Interview tips - how to be your best self when interviewing 

February 24, 2022

Looking for your new job can be very stressful. Sending out applications and not hearing back from companies, or getting a rejection can hurt. But let’s say you’ve passed that first step - and you managed to score yourself an interview with a company you find interesting. I want to share a few tips that could help ease the stress of that situation and help you present yourself in the best way possible. 

Over the last 6+ years of my professional career, I’ve had a fair amount of interviews. Both as a candidate interviewing for a job and as a hiring manager talking with potential new hires. So in this blog post, I wanted to write about some of the tips I picked up along the way, as well as some advice I like to give my friends when they are interviewing. 

Getting ready for the interview, showing you’ve done your research, and preparing your speaking points goes a long way when presenting yourself to a potential employer. In today's market, you're going to have a lot of great candidates applying for the same position, especially if you're applying for a remote position with a remote company. That's why making a little bit of extra effort can exponentially increase your chances of standing out and leaving a great impression on the recruiter or hiring manager. Let's dive in.

Read about the company and the position you’re applying for

You don't have to be an expert on the company or their industry, but you need to show that you’ve done the research, that you know what the company is doing, and that you have a general idea of what you’d be doing there. Also, this will help you understand whether this company and position are really interesting to you. By doing this, you should be able to answer the question “why do you want to work here” with no problems whatsoever.

Be engaging and talk to your interviewer

Remember that an interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Ask the interviewer how they’re doing, what projects are they working on right now. Try to find something in common. Ask questions when you want to know more, and let the conversation flow naturally - don’t try to force things and topics to talk about. 

Ask questions you want to know the answers to. This is your chance to decide if you want to join this company. This could also be a positive sign to the interviewer because you're being proactive and you’re showing interest in finding out more about them.

Be clear and concise 

When answering a question, give a succinct answer. Meaning, try to answer it as short as you can while making sure they can understand your answer. It's a delicate balance, and it will become easier the more you talk to interviewers about your experience and expertise. 

Also, if you don't understand the question, don't be afraid to ask the interviewer to clarify. Don’t try to hide it by giving a wide and lengthy answer in which you don't actually say anything meaningful. If something is unclear, ask follow-up questions.

Use your own examples when answering questions

When asked about a certain situation or a problem, try using real-life examples. What problem occurred and why, how did you approach it, how was it solved, and what were the key takeaways. Prepare a few examples beforehand so you don't have to think of them on the spot.

Prepare answers to the most commonly asked questions

By doing a simple Google search, you can find a list of the most commonly asked questions when interviewing. I recommend preparing answers to at least a few of them.

Questions you can almost always expect (or at least a variation of them):

Last but not least, be yourself

Don't try to present yourself differently than you actually are, it's not going to help you get the job. And even if you do get the job, what do you think it's going to happen when they figure out you are nothing like you presented yourself in the interview process? Hint - it’s not going to be good for you. 🙂

So - be yourself, answer the questions about yourself and your experience truthfully; be open, smile, try to relax and think of the interview as a conversation between two friends. Who knows, if all goes well, you might actually become friends with the person who interviewed you!

If you liked this blog post, check out some of my other articles:

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