or place them in your pockets.
- Presence: Posture, breathe, eye contact, relax, smile. You got this!
Behavioral Interviewing is a common interview style employed by many human resources professionals. In a Behavioral Interview, the interviewer will ask you to provide examples of how you handled specific past work situations. To answer these types of questions, cite examples and reflect on your list of key skills. Be sure to explain the situation, the action you took, and the result of the situation.
- Example: Give me an example of a time when you went the extra mile for a customer.
- Situation: I worked in the customer service area. A customer called at the end of the day because the wrong product was delivered. All of the drivers had left for the day.
- Action: I located the product in our warehouse and delivered it myself.
- Result: The customer was happy and called us with another order.
If you are interviewing in person, greet the interviewer with a smile and a gentle but firm handshake. Carry your personal items in your left hand to keep your right hand free for the greeting.
Questions to Ask During the Interview
- During the interview, you can learn more about the position by asking a few questions. You can use facts you learned about the company to ask your questions or consider using a few sample questions from the list below.
- Why is this position open?
- What is the supervisor’s management style?
- What are the key goals this position is expected to accomplish this year?
- What are the attributes most needed to be successful in this role?
- How is the department structured?
- What are the company’s plans for growth?
- What type of training is available?
Closing the Interview
As the interview comes to a close, end by giving a brief re-cap of your skillset and how it will benefit the company. Express your interest in working for the company and in the position. Be sure to ask about the interview process and the timeline for making a decision. Always conclude by thanking the interviewer for their time.