Getting ready for an interview? Ask questions beforehand!
“One of the things I always tell my candidates is to make sure they know what kind of questions they can expect during an interview,” says Accenture recruiter Jennifer Huelsmann, Recruitment Senior Manager.
What is the best way to do that?
TIP 1: Ask the recruiter what type of information they are looking for and how best to prepare for the interview.
“It’s not about ‘getting the answers to the test,’” explains Jennifer. “It’s like when you’re getting ready for finals and your professor says ‘This is what you’re going to need to know. The recruiter has invited you to interview based on your skills and experience, you just need to prepare for the test.”
Once you know the types of questions you’ll be asked,
TIP 2: Prepare and practice your responses.
The goal of an interview is to allow you to put your best foot forward but when you’re on the spot and nervous, it helps to have thought about what you’ll discuss ahead of time. Think of some examples of the work you’ve done and be specific; reference your previous experience or relevant coursework. Note that different interviews assess different qualifications, so as you advance through the rounds, make sure you keep up with the changing agendas.
Of course, part of being prepared is having questions of your own.
TIP 3: It’s your interview too, prepare your own questions to ask.
Ask the recruiter and interviewer what they like best about their work, what they like least, what would their advice be to those launching their careers,” suggests Jennifer. “Hearing their own personal experiences really gives you the inside view.”
However, as important as it is to discuss your interviews with your recruiter, Jennifer stressed one more piece of advice:
BONUS TIP: “Don’t bug your recruiter too much.”
We know that the interviewing process can be difficult and time-consuming, and that you are eager to hear updates. However when you are tempted to call your recruiter, please keep in mind how many other candidates he or she may be speaking with and try to understand that you will be contacted as soon as possible. Ask when you might hear from your recruiter after the interview and wait to follow up until after that time has passed before calling or emailing.
What are some of your favorite tips? Please share in the comments.