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Interview

The interview is about practice; if you want to get good at interviewing, you must practice. Interviewing is 90 % practice.

The purpose of this practice is to focus on how to answer a question rather than what to answer. Let's break this down a bit. If you receive a question related to communicating with other departments, you should already know what to answer; you cannot invent an answer to this question on the spot; it should be clear what you should answer. The 'how' is dependent on the situation; it is situation-specific. This is where you need to focus your attention and energy. When you practice, you automatize the what and can concentrate on the how.

Can you remember to smile when you don't know what you are going to say?

Tell Stories

Humans are storytelling people; we communicate by using stories. Therefore, a focus area should be creating good stories with a clear purpose. These stores are what you can base your answers on.

Good frameworks for telling stories are STAR and CAR

It is so important with these types of frameworks to know the answers to them in a good way. To make sure you are properly prepared, make a list of common questions and make a STAR or CAR for each one. This will help you a lot when you do practice interviews and real interviews.

Tell me about yourself.

This questions is extremely important to have down, it will probably always come up and is one of the most important questions you will answer. It is at the start of the interview and is proably about the time a lot of interviewers decide if they are going to hire you or not.

Framework

Use the present, past, future framework.

  • The past - what is your background and relevant work experience? How did you get to where you are now?
  • The present - what is your current role? What do you do and what are your top accomplishments?
  • The future - what are you looking to do next? Why are you interested in the position? I think the future should also be Tied to the why questions: Why this company? Why this job? Why this field?

It is even more important that you focus on practicins this questions and understand how to better tailor the question to the specific interview. I also think it would be really smart to write down a lot of answers, maybe have a doucment where you have some notes on how to answer this well. This is a good starting point for the TMAY

  • Make sure you alwaus have answers to the why questions.
  • If you are going to have some personal touch, it is in the present part of the TMAY.
  • I always like to finish with a question, make the people talk about the job, people like to talk about themselves.
  • Try to keep the answer brief.
  • Keep work the main part of the answer. You are allowed to brag a little bit.

Mock Interviews

Mock interviews are a good way of becomming familiar with interviewing. Remember; Being good at interviewing is 90 % practice. You need to work on your interviewing skills if you are to become good at interviewing.

Complete Mock Interview.

The goal of a complete mock interview is to gain a familiarity towards the entire interview process and focus on having the time to focus on the entire way you do interviewing. Moreover, an eventual evaluation is of the complete interview, where more of the soft part of the interview can be properly evaluated. Make sure to include the small talk, the greating and the follow out of the lobby to evaluate the entire process.

Sparring Interview

Sparring interviews differs from a complete mock interview in that the interview setting is more loose, and that each single question is reviewed. Sparring interviews are more fast and focus on repetition. You can nail down the answers to the questions with repeated focus. This is particullary imporatnant for the the big four interview questions (Why this industry, why this organization, why this job and tell me about yourself (TMAY))

A good plan for interview sessions are to do sparring interviews until the techincal bits are seamless and the big four questions are also down to a tee. Then you find example job postings and role play the entire interview.

Resume

You should not use more than 4 hours on the resume. In The Job Closer, the research highlights that the average time spent on a resume is measured in seconds, not minutes or hours, seconds.

  • A resume should be correct.
  • A resume should show outcomes.
  • A resume is clean and easily readable.

Links

Thoughts

  • A resume should be clean above all else.

  •  "Competence Triggers: basically, if you have to judge someone’s skill based on a series of brief interactions, you’re going to pattern match their behavior against other people who you like.  When people with hiring authority think of winners, they think of people like them who live and breathe this business thing.  They negotiate things as a matter of course: that is a major portion of the value they bring to the company.  Volunteering a number when asked says the same thing to people with hiring authority that flunking FizzBuzz says to an engineer: this person may be a wonderful snowflake in other regards, but on the thing I care about, they’re catastrophically incompetent." - Patrick McKenzie.

  • Practice the questions you do not have the answer to, not the ones that you do. I had this experience once while practicing for an interview, and I only saw what I knew when practicing, foregoing what I did not know. This is a human tendency, and you should focus on things you do not know. How do you answer them?

  • If having a virtual meeting, make sure to book a room beforehand that is booked not only for the duration of the meeting but also some time before the meeting.

  • Practice your pitch (Aka, tell me about yourself) as much as possible, this needs to be top notch.