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These are the Job Interview Tips You Need to Succeed

To help you get prepared, we compiled a list of our top interview tips. From strategizing about how to tackle the toughest questions to what to wear, we’ve got you covered. 

Research
Researching the organization is extremely important. Find recent news by visiting the website, reading industry publications, and talking to members of your network. The research will help you specifically address the company’s needs during the interview. When asked why you want to join the organization your answer should be “the organization has an excellent reputation, and want to be a part of an exceptional team.” Your research will enable you to give specific examples of excellence about the organization. 

Be Punctual and Professional 

    • Arrive 15 minutes early. 
    • Map out directions to the office. Plan to leave early and know who to call in case you get stuck in traffic. 
    • Dress appropriately; a business suit or its equivalent is always appropriate, even if the company has a casual dress code. 
    • Keep your makeup and jewelry understated and minimal and avoid heavy perfume or cologne. 
    • Put your phone on silent and do not answer calls or texts during the interview. 
    • Remember your body languagesmile, make eye contact, sit up straight, and don’t fidget.
    • Be prepared. Bring with you extra copies of CV or resume, something to write on and write with, and questions you might need to be answered.
    • Always keep it professional. Although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker’s nerves, business decorum shouldn’t disappear. Avoid offering details that can be controversial or have no relevance to the position, such as political and religious beliefs.

 Prepare for Questions: 

    • Encourage the interviewer to describe the position and responsibilities early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and background throughout the discussion. 
    • Have in mind THREE career achievements that demonstrate hard to measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork, or leadership and that aren’t apparent on your resume. 
    • Anticipate tough or strange interview questions ahead of time. If you are asked a confusing or complicated question, take a breath and a minute to organize your thoughts before you answer. 
    • Develop concise, yet informative responses to the questions asked. The interviewer is looking to see if you can think on your feet
      and wants to see your personality and creativity.  
    • Be honest.  If the conversation drifts to a topic you’re not knowledgeable about, admit you don’t know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don’t understand.
    • Be comfortable and confident. Have well-thought-out answers to questions you expect to be asked. Focus on positive experiences rather than negative ones. 
    • Come with questions of your own. Ask questions you may have about the company and role. Inquire about opportunities for growth as well as the company’s long-range plans.
      A
      void asking about salary, vacation, benefits, or your office space. You can address these topics once an offer has been extended. 

Common Interview Questions and Sample Answers to Help You Prepare 

    • What are your weaknesses? 
      A good answer shows that you are introspective and humble; that although you have weaknesses, you continue growing.

      • Example Response: “I used to be terrible at public speaking. I took some steps toward getting better.  I started with small groups. Then I took a class. Recently I gave a speech to a group of 90 people.  Although I was nervous, I received some really good feedback. I’m still working on getting better.”
    •  Why did you leave your last job?
      The interview is not the time to air your grievances against your previous employer.  Speaking poorly of your last job will make you seem negative. Instead, craft an answer that will put you in the best light.

      • Example Response: “The company just wasn’t a good fit for me.  I’m looking for a company that fosters and appreciates what I bring to the table – independent thinking, innovative solutions, a strong work ethic, and a passion for the job.” 
    • Why do you want to work here? 
      This is your chance to show that you did your research on the company before the interview.

      • Example Response: “Your organization is known for its commitment to helping the community.  I would love the opportunity to use my 12 years of experience in Outreach Programming to be a part of that community improvement.” 
    •  Tell me about yourself.
      This is a great opportunity to highlight your strengths. Just be careful not to tell your whole life story or get too personal. Start by listing your qualities and successes that are relevant to the position for which you are interviewing.

      • Example Response: “I am organized, creative, and resourceful.  In the role of Practice Manager, I used these qualities to build a better website, negotiate with third-party payers, and encourage staff input regarding the more efficient flow of the practice.” 
    • Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
      Be careful not to vent any past frustrations as they will make you appear difficult to work with. Do not speak poorly of your past employer.

      •  Example Response: “Early in my career I did get off to a rocky start with a manager. We had different expectations regarding the workflow.  We sat down and talked about it. Once we realized that our goals were the same, we found a system that worked successfully for both of us.” 
    •  Where do you see yourself in five years?
      Convey that you won’t abandon the employer anytime soon. Also, indicate that you will plan to add value to the company as you achieve your own goals.

      • Example Response: “My current goal is to be in a position where I can grow and take on challenges.  Eventually, I want to assume more management responsibilities and get involved in data analysis.  Ultimately, I want to work for a company where I can build my career. 
    •  How do I prepare for behavioral questions?
      Behavioral-based interviewing is questioning to determine how you will act in specific situations.  To prepare for this type of questioning, you can take some time to recall challenging work situations.

      • Example Response: Prepare stories that highlight successful problem-solving.  Use these stories as a framework for your response. Listen carefully to the question, ask for clarification, offer a detailed and clear response, and always be honest. There is no right or wrong answer. 

 Close Strong 

    • End on a high note by expressing your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration.  
    • Show your interest in the position by asking where they are in the hiring process, and what their next step will be. 
    • After you leave, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. 
    • Write down the key qualifications the employer brought up. You will use this when you write thank you notes. 
    • Send a thank-you note to reinforce your interest and ability to excel in the role. A carefully crafted message will advance your candidacy and leave a positive, lasting impression with the hiring manager long after you’ve left. The thank you letter should be emailed to each person you met with no later than 24 hours after the interview. 

Call your recruiter! Immediate follow-up is critical. 

Interviewing is a learned skill. The more you prepare and practice, the better you get. For more tipscheck out our job interview tips for job seekers. 

Kathy Lin - Tal HealthcareWritten by:
Kathy Lin, Marketing Communications Manager
Kathy writes content for Tal Healthcare, a healthcare career website. She has a background in recruiting, sales, and teaching.  She holds a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont.  When she isn’t writing you can find her outside running, skiing or biking.