How to Ace Your Next Interview - Total Testing

How to Ace Your Next Interview


Don’t go into your next interview unprepared. With all of the resources available to help with interview readiness, it’s a foolish mistake to walk into an interview blindly so we’ve pulled together four tips to help you prepare.

Reduce the Risk

Why do companies invest so much time interviewing candidates? Most people would say ‘it’s to get the best-qualified applicant for the job.’ The answer may seem so obvious that there’s nothing to say, but it isn’t. Next time you are in the office, ask managers you know if they hired the best-qualified candidate for the job. You’ll be surprised how many didn’t. There’s a subtext going on during interviews around corporate culture and fit.

It’s very expensive to hire a new employee, not just the search and interview process, but the onboarding, first few months of underperformance, training, etc. Hiring a new employee is very risky. Have a look at what monster.com has to say. The risk is that the new hire won’t last and they’ll have to go through the process all over again – either because they don’t like you – or you don’t like them.

Take the opportunity during the interview to empathize with the interviewer. Show your ‘us’ side, your ‘team’ side, your personal integrity, and how you are adaptable and empathetic. Come prepared with examples of how you have defused situations, solved interpersonal differences and played for the team. Look back over your Total Testing online degree experience, how you have worked with your tutors and study partners to fix hiccups along the way, and how you recovered and continued to grow your relationships. You don’t have to tell them about when you caused a problem and fixed it, they just want to know that interpersonal skills are in your tool kit. If an interviewer feels that you’re a ‘low-risk candidate’ and ‘good enough,’ you may be surprised at what jobs you can land.

Answer Questions Positively

Jeff Herzog, president at FPC National, an executive search and recruiting agency says in this interview.

“Make sure your answers position you as a ‘make it happen’ person, not a ‘let it happen’ person,”

That means you should answer as one who is in control of your career, not someone who blames situations and people for making things happen to you. As a graduate of a self-paced, remote program like Total Testing, you’ll have no problem finding examples of how you have actively managed your time, curriculum, and progress, rather than just attending a program run by a faculty.

In response to questions like ‘why are you looking to leave your current job’ Jeff favors…

“I am not in a rush to leave my current company. I’ve accomplished a lot here, but I am keeping an eye open for roles that will afford me the opportunity to diversify my experience and make a real impact.”

over…

“There is no room for growth at my current company and my boss doesn’t allow me to learn new things.”

Have a look at the interview for more advice on answering questions.

Experience, Research, and Plan

Your interviewer wants to see, and you want to demonstrate, that you are the type of person who utilizes all resources at your disposal, can join the dots, and has a plan. During your interview, when you are answering questions, you should be showing your interviewer what you know, what you have found out about their company, and how you can connect what they have asked, with what you know.

Let’s take an example. If the question is ‘why do you want to work in our training division?’ you could say (1) something about your relevant experience like – ‘I have a been developing classroom training at Jones Corp for 3 years, and…(2) now add something you learned about their company – ‘I see that you are specializing in electronic training delivery,’ and… (3) now show them your plan and how you’ll both benefit – ‘I think that by bringing my classroom experience to Jones Corp and mixing it with your electronic delivery methods, that I can add value very quickly, while learning new skills. Again, show them your relevant experience, show them your research, show them your plan, and how you’ll both win.

How to Answer ‘The Salary Question’

If you are an amazing salary negotiator, please don’t read the rest of this section, you can do your magic and squeeze out every last drop. But, if you are like most people who dread the salary question, this is for you.

The salary question is the one that everyone hates. It’s unfair that when you are in a negotiation, the other side asks for your current salary and what you want. That’s affectively your low and high negotiating positions.

Here’s some advice from Matty Rubenstein at Narrativation

When you’re asked the salary question – don’t panic. Remember that just because you are asked a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer it – especially when it’s unfair. Take a deep breath and smile a knowing smile, the smile that says ‘not only was I expecting the question, but I have a fabulous answer.’

Then take another breath, and take control of the conversation saying (learn this word for word)….’I really don’t like to talk about money, it’s a difficult subject that makes people uncomfortable, me especially. When it comes to money, the only thing worse than feeling underpaid is feeling that you are paying too much. What’s important to me is that whatever is on the table, makes sense for both of us. I really hope that’s how things will pan out, and if not we’ll understand that we’re not on the same page, and still be friends.’

After this, if they are pushy, just smile and say ‘what makes sense for both of us – I’m a win-win kinda person.