If you’re like most job seekers, you dread interviewing for jobs. You may even dread them so much, you almost wish you didn’t land interviews at all. You need help with smart job interviewing.
In an effort to make these challenging experiences easier for you, I’ve compiled some advice from various job search and career experts.
Smart Job Interviewing Tips from Job Search and Career Experts
Best Answers to the WORST Job Interview Questions
You probably know about the typical job interview questions you can expect to be asked, and which ones you should prepare for, like “Tell me about yourself“, “What is your greatest weakness?” and “What are your salary expectations?
But what about the wacky questions that come out of left field? In a LinkedIn article, Sarah Johnston notes some real life examples according to Glassdoor:
- “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?” Whole Foods Market
- “What would the name of your debut album be?” Urban Outfitters
- “How many basketballs would fit in this room?” Delta Air Lines
What Employers Talk About After the Job Interview
Biron Clark reveals in an article on Job-Hunt.org:
“what employers talk about ‘behind the scenes’ after your interview and how they really decide who to hire, so you can give better answers, feel more confident, and get more job offers.”
He lays out 7 topics employers discuss once you’ve left, including:
- Are you open-minded and easy to work with?
- Do you want this job? Will you enjoy the job and stay?
- Were you consistent with your answers and explanations?
- How is your mental toughness?
Overcoming Bias in the Interview
Regarding structured vs. unstructured interviews, Dorothy Dalton suggests in a LinkedIn article:
“Structured interviews with data driven questioning and assessment are being touted as the “new” way forward in selection processes to avoid unconscious bias, especially in relation to gender bias.”
Today, most interviewers adopt a fairly relaxed approach to interviewing. There is a strong preference for what seems like casual questioning about the candidate’s background and experience.
But although unstructured interviews are perceived to be the most effective from a hiring manager perspective, research suggests that they are one of the worst predictors of on-the-job performance. They are considered to be less reliable than general psychometric testing and personality tests which can be as much as 85% reliable.”
Phone Interview Mistakes
Hannah Morgan asks in an article on her CareerSherpa.net blog, if you would know how to handle this common scenario:
“Out of the blue, your phone rings. It’s someone from a company you supposedly applied to but you didn’t catch the company name or the job title.
a) Fake it and pretend you know about the job.
b) Ask for more details about the job.
c) Stop the conversation and explain you missed the company name and job title while you search for the cover letter and resume you sent.
The answer is c. But how many times were you tempted to go with answer a?”
She zeroes in on 7 phone interview mistakes many people make, including:
- Saying “What job is this again?”
- Talking loudly to drown out the police sirens
- Getting surprised by a video interview
- Responding poorly to the “Tell me about yourself” query
Smart Job Interviewing to Ace and Brand Your Interviews
I’ve put together a start-to-finish walk through an interview, starting with what to do BEFORE you walk into the interview:
- Conduct in depth research on your target industry
- Dive into company research
- Research the interviewer(s)
Then I move into ways to break the ice at the beginning of the interview, and how to brand the interview so they’ll know what differentiates you from the rest.
You’ll find tips to use storytelling to reinforce your brand and unique value, along with which questions you can expect them to ask.
Finally, I provide some of the questions YOU should ask, to determine if the company will be a mutual good fit.