For her third and final Summer of Tech bootcamp for the year, Alyson came in on Wednesday to talk about how to prep for interviews.
The interview starts the moment they try to contact you. This means it is important that you are answering you know how to answer unknown phone calls if they try to contact you via phone. A simple “Hello, this is ___ speaking” will do. However, if you are unable to answer the phone call, it would be helpful to record a nice professional voicemail recording for when this occurs.
Do your research: Make sure you do your research for the company and position you are applying for. This way you are familiar with what they might talk about and you can relate your skills to what they are looking for without having to think about it too much during the interview.
What to wear: This is usually dependent on the company culture, but to be sure it is best to overdress a little more than you think you have to.
What to bring with you: A copy of your CV (unless specifically told so not to), notepad and pen, and a business card if you have one.
When should you should arrive: Obviously it is good to be early to your interview. However, there is such thing as being too early. You could be in a situation where you get to the interview too early and they are having to host you before your actual interview. To get this right, a tip is to be in the area 30 minutes before the interview. Give yourself some time to breathe and recollect yourself and then when the time is right and you’re feeling prepared you can head on over. If you’re having trouble with nerves, Alyson suggested an empowerment exercise where you can go into the bathroom and do some poses that make you feel excited and confident. This will send signals to your brain to tell you that you are ready.
Some common questions you can prepare for:
– Tell me about yourself?
– Why are you interested in this role/ why are you looking?
– What are your strengths and weaknesses?
– Tell me about when…
– Do you have any questions?
Some questions you can ask:
– Is this a new position? (Can learn lots of information from this)
– What are the attributes of a top performer?
– Describe the team dynamics?
– What are the main challenges for this role?
During your interview, it is best to just be yourself. Know that the employers aren’t trying to make you slip up, they are actually rooting for you. Give honest answers and remain in the present by actively listening to what they say and respond accordingly. It is okay to say “could you repeat…” if you missed what they said or you just want more time to think.
After your interview, it is highly recommended to contact them afterwards through email saying thanks for their time. This does wonders when trying to make a lasting impression, especially when you personalise the email and refer to things you talked about during the interview.