Want to nail your interview? Here’s how!

• Review the job description:  Read the description carefully, and highlight the key focal points or requirements that you feel are important to the client based on the overview, especially those you feel align well with your skill-set and experience. Your recruiter will assist you with this as well.
• Think about what interests you about the job:  Be prepared to explain why you are interested in the job. Avoid negative comments regarding past employers or positions.
• Prepare stories and examples:  Based on the skills highlighted in the description, come up with a few short stories or examples to explain your related experiences in these areas. Once you get a clear understanding of the role from the interviewer(s), choose a few stories to share. Stay on topic and focus mainly on achievements. Also, provide a few examples of hurdles and how you overcame them. Focus on the STAR method:
    S: The Situation – describe it

    T: The Task or problem – what dilemma or problem did you face?
    A: The Action – what action did you take?
    R: The Result – what was the result of your action?
• Define weaknesses:  Be ready to clearly describe your weaknesses. “I work too hard” is not an appropriate answer even if it’s true. Weaknesses don’t have to specifically relate to your field, but can be areas where you may have little interests, or that don’t directly relate to this job or project.

• Define strengths:  Identifying strengths is usually easier than defining weaknesses. Consider past supervisors or co-workers… what would they consider your strengths? Where do you excel? Don’t go overboard, and only share skills or qualities that you can prove or exhibit.
• Remember names:  Pay close attention to the interviewer(s) and listen for their names and roles. Respond to individuals by name. This not only is a way of showing respect, but also interest and attention to detail.
• Think about your speech pattern, and breathe:  Often times when nervous, people speak quickly or ramble. Pay attention to your speech pattern, breathe deeply, and speak clearly and slowly. When asked questions, pause for a moment to formulate your response to avoid rambling.
• Test your phone equipment ahead of time: When interviews will be held via conference call or video conference call, test your equipment prior to the interview date and time.

• What Skype says about you:  When using video conference calls, look around the room. What is in the background? Is the room cluttered, or neat and clean? Remember, interviewers are looking for insights as to your character.
• Ask questions:  Be sure to ask a few questions about the job, this shows interests in the position. Questions can relate to the technical aspects of the job, or even the work environment.
• Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know:  It is completely appropriate to admit that you may not know something being asked of you. This can be followed up with “I don’t know, but I enjoy challenges and opportunities to grow….”

• Prepare a closing statement:  Think about saying something that will portray gratitude for giving you consideration for the job. Reiterate your interest in the position, and the value you will bring to the table. Request that they give you strong consideration for the job if you feel you are a great fit.
• Edit your online profiles:  Prior to your interview, be sure to clean up your online social media content. Clean up the “trash” and ensure the character you are portraying is one that is hirable!

… And finally, be sure to bring your game face!