Today’s post is about interviews. I am going to give you two quick tips to use today to help you prepare for your next interview.

Depending on who you ask, interviews can be either extremely intimidating and a waste of time or they can be a lot of fun and a great way to showcase your personality and your skills. 

I used to struggle with interviews, and even now, I was really surprised when I found myself getting nervous during an interview. It happens. I still got the job offer. 

Okay, let’s begin.

Tip #1: Write out your answers

So what I found has worked best for me for the past 10 years is preparing in advance for the interview. Instead of trying to come up with answers on the spot, I wrote down my answers ahead of time and practiced saying them. This works very well since we know that most interviews a similar pattern. The very first question is always something along lines of “tell me about yourself.” We also know that other common questions include “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “What do you know about our company?”, “Why do you want to work here?, “Why should we hire you?”, etc 

What’s great about writing down your answers, is that not only can you take the time to think about how to best answer these interview questions, but you can take the time to test out different answers, or different word choices. Maybe you can find a different adjective to describe yourself, that sounds better than your original answer. You can also take advantage of apps like Grammarly to check your word and sentence structure, so you can be confident you are speaking correctly.

Finally, you can also take your notes with you into an interview and refer back to them for guidance, just like how you would use a teleprompter if you were on stage. This way, you don’t have to memorize what your answers are. Instead, you can refer to your notes to help you answer the questions.

Tip #2: Focus on staying positive

What does that even mean? It means that every time you answer a question, you need to focus on answering the question with a good outcome. Even when the question itself is negative, or bad. 

A good example is “Tell me about your weaknesses”. How do you answer this question while presenting yourself as a good candidate? I have a different few ideas about to address this. One of the easiest ways is to show what you are currently doing to work on your weaknesses. 

One of my go-to answers to this question is “My weakness has been organization. I’ve noticed that I tend to focus on getting my current tasks done accurately and quickly, at the expense of not doing a good job of keeping my work organized when it is finished. The consequence of that is sometimes I need to refer to some older emails, and it takes me extra time to locate these emails. What I’ve been doing to work on this is to create separate folders in Outlook to store all my emails for a project, so when I need to locate emails for an older project, I can search the respective folder.”

Every single one of your answers is an opportunity to further sell the employer why you are the best fit for that job, that team, and that company. 

Thank you. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it helps you prepare for your next interview.