Interviews can be stressful, but being prepared and practicing commonly asked questions can help improve your interview skills and make you feel more confident. It can be helpful to write down your strengths in relation to the position or make notes for your answers to some common questions. Some interviews will allow you to bring notes, but even preparing them can also help keep yourself organized and remember what you want to highlight about yourself and your skills. Practicing in front of a mirror or holding mock interviews with a friend or family member can help you feel more prepared as well.
Using the STAR method to answer the interviewer’s questions can help you stay focused and answer meaningfully. The STAR method is best for behavior-based questions or questions that ask for past examples. STAR stands for:
Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
(Check out the video below for more information.)
You can stand out in your interview as someone who is interested in that specific position by doing some research on the company beforehand. Checking the company’s social media profiles or reading recent news articles on the company or their products can give you a few insights on current issues that they are addressing.
Towards the end of your interview, the employer will often ask if you have any questions about the company of the position. Having some thought-out questions will also show that you’ve prepared and are seriously considering the position.
It is very important to make sure you take the time to understand the job you are applying for. First, you want to try to understand the responsibilities of the role. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do everything listed in the job ad. If you can do the majority, it is worth considering applying for. It’s not about having direct experience with each part of the job, but it’s about making sure you give evidence of your ability and experience on your resume and cover letter. Before you apply, consider all of your transferable skills and how they could help you be successful in the job. Analyze the words they use in the ad and if you have trouble understanding anything, do further research to ensure you fully understand the role before you apply. By taking the time to really understand the role, it will help you make sure that the job would be a good fit for you!
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