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Interview Quick Guide

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Improve your interview skills! Learn what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for during the interviewing process. Find out how to answer challenging questions. Learn what chimps can teach you …

Improve your interview skills! Learn what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for during the interviewing process. Find out how to answer challenging questions. Learn what chimps can teach you about effective interviewing.

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  • 1. Interview Guide Employers are looking for two things during the interview process:  Knowledge, skills and experience  Cultural Fit The STAR Method Whether you’re asked a yes/no question or a situational or behavior question, one of the best ways to answer an interview question is by using the STAR Method:  Situation  Task  Action  Result Example Tell me about yourself Typical Answer: I’m from Vermont but I went to school in Boston. I graduated with a degree in business, and have been working at Non-Profit Org as a marketing associate. I like sports and my favorite food is pasta. I’d like to continue working in marketing. Better Answer (using the STAR Method): I’m a marketing professional with a degree in business. For the last two years, I’ve been working at Non-Profit Org as a marketing associate. I’m responsible for marketing and event planning for our fundraising activities. I created a marketing plan for our annual fundraiser, which had net earnings of over $35,000. I really enjoyed the experience, and am excited about continuing my career in marketing. In the second answer in the example above, the person being interviewed identified a situation or task they were currently involved in, discussed the actions they took and the result of those actions.
  • 2. Interview Guide How To Prepare Having a strong knowledge of your strengths, skills and experiences, and how they align with the job you’re interviewing for, goes a long way in making your interview successful. Prior to going in for an interview, take time to analyze the job description and make connections between your experience and the role. Make sure to highlight these overlaps during your interview. Research the organization. Get an understanding for their business, and how this role supports it. If possible, mention things you’ve come across in your research during the interview, or ask questions about them to gain a better understanding. Take notes after each interview about things you did well and areas where you need improvement. Practice. Recruit a friend to interview you, or practice by yourself by reviewing commonly asked interview questions. Body Language Researchers estimate that 70 percent of communication is non-verbal. That means that what you say is important, but so is what you do. Smile during your interview. It will make you appear happy and pleasant to work with. Sit up straight. Good posture is perceived as a sign of confidence. Make eye contact. Much like good posture, eye contact is seen as a sign of confidence. This rule, however, on applies to North America. In some countries, it can be seen as a sign of disrespect. Be sure to research local customs if interviewing for a job overseas. Give a firm handshake. This is also seen as a sign of confidence. Don’t be late. Arrive at least 5 minutes early, and give yourself plenty of room for traffic jams and other unexpected issues. Ditch the cell phone. During interviews, put your cell phone on silent. For phone interviews, use a landline instead of a cell phone. Take notes. But don’t overdo it either. Too few notes and you’ll like you don’t care. Too many and it will look like you’re not actually paying attention.

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