Preparing for an interview can be stressful because there are many unknown factors. So, to lower stress, focus on areas that you can control. Start with interview questions that are easy to anticipate and prepare answers before the interview.
Tell Me About Yourself.
Yes, this question will likely be asked, and it can make or break the interview discussion. Your response to the question will create a first impression and an interview tone. Use the opportunity to provide a response that focuses on your areas of expertise. Keep the answer brief, highlight your value, and highlight some of your expertise.
“I recently moved to Colorado from California. For the past five years of my career, I’ve led high-performing software teams ranging from five to thirty technical staff by planning, scheduling outlining project goals, assigning responsibilities, conducting weekly team meetings, resolving issues, and monitoring results. Last year my team contributed $5 million in unexpected revenue by implementing a solution that boosted productivity. In addition to my career, I enjoy outdoor activities like skiing and hiking with my wife and two kids.”
Why Should We Hire You?
This is a question most employers want to ask, and it may be approached in a direct or indirect way using behavioral questions such as “tell about a time when….” The best way to prepare your answer can be creating a few challenges, actions, and results (CAR) stories to convey relevant information. CAR stories provide a structured way to discuss experience and contributions.
“The team had to deliver a robust database solution in five days using SQL and Access. I started by gathering 275+ spreadsheets then I worked with my three colleagues to identify common fields and together we created a master database in SQL with an Access user interface. The project was delivered in four days, and the original database we created is still in use after two years.”
Your Turn To Ask
Ask hiring managers questions to decide if a job is what you want. Be sure to research the organization before an interview to avoid asking questions that may be answered on the organization’s website.
“What have been the two biggest team challenges this year?”
“What is the department priority for this quarter?”
“How do you and the team communicate—email, scheduled meetings, text?”
“In this position, what are the three most immediate needs/challenges?”
Refrain from asking self-serving questions about salary or vacation time.
Close all interview meetings by thanking the interviewer for her or his time. Then express your interest in the opportunity.
“Thank you again for your time today. After this meeting, I am even more excited about this job because my digital marketing experience could provide helpful insights for the marketing team.”
Interviewing without preparation is a recipe for disaster and will increase your stress. If you need interview assistance, contact me, and we can discuss options.