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Interviewing in a new era

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Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking part of advancing your career — and the pandemic has added a layer of complexity to how interviews are conducted. Get practical with advice from SAIT’s experts in Career Advancement Services on how to navigate and nail your next job interview.

Before the interview

Consider your meeting place

Are you meeting online? Remote interviews have become increasingly popular. If you’re meeting with an employer for a virtual interview, make sure to practice good virtual etiquette.

  • Test your technology ahead of time — make sure your webcam and microphone are working properly.
  • Check your internet connection to avoid interruptions.
  • If you’re in a large meeting, mute your microphone until you need to speak.
  • Use a quiet space, free from distractions.
  • Dress appropriately, just as you would in an in-person setting.
  • Make sure your background is professional and not distracting.

If you’re meeting in person, you may be asked to sit further away from the interviewer, wear a mask or touch elbows instead of shaking hands — be prepared and be courteous.

Research

Know the basics — what the company does, their products and services. Be prepared to answer if asked about the company, why you want to work there and what makes you a good fit.

Preparation

About a day before the interview, write down a bunch of stories related to questions you think might be asked. Use the STARS strategy as an outline:

  • Situation: Set the scene. What happened, when and where? Who was involved? Choose an example from work, school or a volunteer experience.
  • Task: How were you involved in the situation? What was your responsibility?
  • Action: What action did you take? Focus on what you did, even if it was a team effort.
  • Result: What was the end result? Did you learn anything from that experience? If you made a mistake, what measures have you taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
  • Skills: What skills did you use to accomplish the task and achieve the result?

Practice

Interviewing is a skill and takes practice. Do a practice interview for every actual interview — a week before is great. The day before is great too.

During the interview

First impressions matter!

Try to be remembered for the right reasons. Be ready to go with time to spare. Dress professionally for your occupation and be polite and professional to everyone you meet.

Be a STAR

When asked a question, remember to answer using the STARS strategy — situation, task, action, result, skills. Recall the stories you prepared before the interview and keep your responses to about one minute in length.

Leaving the interview

Let your interviewer know you appreciate their time and you look forward to hearing from them.

After the interview

Follow up

Send a follow-up email. Start by introducing yourself, the position you interviewed for and a thank you message.

Lastly, don’t beat yourself up over an interview. Doing well in a job interview is a skill that needs practice. Use every interview as a learning opportunity.

Get career ready now!

Career Advancement Services assists students, new grads and experienced alumni with resumé and interview prep, LinkedIn profiles and other job hunt resources to get hired. Check out all Career Advancement Services has to offer!

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