Greetings, I am retiring soon and looking for advice with interview. Anyone interested in assisting me with a mock interview?
First and foremost, thank you for your service! It looks like you have some great offers for assistance with interview skills and practice. One thing that I have found can set you apart after an interview is the Thank You note. It is a great way to follow up on an item discussed in the interview and show the interviewer that you take initiative even after the interview is over. I would be happy to help with this area if you would like.
If you’re looking to practice and want to do that over the phone, I’d be happy to help. Prepping for an interview is terrific but there is nothing like practice - presenting yourself and your credentials and answering the behavioral type questions you are likely to get during an actual interview. Feel free to message me if you want to schedule a practice interview over the phone. Jeff
Something that can help is to prep with the job description - take the job description for the role you are interviewing for and put it in a word document. Then, for every requirement/skill they list, list your experience right next to it and how it solves or fits with the skill they are looking for. Think big here too! Think of all the things you’ve done and how all of your experiences can contribute value to the company.
During the interview, have some open ended questions ready, questions that start with what, who, why, how. These allow the interviewer to answer with more than a yes or no and it gives you insight into the dynamics of the company.
Ask for business cards/contact info from your interviewer(s) and follow up with a quick email to say thank you for your time. Nothing too long, just a short acknowledgment of their time. Some folks might say no don’t do this because it will clog up their email, but this is where you’ll have to discern whether or not you think that’s the case.
Also, the best tip I can offer is to remember that you are also interviewing them - you have value to bring to the company so take the opportunity to get all of your questions answered. Best of luck!
Many organizations use "STAR" interviews as the gold standard for the sort of behavioral interview where they throw you questions like "Tell me about a time you [were in a situation]". Situations Like: Team failed, led peers, persuaded someone, played an unusual role on a team, made an impact, burned a bridge, had an interpersonal conflict, encountered resistance, showed creativity, took initiative, worked without direction, sold an idea, completed detailed analysis, took a risk, led a difficult team, etc.
Next, consider your stories. Distill those stories down to a 2-3 minute version where you lay out the situation (for context), the task you were given (directed or implied), the action you took, the result of your action (measurable results are good, numbers are great, economic effect in dollar value is best), and then close out the story by tying in what you learned and how that's relevant to the role for which you're interviewing. Give each story a short word or phrase title to jog your memory. This all takes some time but it will make your stories more polished.
Best practice is to take all those possible situations (as well as the ones you hear about while researching the interview on glassdoor, coffee chats with employees, etc.) and put that on the X-axis of a Spreadsheet. Along the Y-axis, put your prepared interview stories. Go through this matrix and make a mark on every situation your story could fit (with the proper spin). Review and decide which story would be the primary, secondary, and tertiary story you could bring up if they asked you to "talk about another time you did this" or if you end up using your primary story when answering another question.
When I was last interviewing for jobs, I had some space in my notes dedicated to this. 2 columns with 10 rows with the situation (listed alphabetically) and then my primary, secondary, and tertiary story titles. If I ever got a curve-ball question that I couldn't answer on the spot, I could look down - check if it was in my notes and worst case scenario, I had a big list of possible stories I could employ.
Prior to the interview, prepare a list of questions - nothing that is easy found by google search or their website, asking things like "what did you wish you knew when you first started here". Be sure to get your interviewer's email so you can send a thank you note - write it almost immediately and include anecdotes from your conversation so you come off as a good listener and they can speak favorably about your interview if decisions are made before the end of the workday.
Best advice is to be open-minded in your answers. The company will likely consider you for a high turnover position because it's too big a risk on someone who's never been in the private sector.
So when they ask you for example "a lot of people don't like business development roles, how do you feel about it?" you'd say "I've never done that before, I might start doing that and I love it!"
Know the language of your new career, the position and even the company. The more you can relate to the company and specifically the position, you eventually want a conversational tone. Tell accomplishments as stories, easy to remember and people like to hear a story versus regurgitating facts and numbers.
The best interviews are when the interviewer(s) and interviewee are carrying on a conversation about the profession, specifically the opening. This comes from being comfortable about the subject (you) and the position/career.
Shannon, thank you for your service!
I would be honored to assist you with a mock interview! I can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - looking forward to talking with you.
Best option is be yourself, relax and answer honestly as everybody was their own insights, personal triggers and prejudices so there is NO CORRECT ANSWERS, sorry to say but the truth. If they like “you”, you will be offered jobs, if they don’t then nothing you say will help. Also remember not all interviews are for employment, sad to say with oversight and rules, “everybody (sex, race, age, etc... etc...)” must be included and sometimes you are just a check-mark on some paperwork. Good luck and try not to stress out too bad, what will happen, will happen.
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