Legacy Bowes Blog
Interview tips to help you land your next role
You perfect your resume, send it off to your choice prospective employers, and then it happens – you get the interview! While this is an exciting achievement, you’re not quite at the finish line yet. Your next step before meeting with a potential employer will be to get prepared.
Read on for some tips to help you put your best foot forward and land your next role!
Table of content
- What to do before an interview
- What to do during an interview
- What to do after a job interview
- Next steps
Going into the interview, it’s important you make sure you know what the company does based on the programs and services it offers. This information can usually be found on their website and social media accounts, but you can also take a look at their reviews to get a sense of their reputation and public perception.
Ensuring your values are aligned with the company will help to ensure your satisfaction in working with them in the future.
A personal pitch is a brief summary of who you are, what you’ve done, and how that makes you the ideal candidate for the position. This can be a collection of work experience, education/training, skills and relevant areas of strength.
Take some time to study your resume and the job posting, and think of relevant examples from your school, work, or volunteer experiences where you have demonstrated the skills required for the position as listed on the job posting.
It is also important to prepare a list of references ahead of time. Rather than scrambling at the last minute, it’s a good idea to contact each of your references ahead of time to ensure they know they may be contacted after your interview. Having this prepared and ready to go will help to move you forward in the hiring process.
"Explain a time when you faced a complicated problem. What steps did you take?"
"Describe a time when you were under a lot of stress and how you managed it."
"Share an example of a time you have made a mistake and what steps you took to manage it."
These are all examples of behavioural-style questions that may come up during an interview. The STAR interview method can help you give detailed answers that fully address these types of questions using examples from your previous jobs or educational experiences.
Here are the steps of the STAR method:
- Situation: What was the situation? Describe the background and provide context. Be sure to include the When and Where!
- Task: What was your task? Explain then challenge and the expectation. What needed to be completed and Why?
- Action: What actions did you take? Explain your action and the strategy. What did you do and How?
- Result:What was the result and what did you learn? What did you accomplish?
This method can be applied to any story you choose to share and can showcase your skills and abilities that are most relevant to the job.
If the interview is in person, check out the location, determine how you will get there, and plan how long it will take. Always plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early and bring photo ID in case you need to provide identification to enter a building.
If the interview is virtual, be sure to test your equipment and links beforehand to avoid last-minute difficulties. Limit any distractions for the time of your interview and take your camera background into consideration. Make sure it is clean and clear of any distractions.
It’s important to make sure your attire is appropriate for the interview. Plan your professional, business attire in the days before the interview and ensure it is clean and ready to go for the day of. A good rule of thumb is it is always better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed.
Also be sure to get a good rest the night before and eat a healthy meal prior to attending the interview.
Be conscious of your non-verbal communication! Keep your head held high and maintain a relaxed and confident posture. Give your best smile and be friendly with everyone you encounter through the process.
Before you head into the interview, make sure you turn your cellphone off or put it on silent. No exceptions!
Making a great first impression is important during the interview process and can affect your ability to land your dream job. Offer a firm handshake to the employer before and after the interview.
Also be sure to speak clearly and confidently when you introduce yourself and make eye contact with your interviewers. Listen carefully to instructions and the questions being asked. When responding, do not interrupt when someone is talking and face the speaker directly.
Many interviewers will end the interview by giving you a chance to ask questions. Take full advantage of this opportunity to fill in any blanks about the company or position. Prepare your questions in advance, think them over carefully, and be sure they are appropriate. A few examples of questions you could ask are:
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Can you explain what a typical work day, or week, looks like in this role?
- Are there opportunities for growth within the company? If so, what would that progression look like?
- How would you describe the ideal candidate?
- Can you describe the company culture?
- What would you say the company is most proud of accomplishing this fiscal year?
- What would next steps in this interview process look like?
- What is your timeline for making a decision?
Once the interview is complete, be sure to thank the interviewers for their time and consideration. This is also a great opportunity to restate your strengths and experience that would make you a great fit for the position.
Be sure to offer a friendly smile and a handshake to each interviewer on your way out.
Be sure to send a follow up email within 24 hours of your interview to thank them for their time and consideration. Reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm in the position and provide a specific example of why and how you would be a good fit.
If you have not heard from the company within a week of their stated timeline, send a second, shorter email to follow up. In this email, state that you are still very interested in the position and are hoping to get an update on the timeline for next steps that they could share with you.
If you did not get the job, ask for feedback. You can politely ask why you didn't get the job and if they would be open to discussing so with you. Any feedback provided can help you to see the situation more realistically and help you learn what you can improve moving forward.
The job hunt can be a long and challenging process, and the work is not done once you are asked in for an interview. Following these tips can help you put your best foot forward and land the job you want.
Looking for your next big opportunity? Be sure to check out our career page for available postings from across Western Canada.