The new Star Wars movie is coming out next month! I don’t know about all of you, but I was raised in a family where my dad quoted Yoda, so I have always been a huge fan.
I was speaking with a candidate last week about how to prepare for his upcoming interview with one of our clients. We discussed what he could expect during the interview, the questions he planned to ask, and how he was going to close the interview. He mentioned that he is a Star Wars fan so I ended the call with the familiar “May The Force Be With You.” He chuckled and told me that I should end all of my calls with candidates that way. I laughed at the time, but it got me thinking. I hope that all candidates are as prepared as possible for a job interview. With that thought in mind, I have shared some simple tips you can use to ensure that the force is with you on your next interview.
“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda
You must prepare for every interview. The position, company, and interviewers involved will be different, so you should prepare accordingly.
- If you know who you are interviewing with, look them up on LinkedIn. You may see something that you have something in common and in an interview setting that can be a good thing if the information is used appropriately (ie: You both graduated from the same school = instant bond!).
- Review the job description for each position before each interview. Review what the company is looking for and be prepared to discuss examples of what you are doing or have done in the past that will translate.
- Be prepared to answer behavioral interview questions. You will want to provide specific examples and measurable results. Click here (https://www.aureusgroup.com/at-the-interview.aspx#interview)for some examples of behavioral interview questions.
“Patience you must have” – Yoda
Remember, not all organizations operate on the same time line as you. Some candidates forget that a company interviews multiple candidates multiple times over several weeks. With that being said, it is okay to ask questions.
- When are they hoping to have the position filled?
- When can you expect to hear back from them?
- Be careful not to come off as impatient or desperate. With these types of questions, it is all about the “packaging.”
“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky” – Han Solo
How you close the interview is just as important as how you start it.
One of my favorite closing questions: “Do you have any questions or concerns about my ability to perform this job?” I love this question for multiple reasons.
- It gives you some insight into what the hiring manager is thinking about you as a candidate for the job.
- It gives you the opportunity to clear up any assumptions or misunderstandings while you are still there.
- It shows that you have the confidence to ask an assertive question and provide clarification if necessary.
Be gracious for the opportunity to interview and make sure you express interest in the position if you are wanting to move forward in the process.
- Send a thank you note to the individuals involved in the interview process.
I hope these tips help you land your next position. If you ever have questions or would like to discuss a specific game plan for an interview, feel free to give me a call. I am here to help!
May the force be with you, always!
Chris Walker is the Regional Manager of Aureus Group’s Finance and Accounting (AFA) division. As the Regional Manager for AFA, Chris leads a team of more than 10 professionals who provide staffing and recruiting solutions for all facets of accounting and finance. In addition to staffing and recruiting for accountants, auditors, financial analysts, tax professionals, controllers, CFOs, payroll, and human resource professionals, AFA also provides information on industry trends, salary and compensation, and assists clients with outplacement services.
Since starting with AFA in 2000, Chris has held many roles within the organization including account manager, team leader, sales manager and branch manager. She earned her Certified Personnel Consultant designation and is an active member of Central Iowa SHRM and the Iowa Society of CPAs.