When interviewing, preparation is important. The last thing you want to do is walk into an interview room without any kind of preparation or a deeper knowledge of the position or organization. Preparation helps boost confidence and decrease stress. It also helps put you into the right mindset for the interview. Here are some tips to help you focus, relax and remain authentic during the interview process.
Don't Memorize Answers
Interviewers prefer to feel like they’re talking to a person, not a robot that has all the answers memorized and ready to spit out at a moment's notice. While it's important to have an idea of how to answer common questions about your work experience or answers which address work gaps on your resume, it's another to provide vague, canned answers that really don't give the interviewer a glimpse into who you really are.
When presenting answers, imagine you are creating a scene for the interviewer to help them understand the environment you are/were in as well as your reasoning for the decisions you made. This will help give the interviewer a glimpse into your strategic mindset and level of emotional intelligence when problem-solving.
What if an interviewer asks you something you don’t know the answer to? What if they ask you a question that you’re trying to steer clear of? These scenarios can happen and it's best to be prepared if they do. At some point, it's inevitable you may be stumped by a question during an interview regardless of how well you prepare. If that happens, it's OK, really.
The honest answer is more times than not, the best one versus making something up on the fly. It shows the interviewer how you deal with the unknown and how you handle pressure. Do you fall apart? Do you panic? Or do you face it and move on? Ultimately, the interviewer will respect the honesty and authenticity of your answers.
Preparation is essential, but over-preparing can make you crazy. Keep it simple.
- What does the job entail?
- What skills are needed to do the job well?
- How are your skills comparable?
- How have you applied your skills to complete the job functions required of the position during your past work experiences?
Focus on what matters most and the odds are in your favor for acing the interview.