5 months ago by Sophia Philippou
Having helped hundreds of people interview here are my seven steps to interview success. Someone smart once said, ''fail to prepare, prepare to fail".
Research - You would be surprised at how many people don't properly research the business they are meeting with, you need a deep dive of not just their web site but also news articles, their social media including LinkedIn and if they are a digital product even sign up as a customer. If its B2C business go through all the possible user / eCommerce journeys and if B2B, book a demo even and see what the response and customer experience is like. This is crucial, I know line managers who will lose interest in the candidate if they haven't signed up for the product!
Behavioural-based / Situational Questions - Behavioural (also called situational questions) come up in most interviews, especially if an HR Manager is present or if it is more a panel style interview. The best way to prepare for these kinds of questions is to WRITE down answers as to each question with a situational example and rehearse these. I mean it, old school, pen and paper, even light a candle or an oil lamp for the occasion to really kick-it old school. The reason is, when you write something down it cements it and will stick in your memory much better. The worst is feeling is walking out of an interview and remembering all the good examples you missed mentioning! At a minimum Interviews will always ask how you deal with conflict and / or how you deal with difficult stakeholders so make sure you have well-prepared answers here. Here is my article with the 55 Most Asked Behavioural Questions.
Back yo'self with Examples & Data - Use examples, stats, data, facts and figures to back up your answers as much as possible. The more evidence and data you can use to explain your successes the stronger you will come across. When candidates are ‘wishy washy’ this does not instil any confidence in the interviewer that you know what you’re talking about. Know your KPIs / OKRs / targets / Measure of Success. If your business didn’t have these set up, think about how you measured ourself to know you were doing a good job.
Why You / Your Elevator Pitch - Businesses want to know why they should hire you over other candidates so make sure you understand the role and what makes you good for it. Hiring Managers may ask:
‘Why should I hire you?’
‘What is it about you that makes you the best person for this role?’
‘What makes you good at your job?’
‘If I hired you what would you plan to deliver in the first 30 days, or the first 90 days’.
You need to show an avid interest in the business, their purpose and the role and how you will be able to add value and have an impact in the business.
Awareness and EQ - Remember to answer questions as succinctly and directly as possible without waffling as this shows a higher level of EQ. Where candidates don’t interview well is when they monologue for 5-10 minutes, not giving the Interviewer any opportunity to ask their own questions. We all know what it feels like when someone speaks AT you, don't be that person in an interview. Ideally, most interviews will be more conversational and a two-way street anyway but sometimes Interviewers will have a set list of questions that have to get through so let them lead.
Ask Questions! - Remember to ask lots of questions, this will show that you are genuinely interested in the business, their mission, the role and the team. People have failed second interviews by not coming prepared with a couple of questions to ask at the end. Keep it board and macro e.g. “what are the growth plans for the business’ or go more detailed into the role ‘e.g. what’s your Design process form concept to delivery?’. Just don’t ask about salary or hours as it’s not a great tone to leave on.
Body Language - And lastly, your body language will shape the perception of the interviewer. People who prime themselves with power poses before they go into an interview, perform better. Here is Amy Cuddy’s video: Your body language may shape who you are. Happy warrior posing!