It's not enough to be confident in the skills required for the job you're seekingit's important to also be confident about the interview process itself. Employers look for people who have a good understanding of themselves; who've taken the time to evaluate what they want and don't want from their careers, what kinds of environments they work best in, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. In today's world, it's very common for employers to do behavorial interviewing by asking for responses to hypothetical situations. The more self-aware you are, the better you'll be able to respond to these kinds of questions in a straightforward manner without looking like you're trying to be something you're not.
Every employer wants to hire good peoplenot just people who are good at the work they do, but people who also have integrity, are dependable and reliable, and can work well with their current employees, and not create interpersonal issues in the workplace.
While we all have personal strengths and weaknesses, your answers to behavorial interviewing questions can show that you're mature enough to be aware of your weaknesses, and wise enough to learn from them. You don't want to appear to be someone who always blames others for their failures, but who is able to own them and become better.
Here are a few examples of behavioral-based questions you may hear:
- Tell me about a time when you did not accomplish a goal and why?
- Have you ever needed to bring together team members with very differing opinions, and get them to work together towards a goal?
- What strategies have you used to get along with co-workers in stressful circumstances?
- How do you sustain a high level of energy for your work?
Some employers care a lot about appearance, and some very little. Some will notice your nails, your shoes, and other details, while others will focus almost entirely on how you respond to interview questions. To be on the safe side, make yourself as presentable as possible, but don't look like you're about to go out to a dinner party. Pay attention to grooming and dress attractively and appropriately. You want to look like you take the opportunity seriously, and that you care enough about yourself to present yourself well.
Do your research
Take the time to do research about the company you're interviewing withlearn as much as you can about how they do business, what the corporate culture is like, and what their needs are. Learn enough to be able to ask intelligent quesions to show that you're looking for a good fit, and not just a paycheck.
Savvy employers are used to job candidates saying what they think the employer wants to hear, or making themselves seem more capable than they actually arethey will quickly know it you're doing the same. Be positive and confident, but be yourself. Do highlight your accomplishments, but there's no need to make it seem as if you've never failed at anythingit's simply not realistic, and hiring managers will know you're not presenting yourself honestly. You don't need to express personal opinions that are not relevant to potential job performance, but you also don't need to agree with everything the interviewer says. Be friendly and cheerful, but don't be overly familiar--the hiring manager is looking for an employee, not a best friend.