6 Expert Tips for Interview Success

Monday, October 2, 2023

Companies often conduct two or more interviews with potential job candidates before hiring them.

Knowing how to present yourself well in an interview is essential for long-term career growth. Here are six tips to help you prepare for a job interview and ace it like a pro.

Cluster Your Work Experience Into Skill Sets

Identify the skills needed to succeed at the job and align them with your at-work experiences.

“Some jobs may list the required skill sets in the job listing (such as great communication, collaboration, etc.)," says Verity Creedy, vice president of product management at the global leadership company Development Dimensions International. "But even if they don’t, you probably have a pretty good idea of what it takes to succeed in the role."

The key is to give specific examples of how you have demonstrated those skills. Listing your strengths is one thing, but proving them through short examples is more compelling. “There’s a difference between saying your strength is collaborating versus proving it by giving one to two short examples of when you collaborated in recent work,” says Creedy, who has worked closely with Fortune 500 companies to develop leaders at all levels.

Prepare for Behavioral Questions Using the STAR Format

In the STAR method, the acronym STAR stands for situation, task, action and result. This method allows you to effectively communicate your achievements by breaking them down into these four components. "Use this format to create holistic examples you can share in the interview, so you aren’t left fumbling for an answer,” Creedy says.

Many interviewees tend to forget the crucial final component, Creedy says. While discussing the challenges you faced, it's easy to get caught up in the story and forget the most important part: your results. Your outcome should be the shining star of your answer, as it paints a picture of your accomplishments and sets you apart from other candidates.

Remember, while interviewers love to hear examples that are succinct, clear and straightforward, make sure your delivery sounds natural and not overly scripted. “If you can seamlessly implement the STAR method in your upcoming interview, you’ll get bonus points for clear communication,” Creedy says.

Research the Interviewers 

Knowing your interviewers’ names, positions and backgrounds can give you a sense of their personalities and expectations, helping you tailor your responses accordingly. So, if you have not already, take the time to do your research.

“Get to know the employer and the individuals you are meeting with as if they were your lifelong friends,” says Heather Matalon, co-founder of Nav, a digital career optimization and advocacy tool for career professionals.

If the employer you’re interviewing with is a publicly traded company, you can learn more about it and its challenges by finding media reports online. But if the employer is private, Matalon recommends “reviewing other websites likely to have insight into the company and its culture." Such sites include Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Comparably, Blind, Levels and Firsthand.

Full article @ https://money.usnews.com/careers/articles/expert-tips-for-interview-success