Preparing for an Interview

The interview is a key part of the hiring process.

It’s how an employer gets the information they need to select the best person for the job. It’s your best opportunity to show that you are, in fact, the right fit to join the company. Even for the most experienced and qualified candidates, job interviews can be stressful. No matter where you are in your career, it’s easy to make interview mistakes and let nerves get the best of you. The truth is we could all use a little help when it comes to interviews.

The best way to increase your confidence and ace an interview is to take the steps to prepare. This comprehensive job seeker’s guide will outline different types of interviews, how to prepare for them, common interview questions, and what to wear to an interview. Put these expert tips into practice to make a fantastic first impression!

Some tips for informational interviews

The informational interview is a meeting you initiate. This type of interview is used to learn insights into a company and seek advice from a professional in your field of interest.

  • Go to the interview prepared with questions about the company and the industry.
  • Use this interview as an opportunity to gain references to other people, but ensure the interviewer is comfortable if you contact other people and use their name.
  • Remember to share your contact information, card, and resume with the interviewer.
  • Follow up with a thoughtful thank-you note.

Some tips for behavioural interviews

In the behavioural interview, hiring managers want to learn more about your past behaviours, expecting these past actions to indicate your future performance at the company.

  • Make connections to the qualities and transferable skills required for the role.
  • Know your resume backward and forward. The interviewer may ask about any skill you’ve listed.
  • Use your educational, professional, volunteer, and personal experiences to develop short stories that describe the use of your skills and best qualities. Ensure you know which stories you’ll discuss ahead of time.
  • Your stories should identify context, highlight your actions, and identify the result of your actions. 

Some tips for directive interviews

In this interview style, the interviewer follows a clear agenda. Sometimes, companies use this style to ensure uniformity between interviews

  • Follow the interviewer’s lead.
  • To gain some control of the interview, politely interject any critical information the interviewer has not asked for that you think is important.

Some tips for tag-team interviews

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in an interview with several people. The hiring manager as well as the supervisor, staff members, and the director might be in the meeting. Other times, you’ll face a series of interviews with different people.

  • Learn each individual’s name and treat everyone present as an individual. You might want to write down their names. Make eye contact with each person and always speak directly to the person asking the question.
  • Each interviewer will have a different position in the company as well as unique insights. Use this interview as an opportunity to learn more about the company.
  • Bring twice as many stories to a tag-team interview. Be ready to share your skills and experience in different ways to different interviewers.
  • Expect to expend more energy than you would in a one-on-one interview.

Some tips for follow-up interviews

Often, you will be asked to come back for a second or third interview. Sometimes, these follow-up interviews are conducted to confirm your suitability for the role; other times, the interviewer is having trouble deciding among candidates. Often, another decision maker, such as a CEO or supervisor, will be in the room during a follow-up interview to meet you before the hiring decision is made.

  • Highlight what you have to offer and make your interest in the company known.
  • Ask tactful questions to learn more about the company’s culture and dynamics.
  • Be prepared for anything.