Demystifying the Interview

Receiving a link for a digital interview after sending out inquiry after inquiry is incredibly exciting, but can also be nerve wracking. For some people, interviewing is an awkward and stressful experience. You don’t understand the interviewers’ questions, or your motor mouth runs away from you and you look like a chatterbox. Bad interviews have happened to everyone – but just because you had one once doesn’t mean it needs to happen again. Here are a few commonly asked questions as well as hints for answering them, to help you ace your next digital interview.

Question: “Tell me about yourself.”
Translation: “What can you tell me about how your personality, interests, work habits, and background make you a perfect match for this position?”

Before you answer, rewind back to when you applied for the job – the moment you decided that you and the position would be a solid match. Usually, the reasons that ran through your mind before you chose to apply are the answers the interviewer is looking for. Since you’re the most well-versed on the subject of you, this is your moment to paint the picture of what you bring to the table and why you’re the most dynamic and capable person for the job.

Question: “What interests you in the position?”
Translation: “How are you both confident in your ability to get things done, as well as enthusiastic about the job?”

Confidence speaks to the way you perceive you, while enthusiasm is more indicative of your feelings about something or someone other than yourself. To make sure there’s a healthy balance between the two, draft a list of reasons you’re confident about your ability to perform the job, and pair each one with a reason why you’re enthusiastic about showing up. You should be able to clearly communicate these reasons during your interview.

Question: “Let’s discuss your experience.”
Translation: “I’ve read your resume and want to hear something new.”

The last thing you want to do in an interview is regurgitate your resume. Instead, take a look at how you described your role at previous jobs and practice how you might integrate these into an actual conversation. In other words: if your resume bullet points were complete sentences describing how your experience is relevant to the new job, what would they sound like?

A few other key skills that are crucial for acing interviews include knowing when to quit talking – always be mindful of how long you’ve been speaking, and when you’ve answered the question, stop talking and stay quiet through any pauses.

Lastly, use “we” language as much as possible– show that you’re a team player. Share your individual responsibilities and accomplishments, but be clear about how this helped your team. Follow this equation and you won’t go wrong:

What my team does + How I do my part to make sure we get to the finish line = Victory.