As you are all well aware, we have been for sometime conducting personal sessions with many of you. Particularly in our mock interview & feedback sessions, we can for sure summarize that 90% of the candidates lack concrete structure on how to sell yourself in an interview & make the best use of it. With this blog, we hope to share our thoughts & describe the three major sections or components in an interview.
1. Self Introduction
This is your opportunity to make a first impression to the panel and the content you talk here is totally in your control. You need to take the panel through your life’s journey & explain logically why working for the company is the next best step for you. In this short time frame, you will have to build a great story connecting your milestones & sell yourself (value selling). Make sure you touch upon areas that could be interesting for the employer. Few more tips into how to introduce yourself can be found in our blog here.
This is the most engaging part of an interview process. The interviewer, usually picks up the first question either from your CV / Cover Letter or ask a question from your self introduction. Except few cases (where interviewer genuinely puts you under pressure to see how you handle stress), HR or Hiring Manager is trying to go in depth to understand your qualifications & expertise. Please do not lie. If you do not know anything, accept it. For e.g., IN our mock interview session, a candidate lied about using JIRA in a project. As someone coming from a digital product management background, Hanoc was able to easily identify the same. Similarly Hiring Manager or HR are experts in their field & can easily spot if you are trying to show expertise that you do not posses.
In the discussion stage of your interview process, questions are asked against the answers you provide. This in fact is a wonderful opportunity to take control of the narrative & showcase your value to the employer. For situational & behavioral questions, structure your answers using the STAR approach. S – Situation , T – Tasks, A – Action & R-Result.
3. Do you have any questions?
The last part of the interview again is totally in your control. An excellent opportunity to showcase your research & preparation. While doing your research about the company & department, you will be able to come up with interesting questions. For e.g. Your company recently acquired XYZ company specializing in XYZ technology, how does this acquisition fit into the overall vision/strategy of the company? You could also ask about the goals / targets set by the department or about the cross functional projects that the department takes up. Show your intent & motivation to be part of the team.
Even though interviews can be a stress situation, try to enjoy the process of interacting with people & build a relationship. Who knows may be few years down the line, you can get in touch with the team for a job change.