You finally landed the interview you’ve been hoping for. Now it’s time to do your homework. Most interviews follow a fairly standard format, which means you can prepare to help ensure you make a good impression.
Research your potential employer. This is a simple step, but it’s imperative that you understand the company you want a job with, the business they’re in, and what role you will have in the company. Common questions like, “Why do you want to work for XYZ Incorporated,” are nearly impossible to answer confidently if you don’t understand the business you’re hoping will hire you.
Know what makes you valuable. You should review your resume prior to the interview and know what elements of previous positions you held or subjects you studied relate specifically to this job. Be ready to tell the hiring manager exactly what you bring to the table. If you need some help, check out our guide to creating an effective elevator pitch.
Get ready to be a STAR. Many interview questions will begin with a phrase like, “Tell me about a time when . . .” These questions are designed to not only understand your accomplishments, but also how you go about solving problems and behave in difficult situations. You may be asked about a time when you worked with a difficult coworker, encountered problems in a project, or set a goal and achieved it. In each case, they are looking for a STAR Response:
Situation – Describe a specific situation or problem you were faced with, not just general ideas about how to solve a problem. You can discuss a scenario from a previous job, volunteer experience, or school.
Task – List what tasks you determined were needed to deal with the situation or complete your assignment.
Action – Describe what actions you took to complete these tasks.
Results – How was the challenge resolved? Did you meet your goals? Maybe you didn’t, and that’s okay; that ability to learn from experience is an important trait for any employee, and not every project in your career will be a complete success. What you learned can be just as important as the results.
Have questions. You will always be presented with the chance to ask questions about the position or the company. You might ask about what skills they’re looking for, or how they view this position growing in the future. Ask anything that will show you’re interested in the job and well-informed. That said, don’t ask about salary in your first interview. While this custom may vary from country to country, or by industry, salary negotiations typically come in a later interview or conversation.
Got another interview tip, or an especially difficult interview question you had to answer? Share it below. Ready to put these tips into practice? Check out our open opportunities at www.accenture/careers to land your next interview.