5 Strategies To Crush Your Interviews

Remember, while they're interviewing you, you are also interviewing them.

It's a 2 way Street.

Hello again! I hope you all are having a wonderful week! I want to start out this post by saying that if you are currently interviewing and need tips, first of all CONGRATULATE YOURSELF because the hardest part of getting a job is getting the interview! That being said, nailing the interview is integral to securing your job. I am going to talk about 5 strategies that I used to come out of that interview room feeling fully confident and satisfied with my performance.

I understand that these strategies may not work for everyone but if they work for you/you use them, I would love to hear about it! 

If you haven't read my first blog post about 7 Actionable Career Tips for New Grads, in that I talk briefly about how when I first applied to Workday (the company I currently work for), I did not get the job. It was only a year later, after re-applying and going through all of those interview stages all over again, did I realize what I was doing wrong and why I landed the job the second time and not the first. 

1. Prepare SMART.

It is a given that you have to prepare for interviews, everyone does it. But make sure that you are preparing smart. By this, I mean do NOT go over your entire Computer Science syllabus for a technical interview. Instead, use online resources and people around you to review what you need to know. 

For example, I thoroughly used Glassdoor.com to look up what I needed to know for my interview. What I did was I just google searched: "Workday Associate Consultant Interview Questions", and it is often the first or second link that pops up. This is a GREAT resource and I would 100% recommend using it! People post their reviews about the interview, what topics were covered, what you should know, and sometimes even some interview questions. 

Another thing I did was use my Linkedin network to understand what I should study. If you go back and read my last blog post, "7 Actionable Career Tips for New Grads", I talk about reaching out to your Linkedin Network of Alumni. I used that resource also while studying for my interviews. I reached out to alumni with questions about how they got their current job, what the interview process was like, and what the hardest part of it was. 

Remember, your interviewers are not looking for you to be perfect. They know that no new college grad is an expert, and they would rather have you be honest and say that you don't know the answer than fake it. 

2. Go in Confident.

I fully and whole-heartedly believe the philosophy that if you say or do something with confidence, people WILL believe you.

You got the interview for a reason, now show them why you deserve to be there.

In my first interview, I found out afterwards that, the interviewers sensed that I was really nervous and because of that I did not explain my answers to the technical questions correctly or confidently. That is one of the biggest reasons I did not get that job, even though all of my other behavioral interviews went perfectly. Thus, self-belief is one the most valuable things that only you can give yourself. In order for others to believe that you deserve this job, you need to believe it. 

3. Use the STAR Method for Behavioral Questions

This tip is true for any behavioral interview, but especially necessary if you are interviewing for a consultant position. The STAR Method is a way to respond to behavioral interview questions in a way that shows how you interpret and solve problems in your everyday life. 

Situation

-This is where you describe the situation and background (EXTREMELY briefly) during the task that you were trying to accomplish.

Example: Surveys showed that 65% of employees were unsatisfied with the amount of time that they needed to wait between submitting a Service Request and getting that request fulfilled in the internal company Service Hub.

Task

-This is where you get a little more detailed about what your specific goal in this project and what you were trying to do. 

Example: The task at hand was to design a more efficient queue for requests that are urgent so that they can get a more timely response. 

Action

-This is explaining what specific actions you took to accomplish the task at hand.

Example: I then designed a new queue using a detail-oriented algorithm that moved urgent requests aside and assigned them to service representatives first, rather than assigning from the general queue. 

Result

-As a result, this sped up process time by 43% and when a survey was sent out (4 months later), only 30% of employees were unsatisfied with the amount of time that they needed to wait between submitting a Service Request and getting that request fulfilled. 

Remember, don't be too wordy with your answers, it defeats the purpose of using the STAR methodology. My management teacher would always say: "Get to the insight. What's the point?" So, be concise and specific, and make sure your answer shows how your actions then resulted in a positive impact for the company/class/organization/project that you were working on. 

4. Write out your answers and Rehearse with someone you trust. 

This aspect helped me A LOT! Writing out answers may not be for everyone, but for me, personally it really helped. For behavioral interviews, you can google search: "Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions for job of your choosing." Then, I would write out my answers in a notebook. Then, I would say them out loud and practice doing that with a couple people because a lot of times (at least for me) I would be nervous and jumble my words. So, if you practice with a couple people it helps in preparation for the actual day of. 

5. On the Day Of, wake up early and RELAX. 

This sounds super repetitive and generic, but seriously this aspect of interview preparation is SO important! Make sure that you get enough sleep the night before, wake up early, eat a good breakfast, and get to your assigned location on time.

Going in early can do you wonders! I know a friend that came in early to his first interview and actually got to know a manager that turned out to interview him later in the day! This made him feel comfortable in the interview itself because he had already talked to the manager earlier on that day (he ended up landing that job). 

Remember, have confidence, and show them why you belong there! Best of luck! 

Hope this helps some of you! If you have any questions/comments please let me know, I would love to connect with you! 

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