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November 15, 2019

Stand Out with These Interviews Tips

You have been applying to jobs, and you were just invited to interview. Congratulations on making the next step! Now the interview jitters are kicking in, but don’t worry. We’re here to help. Whether it be an interview with a hiring manager or recruiter, phone or in-person, thoroughly preparing for an interview can help you stand out and be a top candidate. Be ready to tackle your next interview with these tips.

Know Your Audience
Know who you are interviewing with and how the context of your answers and questions can affect the interview. Don’t just stick with preparing for generic interview questions. If you are speaking with a recruiter, avoid questions about the position and team goals. If you are talking to the hiring manager, avoid basic skills questions since they have a sense of your qualifications. Remember, people generally enjoy talking about things they can relate to and can confidently answer, so find ways to connect beyond asking standard questions.

Show Your Personality
While you may be inclined to only talk about the position and skills, many interviews revolve around whether you would be a good culture fit for the organization. Be sure to research your interviewers and the organization. If you are interviewing with the hiring manager, look at their LinkedIn profile to see if you have similar interests. If you are doing a panel interview, be ready for STAR method questions that involve team building and interactions, and find ways to connect.

Create a Cheat Sheet 
Prepare for an in-person or over-the-phone interview by creating a cheat sheet with the top bullet points you want to sell about yourself. For your top bullet points, use this as an opportunity to find ways you can stand out from the rest of the candidate pool. Refer to these bullet points throughout the interview and highlight your strengths. Research who you are interviewing on LinkedIn and find ways to relate professionally. Did they post any interesting articles? Do you have the same alma mater? Find ways to connect to show you were prepared and can relate with your potential teammates.  

Practice Your Answers While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, it is something that should not be overlooked. Be sure to practice your answers out loud many times and with friends and family. Pay attention to your voice. How does the tone sound? Are you speaking too fast? Make sure you sound natural and not rehearsed. If your interview is first thing in the morning, try watching a vocal warm-up video online and sound alert.

Looking for more guidance on interviewing? Make an appointment with Career Services Advisor Megan Pritchett. Students can make an appointment by logging into their Pioneer Careers account, then clicking on the Appointments tab. Appointments can be in-person on the DU campus, over the phone, or using Zoom video conferencing.

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