Just saying you possess these talents is the equivalent of stating you know the latest programming language or close multi-million dollar deals. Without some proof substantiating those claims, they're just words -- until you tell a story around them. When you talk about your experience, you should tell stories that convey the details of your past accomplishments and projects:. These stories are what builds your credibility that you have the specific qualifications for the job.
Look at the job description and the qualifications for the soft skills needed -- even add others you know are valuable in the role. Then, think about some of the everyday activities in which you participated or led. Many of the meetings, conflicts, late nights, trouble-shooting, and brainstorming sessions contain the soft skills the employer needs. The way to share your ability in these areas is to weave short examples into the bigger story you are telling about the project or challenge. Matter-of-factly talk about a situation during the project where many of these attributes had to be leveraged.
The team could not agree on the direction to take. We had three different ideas. Since it was two weeks longer than the original plan, I communicated to management the required scheduled slippage, but also the reasoning and justification for the delay. For example, I persuaded an entire group to And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job — including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn't think you're really, really interested in the job, he or she won't give you an offer — no matter how good you are!
Anticipate the interviewer's concerns and reservations. There are always more candidates for positions than there are openings.
So interviewers look for ways to screen people out. Then prepare your defense: But you should know that [reason the interviewer shouldn't be overly concerned]. Prepare for common interview questions. Every "how to interview" book has a list of a hundred or more "common interview questions. So how do you prepare? Pick any list and think about which questions you're most likely to encounter, given your age and status about to graduate, looking for a summer internship. Then prepare your answers so you won't have to fumble for them during the actual interview.
Line up your questions for the interviewer. Come to the interview with some intelligent questions for the interviewer that demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent.
Interviewers always ask if you have any questions, and no matter what, you should have one or two ready. If you say, "No, not really," he or she may conclude that you're not all that interested in the job or the company. A good all-purpose question is, "If you could design the ideal candidate for this position from the ground up, what would he or she be like?
If you're having a series of interviews with the same company, you can use some of your prepared questions with each person you meet for example, "What do you think is the best thing about working here? It's one thing to come prepared with a mental answer to a question like, "Why should we hire you? The first time you try it, you'll sound garbled and confused, no matter how clear your thoughts are in your own mind!
Do it another 10 times, and you'll sound a lot smoother and more articulate. But you shouldn't do your practicing when you're "on stage" with a recruiter; rehearse before you go to the interview. The best way to rehearse? Get two friends and practice interviewing each other in a "round robin": Another idea but definitely second-best is to tape record your answer and then play it back to see where you need to improve.
Whatever you do, make sure your practice consists of speaking aloud.
Rehearsing your answer in your mind won't cut it. Score a success in the first five minutes. Some studies indicate that interviewers make up their minds about candidates in the first five minutes of the interview — and then spend the rest of the interview looking for things to confirm that decision! So what can you do in those five minutes to get through the gate?
Come in with energy and enthusiasm, and express your appreciation for the interviewer's time. She may be seeing a lot of other candidates that day and may be tired from the flight in. So bring in that energy!
Also, start off with a positive comment about the company — something like, "I've really been looking forward to this meeting [not "interview"]. I think [the company] is doing great work in [a particular field or project], and I'm really excited by the prospect of being able to contribute. Get on the same side as the interviewer. Many interviewers view job interviews as adversarial: Candidates are going to try to pry an offer out of the interviewer, and the interviewer's job is to hold onto it.
Your job is to transform this "tug of war" into a relationship in which you're both on the same side. You could say something as simple as, "I'm happy to have the chance to learn more about your company and to let you learn more about me, so we can see if this is going to be a good match or not. I always think that the worst thing that can happen is to be hired into a job that's wrong for you — then nobody's happy! Be assertive and take responsibility for the interview.
You are admitting you have some growth opportunities and are not perfect. But you can include that you already have a plan to overcome this weakness through training or practice. But, be sure to quickly follow with a serious answer. Showing you have a lighter side is usually a good thing. What Is Your Greatest Strength? What Is Your Greatest Weakness? You must keep your guard up until you are in your car and driving away from the interview.
If you are currently employed, you should be honest about the start date and show professionalism.
You should tell them you would have to discuss a transition with your current company to see if they require a two-week notice or some other timing. If you currently have a critical role, your potential new employer would expect a transition period. Sense of urgency and excitement about starting work at the new company is always a good thing. When Can You Start? You may have found the opportunity through research on ideal jobs where you can make the most impact and hope to grow professionally. I would also hope you looked for companies that you feel meet your standards for corporate culture, investment in employees, successful business model or perhaps giving back to community , and any other aspects you feel are important to you.
In that case, you can say you were contacted by HR or a recruiter who felt you were a good fit. Although, if the reason is about money, location, work schedule, benefits, and other factors not tied to actual role, you may want to think a little more about your answer. None of those reasons are important to the hiring manager. Be prepared to answer that with your rationale for how this job meets your professional needs and how you can contribute at your highest potential while in this role.
People want to feel like their work means something. There is nothing wrong with sharing that feeling in a thoughtful way. Obviously, if you say you hate your current boss or company, the interviewer will naturally believe you will hate them eventually.
And, if you say, your current compensation or role is below your standards, they will again assume the worst. Although these may be legitimate reasons to leave a job, there must be other reasons, too. Do you see a pattern here? Highlight a reason that the hiring manager cannot be concerned about.
Of course, if you have an issue that is very important to you that could be a deal-breaker like company culture , you can mention it. Just be prepared for them to take one extreme or the other.
For example, maybe you only want to work for companies that buy from vendors in your home country. The hiring manager will let you know if their company does this. The key to answering this question is to keep it short. After You Quit, How to Answer: This is another danger zone.
This is not the time for defending yourself with a long story about you being the victim.