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This is Emily, career coach and job search specialist. As a former recruiter, I can’t tell you how many solid candidates I’ve seen turned down for a role because they interviewed poorly. They might have done an excellent job in the role itself but weren’t able to prove it to the hiring team in the interview.

As a career coach now, I prepare my clients not just to perform their best in the interview, but also to show such a clear match between the role and their background that the company would be foolish to turn them down.

As a New Year’s gift to you, I’m sharing my top 4 interview tips. I’m also offering $600 OFF job search coaching (read on for details).

Tip #1: Relevancy is key.

You could be the best software engineer at your company, but if you focus on your software engineering skills in an interview for a project manager role, you’re not going to get the job. It’s crucial to focus on the relevant skills you have. If you’re making a career transition, highlight your transferable skills (the skills you’ve already developed that could be applied to your new career path). In the project manager example, maybe you’ve been a software engineer your whole career, but you’re sure to have worked on projects where you’ve had to utilize your time management and cross-functional collaboration skills, two key skills used in project management. Focus your responses on those transferable skills; that’s what the hiring team cares about.

Tip #2: Use the job description as a cheatsheet.

Don’t worry about having to figure out your transferable skills blindly. Use the job description as a cheatsheet! The job description will tell you exactly what the role requires. Think of it as the hiring manager’s “wishlist”. They have a need – a gap to fill – and they’re using the job description to tell you what their need is. Your job is to highlight your relevant, transferable skills to help them see why you’re the right candidate to fill that gap perfectly. Pro tip: typically bullets in job descriptions are listed in order of importance, with the most important bullet being at the top. So if you had to pick just a few transferable skills to touch on, picking the first few required skills listed is a good way to go.

Tip #3: Use the STAR method.

The STAR method is a very common technique used to respond to behavioral questions. Behavioral interview questions are questions to which you’re expected to give a specific example of past performance as a response. These questions often start with the phrase “Tell me about a time when…”. When responding to behavioral interview questions, you’ll want to walk the interviewer through your example using the STAR method:

S = Situation. State the situation.

T = Task. Describe the task you took on.

A = Action. Walk the interviewer through the actions you took to complete the task and resolve the situation.

R = Results. Highlight the positive results as a way to put a bow on it and complete your response.

Tip #4: Prepare at least 8-10 examples.

We’ve all had that moment where we’ve been asked a behavioral interview question and we blank on an example. Preparation here is key. I recommend preparing at least 8-10 specific examples. If you’re having trouble coming up with specific examples, consider these questions:

  • What are some of your most significant accomplishments?
  • What are the most successful projects that you’ve worked on (and what results did the project achieve)?
  • In what ways have you had a positive impact?
  • When have you had a conflict with a coworker and worked through it?
  • When have you failed and learned from the failure?
  • When did you fix something that went wrong or broke down?
  • When did you improve something?
  • When did you create a new process or initiative?

Once you have your repository of 8-10 specific examples, make notes of which interview questions each example could be used for. You don’t know what questions you’ll be asked. If you have an example that could be used for multiple types of questions, you’ll be able to utilize your examples regardless of which question is thrown at you. (Just make sure you don’t use the same example more than once in your interview!).

It makes a huge difference to feel prepared and confident going into an interview. If you are feeling shaky or fishing for something to say, things can quickly deteriorate.

$600 OFF job search coaching

If you’re looking for a new job, or even just thinking about what else is out there, job search coaching can help you identify your dream job and go get it.

  • Want help acing your interviews?
  • Want to sculpt your resume so that it positions you as the perfect fit?
  • Want to update your LinkedIn profile so that your online presence attracts the right recruiters?

I can help you do all of the above and then some. Learn more about how job search coaching can help you land your dream job here:

You can also book a free job search consultation call to talk to me directly about how to get the job you want.

I’d love to help you make 2022 the year you land your dream job.



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