How To Master A Job Interview

Every candidate wants to make a great impression in a job interview. Making thoughtful job interview preparations can help you achieve your goal: landing your dream job. However, although there are many incredible opportunities in today’s job market, there are also new challenges to interviewing. First among them is learning the art of the virtual interview. 

How To Prepare For A Virtual Interview

Many virtual job interview tips are the same as traditional job interview tips. For every interview you should: 

Research The Company

Browse the company’s website to learn about its accomplishments, values, goals, and mission. Check out its social media profiles and see if there are any new developments or current company events. Knowing basic facts about the company will show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework and potentially give you the information you can use to tie your own goals and values into the mission of the company. 

Research Your Interviewer

It never hurt to know a little about the person interviewing you. After all, they are likely to have read your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles. Learning who is interviewing you can help you make a personal connection or find a topic of common interest to break the ice. 

Practice Answering Common Job Interview Questions

Research commonly asked interview questions and plan your responses. Then practice looking in a mirror and answering them aloud or recording yourself on your phone. Practicing can help you discover ways to bring your message across more effectively. 

With the arrival of the pandemic, job interviews moved online, and job seekers needed to learn new interview skills. Here are a few virtual job interview tips: 

Test Your Technology in Advance of Your Interview

Two minutes before your job interview is the worst time to have technical difficulties. Test your microphone. Locate the mute button. Find your charger cord. If possible, do a trial run on the interview platform with a friend. Do everything you can to ensure you are prepared for your job interview. 

Ensure You Have A Professional Space

Check the background of your video to make sure there’s nothing unprofessional behind you. Consider arranging an attractive and professional-looking setting for yourself. 

Get Dressed

Just because it’s a virtual interview doesn’t mean you can dress casually. Dress as you would for a traditional, in-person interview.  

Log on Early

Be ready and waiting when your interviewer logs on for your meeting. Being early will give them a preview of your great work ethic. 

Interview With A Professional Staffing Agency 

Partnering with a professional recruiting agency like CTR can have key advantages. Temporary agencies and temp-to-hire agencies provide help through the job search process by connecting you with potential employers who are a good match for your skills. Temp agencies often require job seekers to first interview with the staffing agency to ensure they are a good fit for the staffing firm. This also gives them the chance to assess your interviewing skills and offer coaching where needed. This coaching and skills assessment can help you land temporary jobs with their client partners. Contact CTR to schedule an interview. 

Common Job Interview Questions (…And Tips For Answering Them)

Improve your chances of interview success by preparing answers to commonly asked interview questions like these. 

Tell Me About Yourself

Use this as an opportunity to give a concise and compelling pitch for why you are the right candidate for the role. 

Tell Me About A Time Something Went Wrong At Work

Avoid using this as an excuse to vent or complain about your previous employer, but be honest. Share an experience where you helped reach a good resolution or learned something from the conflict. 

What Are Your Greatest Strengths?

If possible, tie your strengths into the job description or use this as an opportunity to list a few things that make you a strong candidate. 

What Are Some of Your Weaknesses?

The best answers show that you are aware that you aren’t perfect and are working to improve.  

Why Do You Want This Job?

Identify a few key reasons you are right for the role, and then share why you would enjoy working for the company. 

Close The Interview By Asking Great Questions

When you prepare for an interview, you must do more than make sure you’ve planned answers to commonly asked questions. It would be best if you also had some questions about key topics that pertain to the company and the job. Asking questions shows your interviewer that you have a high degree of interest in the role and great critical thinking skills. Asking great questions is also an excellent way to stand out to recruiters at temporary agencies, who interview many candidates each day. 

Consider preparing questions on these topics: 

The Job. Use the job description as a jumping-off point to form some additional questions about the role. Examples could include: 

  • Tell me about a typical week in this position.  
  • What would you say is the most challenging part of this job?  
  • Why is this position vacant?  

The Company. Since you’ve likely read the company’s “About” page on the website, ask more detailed questions like: 

  • Where do you see the company in the next few years? 
  • Are there any new programs or products coming down the pike in the near future? 
  • What is the company’s current goal and how does the team help support it? 

Training and Development. Asking about a career path in the company shows that you’re willing to stick around, a very desirable trait in top employees. Show you’d like to invest yourself in the role by asking questions like this: 

  • What are the possibilities for advancement in the future?  
  • What training or continuing education is available to employees? 
  • Are there any workshops or classes I can take to help with my professional development? 

Performance Evaluation. Understanding how your team measures success is a good way to understand the goals of the department and the company. Consider asking: 

  • What are the most critical milestones for new employees to hit in their first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job? 
  • Is there a formal performance review process? 
  • What are my key performance indicators? 

Your Interviewer. Build a connection with your interviewer by asking about their experience with the company. Ask them things like: 

  • How long have you been with the company? 
  • What was your starting position?  
  • Have you been promoted? 

The Team and Company Culture. The people you work with each day and the environment in which you work can have a huge impact on your happiness, productivity, and job satisfaction. Think about how you perform best and ask questions that will help you understand the workplace. For example: 

  • What do you personally like most and least about the company culture?  
  • How would you describe the work environment? 
  • What is the management style of this team’s leader?  
  • Can you tell me more about the team I might be working with? 

Next Steps. Asking about the next steps in the employment process shows that you’re on the ball and eager to get started. Make sure your interviewer has all the information they require from you and that you know how to contact them if you have any additional questions. As the interview draws to a close, it’s appropriate to ask questions like: 

  • If I am offered the job, when would you like me to start?  
  • Do you have a timeframe for making a hiring decision? 

Follow Up Like a Pro

Congratulations on completing your job interview! Now comes the hard part: waiting to hear from the recruiter. You’re likely pursuing other opportunities while you wait, but it’s also important to follow up. Here are a few things you can do to show professionalism, dedication, and big-picture thinking. 

  • Write a thank-you note. Stand out to interviewers and recruiters and leave an excellent impression by mailing or emailing a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. Make sure you include everyone with whom you interviewed. You never know who might be making the hiring decision. 
  • Check-in. Hopefully, you asked about the timeframe for a hiring decision at the conclusion of your interview. After that time has passed, it’s appropriate to send a polite query expressing your continued interest in the position. 
  • Add the company to your network. Sometimes you don’t get the hoped-for news, and you aren’t offered the position. In that case, you can still gain from the experience by adding the company to your professional network. Engage with their posts on social media, connect with them on LinkedIn, and follow them wherever appropriate. Stay engaged and professional, and a future opportunity might appear in your newsfeed. 

Work With A Professional Staffing and Recruiting Agency

A staffing firm can connect you with exceptional opportunities that are a great match for your skills and interests. In some cases, temp jobs can lead to a permanent position with a company you love. In other cases, short-term contract jobs can lead to exposure to many different industries and help you find a new career path. Working with a professional staffing agency can help you quickly build professional skills, including your interviewing skills.  

CTR Group is a full-service staffing firm that has been in business for over 30 years. For more information and the latest news on working with CTR, contact us today. 

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