Hiring Managers Share 4 Tips on How to Prepare for an Interview

Posted by on September 4, 2013

Here’s the deal: job searching can be a painful process.  But the process isn’t just annoying for job seekers—many hiring managers say the worst part of their job is sifting through bland resumes and sitting through dull interviews. So, how do we make this process a little easier on everyone?  We learn what employers are looking for! 

job interview, Minnesota School of Business-Elk RiverEach quarter, students in the Career Capstone class at Minnesota School of Business-Elk River participate in a networking event.  This event is a key component of the class as it gives students the chance to get the inside scoop from local hiring managers on what they look for in potential candidates.  Knowing what employers are looking for can give students a great foundation for a successful interview.

The panelists this quarter included Amy Nelson from Accurate Home Care, Bruce Tyler from Home Run Human Resources, Dennis Carter from Mille Lacs Academy and Rayette Heise from St. Cloud Hospital.  

The night wraps up with a tip from each employer for all students to keep in mind as they embark on their job interviews.  This quarter these tips included:

1. Be ready for a panel interview.  Many companies use a panel of people to interview their job candidates.  When interviewing with a panel, it is important to engage everyone in the room and keep in mind that they are all looking for different qualities in a candidate.  Be sure to include everyone and discuss a variety of skills and stories from your employment history to demonstrate your qualities.

2. Use of the word “we.”  Many times employers will ask behavioral interviewing questions because they want to know how you have demonstrated skills in past experiences.  Interviewees tend to talk about team environments they worked in and will always say what the team did.  But the company is not hiring the team, they are hiring you.  They do not want to know what the team did; they want to know what you did.  So focus on your skills and contributions.

3. Practice!  The only way you get comfortable talking about yourself is to practice talking about yourself!  You can do this with your family, friends, career services team on campus, or even in front of a mirror or video camera.  It is important to see how the interviewer will be viewing you.  Do you have a nervous habit that will be distracting?  Are you smiling and making eye contact or are you looking at the floor?  Although small details, these can make or break an interview.

4. Be honest.  Be honest with the interviewer about your skills and be honest with yourself on whether you would be a good fit with the company.  Always be upfront about your abilities—if you can’t walk the walk once you are hired, you could wind up fired.  On the flip side, if you know the company or position is not a good match for you, it is important to politely and professionally decline further interviews.  Remember the interview is a time for the company to learn about you and for you to learn about the company.


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