I DO NOT THINK THAT THERE IS ANY OTHER QUALITY SO ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS OF ANY KIND AS THE QUALITY OF PERSEVERANCE. IT OVERCOMES ALMOST EVERYTHING, EVEN NATURE.
– John D. Rockefeller, CEO of Standard Oil
You may begin wondering what comes after the tens of hundreds of job applications you submit. After the many hours you’ve put in to connect with recruiters, the next stage is perhaps the most critical: interviewing. This is the time to really showcase your talents to recruiters and land a professional opportunity.
Interviewing has several key components, but the process is most commonly broken up into three parts: the introduction, question & response, and conclusion. Though interviews may be segmented in three parts, they are also designed as casual conversations between yourself and whomever is interviewing you.
There are varying degrees of formality with interviews, and can range from informal coffee chats, where you ask basic professional questions over coffee, to final round interviews in a company’s skyscraper office. Understanding the nuances of the interview is critical to successfully connecting with the company.
Common Interview Questions
Interview questions can come in two different forms: behavioral and technical. The more commonly asked questions tend to be behavioral, which focus on how you would behave in different situations. Technical questions focus more on your areas of competency, such as coding for computer or data science positions.
For more competitive positions, it’s common to meet with several firm members prior to receiving an offer. These are known as interview “rounds”, and it’s important to stay connected with these individuals as you may end up working alongside them.
Here are a few commonly asked behavioral questions to expect throughout your interview.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Talk about a time you struggled.
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Do you like to work alone or in teams?
Coming up with answers to these questions ahead of time will help you get comfortable with employers and will minimize the uncertainty you display during the interview itself. Expressing confidence in the interview is one of the best ways to make and leave a good impression on employers, in addition to consistent eye contact, succinct speech, and smiling.
Closing the Deal
After finally getting through each of the questions, you reach one of the most dreaded parts of the process:
“Do you have any questions for us?“
This can be the one of the trickiest questions to answer, and contrary to what you might think, there is a right answer to this question. Employers want to know that you are invested in getting the position, and that you’ve read the job description well enough to know what was in and what wasn’t in the job description. In addition to demonstrating attention-to-detail, asking for more specifics about required job responsibilities, a typical day in the position, and workplace culture will help you learn more about the role and whether it’s a good fit.
Conclude with a question about next steps in the application process, and ask for clarification on a specific timeline if the interviewer is vague.
Last, but certainly not least, remember to send a thank you email between 24-48 hours of your interview. If the interview was conducted on a Friday, it is acceptable to send the email the Monday morning immediately following. This will demonstrate professionalism and gratitude even before you start in that position and are just good traits to have in general.