Are you getting ready to enter the working world and still have a lot of questions about how to actually do it? Never fear, because Metiza has created the Women at Work Series, a collection of helpful articles about the working world and how you can enter it confidently. Let’s get to work!
You created the perfect resume, sent in your application, and got a call asking for an interview! An interview, especially the first one, is a very important step in the job hunting process because it’s your first time interacting face to face with someone from the company (who could potentially be your boss). If you’ve never had an interview, they usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, can be in person or through phone or Skype, and consist of a variety of questions asked from an HR personnel or your potential direct manager or both.
One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to practice. Lucky for you, interview questions tend to be pretty standardized, and some of the most common questions have a specific way to be answered.
There are a few types of interview questions, like verification, behavioral, competency, and case.
Verification questions are basically just trying to verify what you have on your resume. So questions like “what were your responsibilities at ___” and “when will you graduate” fall into this category.
Behavioral questions are becoming more and more popular because they highlight a time when you had to act a certain way. Questions like “tell me about a time” fall into this category. You should use the STAR method when answering these types of questions.
Competency questions are pretty similar to behavioral questions, but they focus more on what skills are needed for the position. You could be asked “can you give me an example of your leadership skills”.
Case questions, or brainteasers, are questions that test your reasoning. So you could be asked “how many cans of soda are consumed on a Friday night in New York” or “why is the pizza round but the box is square”. There really isn’t a right answer here…just think out loud to show your process.
Like your resume, make sure your answers are targeting the job you are interviewing for.
Nailing an interview comes from being prepared. Before your interview, make sure you have done some research on the company and who is interviewing you. Plan your outfit the night before. Prepare your own questions for the interviewers. Bring a pen, some paper, and copies of your resume with you (and arrive at least 15 minutes early). And of course, practice your answers to the potential questions.
Just like in your resume, never lie in an interview. You will get caught. It will be bad. Also, don’t ever talk poorly about your past employers.
Always, always, always send a thank you note as a follow up. It doesn’t have to be a physical note, but it can be an email. You should thank the interviewer for their time within 24 hours after the interview. You can keep it short: greet them, thank them for their time, mention something you talked about in the interview (making it personal), reaffirm your interest in the position, and sign off.
Be on the lookout for more articles from the Women at Work Series in the future. Have a question you’d like to see covered with an article? Connect with us or reach out to Sierra on social media.