So many employers say they’re looking for employees with strong communication and critical thinking skills. And you probably have those listed on your resume. But you’ll have to prove to an employer during an interview that you know your stuff.
Want to know how to impress them with your ability to think fast on your feet? Here are four great tips:
To be ready to deliver a quick response about your background during an interview, review your resume. For each of the main projects you worked on, put together a brief summary of skills you used and results you achieved. This way, you’ll have a quick, ready response about your background when asked during an interview. Then research the company. Visit their website and make note of their products and key marketing strategies. Review the description of the job, then work out a way to align your skills and accomplishments to it. This way, you’ll be ready to discuss how you can benefit the company at the interview.
You can expect the interviewer to ask questions about how you handle difficult situations, so teach yourself how to answer them easily. Look up some common interview questions and figure out your answers so you can respond quickly—and well—at the interview. To help you formulate your answers, use what is known as the “STAR” method, an acronym for situation, task, action and result. Explain the situation, what you needed to do to resolve it, the actions you took and how it all ended up.
At some point in the interview, employers will give you the opportunity to ask questions, and you’d better have some. It shows you’re interested in the position and the company. Prepare a list of questions including some about specific projects and with whom you would be working if you got the job. Ask what software programs the company uses, what criteria they use to evaluate employee performance and what your first priority would be if you got the job.
Just like when you try out for a sports team, a play or any other kind of performance activity, the best way to get better is to practice. And you can sharpen your ability to think fast during interviews by practicing. Ask a spouse or friend to do a mock interview with you. Have them ask your list of difficult questions so you can practice your answers. Practice discussing your past projects succinctly. Practice talking to the mirror so you can see how you come across. The more familiar you become with what you want to say during an interview, the quicker you’ll think and respond when you’re actually in one.
If you’re still feeling unsure about interviewing, consider contacting our recruiting team here at Smith Hanley. We’ll work with you to find just the right job, and help you prepare for your interview.