There’s no denying it — interviews are hard, particularly because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Mock interviews are a great way to practice, but when it comes down to it, there’s no way to know exactly what you’ll be asked in an interview. That’s why, no matter what question you’re asked, these do’s and don’ts will help you answer it.
- Research the job and company beforehand.
- Conduct a practice interview.
- Listen closely to your interviewer. While this may sound like a no-brainer, it can be easy to daydream or get distracted during especially long interviews.
- Take a breath before answering each question.
- Give examples. When answering questions, don’t answer in hypotheticals. Instead, give concrete examples of how you handled situations related to the question.
- Head in to the interview with key points. Having a few key points in the back of your mind will help you focus your answer, should you get stuck.
- Respond positively. Even if the question is something like, “What troubles do you think you’ll come across in this job?” keep a positive spin on it.
- Ask questions back. Nearly every interview ends with, “Do you have any questions for us?” The questions you ask are just as important as the answers you gave, so make sure to have a few questions prepared before going in.
- Be afraid to ask for clarification. If you’re not sure what the interviewer is asking of you, ask them to clarify.
- Ramble. Try to keep your answers concise and on message.
- Be impulsive. Interviewers know that you’re thinking of these answers on the spot, so it’s okay to take a second or two to come up with an answer in your head.
- Be afraid to brag. The point of an interview is to show off your skills and expertise, so don’t be shy when talking about yourself.
- Go in with your cell phone on. Even silenced phones can begin to vibrate or go off during an interview, so it’s best to turn your phone off altogether.
- Lie! While this may seem obvious, it can be tempting to exaggerate certain aspects of your qualifications.
Are you looking to navigate your path to success? Debra Solomon of Spectrum Strategies helps young adults with autism and other learning challenges improve time management and organizational skills and guides them toward personal and professional goals by breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Her coaching is geared to facilitating the transition from school to college or employment. For more information and fees, call Debra at (516) 510-7637.