Interview Tips

So you’ve gotten called for an interview! Congratulations! You’re probably low key freaking out but hey, It’ll be okay! The best thing you can do in an interview is relax, be yourself and be prepared! So let’s get into it!

First things first! You need an outfit! If you’re a muchacha I love a nice pair of slacks, a bright blouse and a tailored suit jacket to match your pants. I’d pair this look with a pair of flats and a chunky statement piece necklace! You want to make sure you’re wearing something you feel comfortable in and that also looks appropriate. No low cut shirts, no flip-flops, no low riding pants, no bare midriff. I have seen some dresses that look nice for interviewing, I however do not feel comfortable in a dress so that’s not the route that I take.

If you’re an hombre always wear a suit and tie! This might not be applicable for some jobs, but most jobs you will want to wear a nice pair of slacks, a dress shirt, jacket and a tie. This look can be dressed up or down as much as you think is right for the position. You don’t have to wear a tuxedo, but you need to show the interviewer that you are serious.

It’s important to show confidence during your interview. You want to introduce yourself, shake the interviewers hand and thank them for meeting with you. You want to show good eye contact, but not TOO much eye contact! You want to smile and seem interested and present at all times during the interview. Do not fidget too much as this is a tip off that you are uncomfortable. If you need to move a little, try talking with your hands but don’t go crazy!

Here are a few standard interview questions and how to answer them …

Tell me about yourself. This question is not asking about your life story. Don’t mention anything about your personal or family life. You want to tell your professional work story. Talk about your past roles. State the company name, your title, the number of years you were in your role and your major responsibilities. You want to make your mini stories achievement oriented. For example you could say something like, “in that role a major accomplishment I am most proud of was…” Also tell the employer what you know about the role in which you are applying. You can say something like, “I understand that for this position your hiring for, you’re looking for someone with (blank skills.)” Here you can list the skills required for the position and how you are equipped for the job. You want to spell out, plain as day to the interviewer why you’re the right fit for the job.

A question that I’ve always struggled with is, what are your weaknesses? Your weakness is not a personality trait and it isn’t a strength in disguise. A true weakness is an issue or concern that occurs in a certain context that you have improved on and continue to improve on. The weakness should be in a specific context so it doesn’t seem like you do it all the time. I suggest making a list of your weaknesses then highlight the ones that only occur in a certain context or situation. Pick one weakness and develop a story for the weakness. For example, “in situations where I had to juggle multiple projects in the past I would feel overwhelmed, but at my current role this is something that I work on daily and now I am very comfortable multitasking.”

Another standard interview question is, where do you see yourself in five years? This is a two part answer: In the first 2-3 years you want to explain that you see yourself becoming an expert at that particular role in which you are applying. You can state how you plan on really immersing yourself in the position to understand areas that can be improved on, get to know the ins and outs of the business and look for opportunities where you can help improve on things to help the department run as smoothly as possible. The next 2-3 years you can explain how you see yourself as a key individual at the organization and how at that point you would like to extend your expertise and offer your help to other departments, whether it be sales, marketing, etc.

Why did you leave your last job? You should never say anything that would expresses negativity towards your old employer. You should not overload the interviewer with in-depth reasons why you left your old jobs. You also should not lie about why you left your last job. Whatever you say here you should always bring it back to why you’re a good fit for the position in which you are interviewing for.

Always remember, there are two parts to every question – the actual answer and why you’re a good fit for the role.

At the end of the interview you will be asked if YOU have any questions. It’s important to ask questions here so the interviewer knows that your interested. You can ask questions that apply to the actual job or you can ask questions about the benefits. Do ask about the pay, even if it’s a ball park figure. It might feel awkward asking, but it is business and it is important to find out. Your last question should always be, what is the next step in the interview process. You want to know if there are more interviews to follow or if the next call you get you will be you getting a job offer. Also this shows the highest level of interest in the eyes of the interviewer, and that’s what you want.

I hope you found some good tips here and as always, thanks for reading!

– D

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