We get it — job interviews can be intimidating, no matter how #awesome you are.
But, there are things you can do to calm your nerves and make sure you stand out (in a good way).
Here are 6 tips, from us to you, to be prepared for any interview question.
You Know They’ll Ask…
How do you deal with conflict? Can you give an example of a time you worked on a team? Have you ever made a mistake?
Questions like these are called behavioral questions, and they’re pretty common in job interviews. The best way to prepare for them is to have a list of answers prepared beforehand. You can find lists of commonly asked behavioral questions online and brainstorm scenarios you’ve faced on the job or in school that apply to each one. Having these stories in mind before you walk in the door will help you be prepared and confident no matter what you’re asked.
Take a Minute.
Even if you’re well prepared for an interview, nerves can sometimes make you blank at a question. If you can’t think of an answer to a specific question, it’s better to ask for a few seconds to gather your thoughts rather than avoid answering the question. Most interviewers won’t mind if you take a short pause before delivering an appropriate response (as long as you’re not doing it before every question)!
Say It First.
You should definitely think through possible answers for interview questions, but don’t keep them only in your head. Practice saying them out loud by asking a friend to ask you common questions before your interview. That way, you can make sure your responses sound natural and not rushed or clumsy.
Know Why You’re There.
The best answer to an interview question always depends on the job you’re applying for. Before you start preparing for your interview, review the job description closely so you’ll know how to frame your answers in the context of the job. Keep in mind that examples from classes or a job in a different industry can still be relevant, as long as you highlight the qualities the job description emphasizes.
Know Where You Are.
In addition to asking behavioral questions, interviewers often ask questions that will determine whether you’ll be a good fit for the company. Before you walk in the door, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the organization’s mission and culture. When you’re asked about what you value in a work environment or future job, make sure to reference the aspects you most admire about the company.
Remember: You’re a STAR.
One of the most widely used methods for answering behavioral interview questions is the STAR method, which breaks up answers into four parts: Situation, Task, Actions and Result. Start by describing the situation (or background) of your story, then move onto the task you were asked to complete. The action part of your answer should focus on the specific steps you took to address the task. Then, finish by explaining the positive results of your approach.
By Priscilla Aceves