Keys to Crush Your Intro Interview

October 8, 2022

“Tell us a little bit about yourself,” is probably one of the worst questions an interviewer can ask, and yet it’s a staple of nearly every job interview.

Where are you supposed to start? Your childhood, your first job, what you had for breakfast last week?

The problem with this question is that it’s vague, open-ended, and ultimately doesn’t get to the point of the entire conversation, which is why they should hire you in the first place.

Sadly, that’s the nature of job interviews. Even when you’re fully qualified for the position, they can be awkward, tricky, and tough to prepare for.

And while there’s not much we can say that will guarantee that you’ll ace your interviews, these are a few important steps you need to take if you want to make sure that you don’t blow it.

PRO TIPS at the end….

Bring Your Personality

The Big Idea: When you’re competing against candidates with similar abilities and experiences, it’s your personality that can help you rise above them.

  1. Be conversational
    • Don’t be afraid to engage in small talk, share interests or otherwise act like a human being.
    • It’s ok to talk about your life outside of the job you’re applying for or to ask the interviewer questions about theirs.

  1. Don’t forget to smile
    • With so many interviews now happening over video conferences, facial cues are an important way to engage with a hiring manager.
    • That means you should nod, smile and otherwise use appropriate non-verbal communication.
    • No one wants to talk to a mannequin.

  1. Don’t be distracted
    • Put your phone out of view, turn off your notifications and close your email.
    • It’s easy to tell over video when someone’s attention has been pulled to something else.
    • You want to remain totally engaged with your interviewer and never let them think that your focus is elsewhere.

Bottom Line: Your resume tells people what you can do. Your interview tells them who you are. The more you’re able to make it feel like a conversation rather than an interrogation, the better impression you’ll make on the hiring manager.

Do the Research

The Big Idea: Interviews can be intimidating because of all the unknowns. Make yourself comfortable by learning as much as you can about the company, the hiring manager and the interview process.

  1. Scour the web
    • Check out the company website, their social media channels and their LinkedIn page.
    • Learning about the company’s culture, priorities and staff will give you a better sense of what to expect during an interview.

  1. Make it personal
    • Work your social network to learn if you know anyone who works there or is connected to someone who does.
    • It’s perfectly appropriate to ask a friend for an introduction to a current employee so that you can learn a little more about the company.

  1. Check for red flags
    • Check out sites like Glassdoor or Yelp to learn what employees are saying about the company you’re interviewing with.
    • This will give you the opportunity to ask specific questions about any issues that concern you before you accept the job.

Bottom Line: Doing research will allow you to give stronger and more detailed answers to interview questions and will let you show that your skills and goals are aligned with what they’re looking for.

Ask Questions

The Big Idea: There’s a point in almost every interview where they’ll hand you the mic and ask if there’s anything you’d like to know about the company. Use this time to ask about more than their PTO policies.

  1. Be specific
    • Ask questions that are specific to the company you’re interviewing with.
    • This shows them that you cared enough about the position to learn about who they are and what’s important to them.

  1. Show that you’re in for the long haul
    • Hiring is hard and every company wants to keep its turnover as low as possible.
    • Ask questions that demonstrate your long-term interest in staying with them, such as what their long-term goals are or if there are opportunities to grow within the company.

  1. Don’t go overboard
    • This portion of the interview usually comes at the end when everyone has probably grown tired of talking.
    • Two or three pointed questions should be enough to show that you’ve done your homework.

Bottom Line: Asking specific and informed questions is a great way to demonstrate that you have a real interest in the position.

Pro tip #1. In this world of online interviews, get to the room early so you can troubleshoot if you’re Zoom or Gmeet isn’t connecting. You don’t want to do all of the above, only to have to apologize for being a few minutes late because you had to reset your router.

Pro tip #2: Lock your social media down. Make it private. Just like you should do your research, they will do theirs.

Interested in working with us?

Whether you’re a company looking to attract the brightest minds in your industry or a candidate looking for a career change, we are here to help. We can fill your short/long term opportunities or a direct hire need.