When I worked at my old company I had many different responsibilities, one of them involved interviewing people for jobs.
I feel that this was by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a young career woman, because it gave me the opportunity to see how different people act or present themselves when trying to get a job.
I learned quite a bit about what you should and shouldn’t do. So here goes, some pointers for your next nerve racking interview.
Speaking of nerve racking, try to stay calm. Be yourself. Remember that the interviewer is a person too, also capable of flubbering words. We are all human, and the interviewer knows this.
Don’t ever say anything negative about yourself. Keep all of your comments positive. You are trying to sell yourself, there is no shame in talking positively and confidently about your successes and personality traits.
The company may be interviewing you, but you need to interview the company as well. I think this is the most impressive thing you can do. Ask the interviewer many questions about the company, how long they’ve been in business, how many clients they have, what are their strategies or morals – you want to make sure that they are a good fit for you just as you should be a good fit for them. Ask questions about things that really matter to you.
Another great thing to ask your interviewer is what are his / her least favorite things about the company and what are his / her favorite. This is a very telling question. You may want to ask several people this question throughout the company (as you are being introduced around). Most of the time you won’t get an honest answer about the least favorite things, but you will still get some valuable information out of the candy coated answers.
Small talk can also win you points. Depending on the type of person interviewing you, small talk may be a key factor. You want to show that you can communicate on many levels. Find out if he / she has any pets or if they play any sports, then relate your stories. It will show you as a person outside of the business realm.
Bring examples of your work (if applicable), it can often speak for itself if done well. When showing your work make sure to point out areas of difficulty and how you solved problems. Demonstrating your problem solving skills can be very appealing.
If you have worked in a team environment you may want to explain how you fit in, whether you are a leader or just a really good contributer to the team effort as a whole and what your preference is.
In addition, most experts suggest that you do some research on the company you are interviewing at. If you know what you are talking about and know what they do it will show that you are interested in your industry and in them.