Entry Level Job Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Whether you are fresh out of college, high school, or just new to the workforce, there are a lot of easy things you can do to make sure your job interview is successful.  While there are vast resources providing a plethora of information, we’ve narrowed a few key items we think will benefit your job interview success.

Preparation is Key

Any interview coach, career coach, resume writer, recruiter, or hiring manager will tell you that in order to be successful, you must be prepared.  The better prepared you are, the more confidently you will be able to speak about the value you bring to the organization.  You will have a better understanding of what will be required of you and you can ask more thoughtful questions to the interviewer.

Know Yourself

One of the keys to being prepared for your job interview is to know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses.  You also will want to be prepared to relate personal or professional experiences to your target job position.  Take a job posting and go bullet by bullet through the description and write down an experience you had that relates to each description, requirement, or qualification.

Write it Down

Don’t skimp on this.  One way to really solidify your understanding of the job and your relatable experience is to actually take the time to write down your strengths and relatable experience.  Getting your mind to work by taking pencil to paper really helps to clarify your thoughts and think out key messages you want to discuss, as well as refine your understanding of what will be required.

Develop Your Key Message

If you want to stand out among the many applicants that are vying for the same job you are, you need to really clarify your key message of value.  This means you need to understand what the hiring organization is looking for and how you are the best fit for that position.  Think of it as an elevator speech; what can you say to the employer in 15-30 seconds that will convince them to hire you?  Think of your message as a hierarchy, start at the top and deliver your bottom line message of value and how you can immediately help the organization.  Then support that statement by backing it up.  For example, “I will increase sales and drive revenue for your organization by using proven sales strategies, communicating effectively with customer and providing world-class customer service.”

Conduct a Mock Interview

Whether you work with a professional interview coach or a friend, you will benefit tremendously by engaging in a mock interview.  While a friend can be a great assistant for this exercise, a professional interview coach will be able to provide you with expert feedback about how you answered the questions and where you can improve.  Having to think through the answers you’ve prepared for, in addition to answering surprise question will be a huge benefit towards preparing for your job interview.  You can find interview questions all over the internet to help.  You may even want to watch some YouTube videos for additional help

Dress Appropriately

Make sure you understand the culture of the organization you are applying for and dress appropriately for the job interview.  If you are interviewing for an entry level banking or finance position, don’t show up in jeans and a polo shirt; slacks and a button up shirt with a tie would be more appropriate.  Dress for the culture.

Conclusion

As we first mentioned preparation is key to ensuring success at your job interview.  The more you prepare the better your chances for success.  Understanding yourself and the position you are after, coupled with practicing interview questions will go a long way.  Good luck!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Tell me about yourself—Ways to answer this interview question

interview questions

This ice-breaking yet important interview question has a way of making candidates blurt out their life stories. But is that what potential employers want to hear?

Original article click here.

It’s one of the most frequently asked interview questions: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.

When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” the interviewer wants information that is pertinent to the job you’re interviewing for.

Eleanor dreaded this question. When it was the first one asked at her interview, she fumbled her way through a vague answer, not focusing on what she could bring to the job.

“I’m happily married and originally from Denver,” she began. “My husband was transferred here three months ago, and I’ve been getting us settled in our new home. I’m now ready to go back to work. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, usually customer service-related. I’m looking for a company that offers growth opportunities.”

The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewer reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long.

  • She’s married, and when her husband gets transferred that means she has to leave; she did it once and can do it again.
  • She has some work experience with customers but didn’t emphasize what she did.
  • She is looking to grow. What about the job she is applying for? Will she stay content for long?

The secret to responding to this free-form request successfully is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Focus

List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave?

Eleanor is strong in communications and connecting with people. She has a strong background and proven success with customer relationships. Her real strength is her follow-through. She prides herself on her reputation for meeting deadlines.

Follow your script

Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success:

“I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in the high tech industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 30 percent increase in sales in a matter of months.”

Next, mention your strengths and abilities:

“My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time.”

Conclude with a statement about your current situation:

“What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales.”

Practice

Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it—you don’t want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational.

Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product—you—the better chance you will have at selling it.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!