This is probably the most intimidating part of the process but we can improve your performance and eliminate some of the anxiety with some simple exercises and practice.
Do your homework. Know what the company does. How is their reputation? Who is their competition? Have they been in the news lately? How is their industry doing?
Find someone who can provide useful background info. Recent hires and senior people have different but valuable perspectives. Reach out to them. Have specific questions for each person.
Find out as much as you can about what the company values and direction. What are they working on? What are their challenges? What does the composition of the leadership team say about them? Make sure their values mesh with yours.
Find out the name of your interviewer. Check the pronunciation. Know what your interviewer does for the company and how they got there. Have enough background to ask meaningful questions.
Anticipate questions you might be asked – why do you want to work for this organization? What draws you to this position? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Practice your answers to these questions. Don’t just think about them, make notes and say them out loud. The more you say it out loud, the more comfortable you will be with your answers.
Know your resume cold. Be prepared to talk about everything you have written down.
"Doug’s hands-on help really improved my interview readiness. The most important aspect of my work with Doug was how he helped me articulate my story to employers. His insight into both how and why employers ask the questions they do improved my hireability. Doug’s coaching helped me land a job I enjoy in a field that excites me."
Basic Interview Conduct
Turn off your cell phone, even if you’re expecting a call. If the circumstances are extreme or unusual, let the interviewer know ahead of time.
Relax. Anxiety is easy to detect and can lead to fidgeting. The more relaxed you seem, the more relaxed they’ll be.
Arrive early. Factor in transportation time, building security, last minute bathroom stops, crowded elevators.
Dress appropriately. When in doubt, err on the conservative side. Whatever you wear, it should be clean and neat. While your skills and experience are obviously more important than your appearance, you don’t want to be remembered for what you were wearing.
Manage the Clock. Know how much time you have and adjust your answers accordingly.
Speak in a professional manner. Avoid lazy language like “you know”, “kinda”, “sorta.” Don’t use vulgar language.
Always direct the conversation back to your strengths.
Your answers should be concise, direct, and articulate. A question is not an opening for a monologue. Don’t resort to word crutches (“um’s” and uh’s”). Better to compose yourself and answer well than blurt out an ill-advised response.
Come with questions of your own. Your questions should indicate that you have done your research.
Assess the interviewer as they assess you. Make sure the organization you choose (and that chooses you) is a good fit for your personality, your goals and your values. Pay attention to how they treat you and others in the process.
Thank your interviewer for his/her/their time. If you are excited and interested in the position, say so. Be sure to get contact information from the interviewer/s.
"I know an interview is one big humble brag but I’ve not been clear about the line between conceited and confident. You’ve helped me be better talking about my accomplishments, which I don’t do very often. Thanks for the advice."
Have gone to the bathroom.
Have a glass of water nearby.
Have available a copy of your resume and the applicable job description.
Dress as if it was in person.
Make sure phone/ computer are fully charged.
Know the access number and call code in case you get disconnected.
Turn off non-essential electronics.
Find a plain backdrop for the call.
Do not have pets or children in the room (if you can help it).
If you have reliable headphones, use them.
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