Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking. You may feel uncomfortable “selling” yourself or fielding unexpected questions. Or the prospect of having to meet and impress new people may be enough to trigger anxiety. However, interviewing is a skill you can learn. With the right tips and techniques, you can become a master at sharing your value with potential employers, presenting yourself effectively at interviews, and getting the job you want.

Start with the basics of interviewing:

  • Understand the Opportunity
    • Communicate your suitability for the position
    • Approach interviews with common sense—be honest!
    • Present your qualifications thoroughly and positively
  • Understand the Employers Viewpoint
    • Employers are gathering information to make a future decision
    • Employers are judging not only qualifications, but people skills
    • Employers ask themselves, “will this individual fit with our organization and mission?”

Be enthusiastic and energetic in the interview.  Arrive early. Dress appropriately. Ask questions that show your interest in the position.

To have a successful interview, you have to understand what type of interview you will be having so you can prepare accordingly.  The type of interview you will face depends on the field you are going into and the specific job.  No matter what type of interview you face, look to answer the questions by relating your experiences and skill set back to the job description.

Utilize the STAR Approach:

Situation/Task

  • Describe the situation or task needed to be accomplished
  • Make it concise and informative; only stating what is useful to the story

Action

  • Demonstrate and highlight the skills and attributes that the question is testing
  • Explain what you did
    • Be personal—focus on what you did
    • Steer clear of technical information
    • Explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it

Result

  • Explain how it all ended
  • Describe what you accomplished and learned from the situation
  • Utilize this portion to highlight further skills—Know the skills the employer is looking for (see job description)

Remember that you are also interviewing the employer.  After the interview, ask yourself whether this is really the right job for you.  If you are not selected for the position, be persistent.  The right job for you is out there.

For more information on interview tips, visit the Pomerantz Career Center website.