You’ve spent hours researching the company, gathering your references, and choosing the right outfit. Don’t let your dream job slip away by making one of the biggest interview mistakes.
Getting the interview was half the battle. Now you’ve got to make the best impression you can.
Navigating an interview is a bit of an art form, and anyone can get better with practice. In fact, we recommend having a friend ask you possible questions to help you prepare. When the interviewer asks you something open-ended, like “Tell me about yourself,” you’ll be ready to take advantage of the chance to communicate what would make you a great employee.
While this question is pretty vague, it’s actually a great opportunity to talk about yourself. When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, it’s a way to break the ice and get to know your personality a bit better— something that’s hard to communicate on a resume. So how do you know which information about yourself to share, and what pitfalls to avoid?
Here’s what we recommend:
Start With Something Personal
You and your interviewer both have the same goal, and that is to build rapport. This question gives you time to share something about yourself that is not on your resume. In other words, it’s a way for you to be a human, and not just an employee. The key is to share something personal that helps showcase your strengths and skills. For example, you could mention your love of chess. This highlights your ability to strategize, analyze, and focus. You may love long-distance running, which is a great indicator of the energy you put toward achieving challenging goals but try to avoid getting overly personal. There is no need to mention family members or religious or political affiliations.
Tip: Avoid giving too many details, remember this is not your life story.
Transition to Your Key Professional Skills
After you’ve shared one or two of your hobbies, it’s time to talk about your professional strengths. Before your interview, make a list of the skills you offer and be sure they align with the job description. Choose your top three skills to share in your interview.
When sharing a skill, illustrate how you have leveraged it in the workplace. For example, if you have excellent presentation skills, you may mention that it has helped you generate leads and sales. Tip: Avoid rattling off a list of skills without balancing them with three-dimensional details.
End With What You Love About the Company
All employers want to hire people who want to work for them. End your answer by mentioning what excites you about working for the company. Are they a leader in a particular field or industry? Are they active in charitable pursuits? Do you know someone who loves working for them? Always end with enthusiasm.
Tip: Avoid jumping into a detailed conversation about the role you are interviewing for (or how it would benefit you).
Put Your Best Foot Forward
If you’re wondering how to prepare for an interview with a staffing agency, the same recommendations apply! Check out these interview etiquette tips on our website, as well. To learn more about how to excel at your job interview or to find the right career for you, contact a recruiter at Apex Staffing today. For more information, call (877) 803-3910.