Before a job interview, you should know the ins and outs of why you want to work for the company and why your experience makes you a perfect fit for the role. You should also know how to answer interview questions in the most effective manner.
Believe it or not, your communication style and how to present information is just as important as the information itself.
While you may think that answering “yes” or “no” is sufficient, your interview is not an interrogation and should feel much more like a conversation. Even if you’re not asked for a specific example, offer one whenever you can. It shows that you understand what the interviewer is asking and creates a great opportunity to highlight key aspects of your work history that prove you’re a good fit!
For example, if you’re asked the question, “How do you handle stress?” You could say, “Very well, I thrive on it as long as I can manage it. The quality of my work seems to be elevated by stress because I think it pushes me to my limits.”
That’s a fine answer. BUT consider adding the following…“Once I had three projects due the same day and one was very delayed because of another department. I stayed up all night to do the research they were supposed to do and created graphics on their behalf. In the end, those were the best graphics I’ve ever created.” Your interviewer will have a deeper understanding of how you actually handle stress, as well as gain insight into your level of commitment to getting the job done.
There are times you’ll be asked behavior-based questions related to how you handled specific situations, like a difficult negotiation with a client and how you ultimately persuaded them to agree to your terms.
Behavior-based questions require a very clear, 3-part answer:
1. Set the scene by giving one or two sentences on the background of the situation.
2. Clearly and concisely define the obstacle you had to overcome and the action you took to remedy the situation. Again one to two sentences.
3. One sentence on the outcome or ensuing result of your actions that shows you as the hero.
Keep in mind, the interviewer doesn’t need every little detail. The cliff-notes version, including the most essential elements, is all that is needed for someone to fully understand the situation and how you ended up coming out on top!
Don’t overlook the importance of practicing your communication. Being in control of not only what you say but how you say it will go a long way toward making a lasting impression.