Before receiving offers in jobs, schools, or other programs, applicants will most likely have to interview with hiring managers and the like. In jobs, interviews are crucial and give applicants the opportunity to show their qualifications, making an excellent impression on the hiring manager.
That’s why applicants obviously want to perform their best, while hiring managers need to create a good interview flow to get the information they need!
So if you’re wondering how to ace an interview or brush up your skills in interviews as a hiring manager, read on! This article tackles helpful tips on sample questions and how to ace an interview.
How to Ace an Interview as an Applicant
You can’t go to a job interview unprepared! You can, but it most likely won’t give you the results you want. That’s why taking the time to plan and prepare prior to the job interview is critical.
Here are tips on how to ace an interview with a hiring manager:
Research the Company
Conduct some research on the company you applied to so you know its goals, missions, and accomplishments. Learn about the company’s history, values, culture, executive officers, and any recent news or announcements. You can also find platforms where employees share their experiences with the company!
Review the Job Description
Study the job listing again to know what the job entails and explain why you are the perfect candidate for the roles and responsibilities. Make sure you have the required skills and experiences and that you agree to any stipulations, such as their work hours, benefits, relocation requirements, and the like.
Practice with Interview Questions
Have an answer to the typical job interview questions and practice how you will deliver them. Don’t memorize your answers but have an idea of what they are so your mind won’t draw a blank during the interview.
Besides practicing interview questions, you should also think about any questions about the job and company in advance. It can be about the organizational goals, corporate culture, or opportunities for career development and growth.
Use the STAR Method
Hiring managers would ask behavioral questions to learn how candidates handle everyday workplace situations. You can prepare for such questions through the STAR method.
- Explain the context of the situation
- Discuss your role or task in the specific circumstance
- Reflect on the actions you took when handling the situation
- Explain the result of your actions
This is a given, but it’s worth noting because some people tend to overdress or underdress. Make a great impression on the hiring manager by dressing appropriately, based on the company’s dress code. If you’re unsure of the dress code, smart casual is a wise choice.
How to Ace an Interview as a Hiring Manager
Interviewing tips aren’t just for applicants to prepare for, but hiring managers as well! Being prepared for the interview and knowing what to ask will help you select the best candidate for the company and job position.
Choosing the perfect candidate among all the applicants is crucial for company morale and productivity. It can also increase employee retention rates and company success. With all that in mind, here are tips on how to ace an interview: hiring manager version.
Understand the job position’s details and requirements
The most effective way to measure an applicant’s ability to perform the job is to know what the job entails. Before reviewing resumes and scheduling interviews, learn more about the open position with other employees and the supervisor.
Learn more about the importance of the job to the company, along with the necessary skills and qualifications the most suitable company should have. Doing this can help you prepare to select the right candidate, ask the appropriate questions, and answer questions applicants may have.
Review the resume
To give the applicants your complete attention, review their resumes prior to the interview. That will provide you with the chance to write questions you have based on their resume, getting to know the candidate better than asking solely standard questions.
Ask the big questions first
If the open job position requires a considerable change, such as non-traditional work hours or relocation, get those questions out of the way before proceeding with the following parts of the interview. It will narrow down the applicants to those who are genuinely interested in the position, agreeing to the stipulations.
Besides that, do limit the small talk. It’s nice to socialize, but not in interviews where time is crucial, and you’re here to learn more about candidates for a hiring decision. You need answers to their work experience and education, not how old their children are!
Make sure you are organized in terms of scheduling interviews, especially when you’re managing multiple candidates. You need to have sufficient time for the interview and between them to review your notes.
If you’re hiring more than one candidate or for multiple positions, create separate files for potential candidates, including their cover letter, resume, and other necessary documents. It prevents the risk of confusion, and you wouldn’t want to appear harried or unknowledgeable during the interview.
Write useful notes
It’s very easy to forget small and crucial details about interviews after completing them. While you want to give the applicants your full attention with your listening skills, it’s also essential to take down notes throughout the interview.
You don’t need to write down everything they say, but phrases and keywords to remember things they mentioned or questions you can ask later.
How to Ace an Interview: Questions and Answers
Besides the tips mentioned above, it’s also important to know the usual questions and answers conducted in a job interview. Hiring managers can get insight on what to ask to get a feel of the applicant, while applicants can prepare for more well-rounded answers instead of clamming up!
Here are typical job interview questions and answers to be aware of:
Tell me about yourself
If you are the interviewer, the candidate’s cover letter, resume, and social media platforms can tell you a lot about him. The goal is to know whether the candidate is most suited for the job, so you want answers about the candidate’s skills and attitude for the job.
For applicants, share your job experiences, why you took specific jobs, why you left, the reason behind choosing a particular university, why you decided to pursue grad school, or why you took time off to travel, and what you learned from the experience. Your answer should connect the dots on your resume, so the hiring manager is aware of what you’ve done and why.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Hiring managers usually ask applicants regarding their strengths and weaknesses to learn about the areas where they excel and what should be improved.
Applicants can respond by mentioning their best technical and soft skills. Provide a sharp and on-point answer that’s clear and precise. Don’t stick with one-word adjectives here; explain why you have those strengths and provide examples of when you got to use your strengths. It’s not about claiming you hold specific attributes but proving you have them.
When discussing weaknesses, choose areas where you’re taking steps to improve, which puts the answer in a more positive light. Select an actual weakness that you’re trying to improve and explain the steps you’re taking to become better. Please don’t go for theoretical weaknesses and transform them into a hidden strengths!
What do you consider as your biggest professional achievement?
The goal of this question is to determine how an applicant will work in the job position and whether he will succeed or not.
An applicant’s answer should be relevant to the job position. Even if it’s an interesting answer and a considerable feat, sharing a situation totally unrelated to the job won’t give you as many brownie points as you expect.
For instance, you are applying for a job in human resources. Good answers include helping an underperforming employee or overcoming fights between departments.
Why are you applying for this job position?
Hiring managers would ask this to determine how well applicants understand the job and company.
If you’re an applicant, you can demonstrate how you have done your research about the organization and position. When answering this question, try to mention the company’s accomplishments and mission, as well as any unique opportunities the job offers.
For here, we recommend going deeper and not just why the company will be great to work with. Explain that the job position is the perfect fit for what you want to accomplish for the short and long term.
What’s the most challenging decision you need to make recently?
This question aims to learn about the applicant’s problem-solving skills, judgment, reasoning ability, and willingness to take educated risks. No answer is a red flag because we all make tough decisions from time to time.
If you’re an applicant, great answers can let the hiring manager know that you can choose difficult interpersonal decisions or tough data-driven decisions. For instance, you worked as a restaurant server before and had to handle a regular customer who was being extremely rude to the point it constituted borderline harassment.
Wrapping it Up
Job interviews are seen as harrowing, but it doesn’t have to be with proper planning and preparation. Hopefully, this article showed you the ins and outs of interviews and how to ace an interview to land the job of your dreams. Whether you’re a hiring manager or job applicant, we wish you good luck with the job interview!e an