Top Interview Tips
Suggestions and pointers from industry hiring & decision makers, curated for you to have a successful conversation with a prospective employer!
- Come prepared – The people you are meeting are very busy individuals, be conscious and respectful of their time by coming prepared for your discussion. Have any materials you will be discussing printed or pre-loaded onto your tablet and pulled out at the beginning of the meeting. Be sure to get there on time, if you know you are going to be late, even if it’s just running five minutes behind, always send a quick note as a courtesy.
Researching the firm, their current projects, and who you will be meeting prior to your conversation is not only paramount to a successful conversation but also shows your interviewer the type of preparation and professionalism they can expect from you as an employee.
- Be Honest – time and time again clients come into the issue of reading that a candidate can complete a specific role or function to find out that they aren’t qualified once started. Be honest about where you are with your skills, no need to embellish.
If you want to express your interest in skill sets you have yet to acquire share these as places you would like to grow in your career. “I recently took an assistant PM role on a smaller project and really enjoyed the process, in the future I would like the challenge of taking on more responsibility as a project manager.”
- Be Genuine – Not everybody has to take the same path to feel fulfilled and be successful in your career. Maybe managing people isn’t your thing, don’t discuss that you want to be a project manager just because you feel like it is the next step in your career. Instead share what does make you excited – assisting a team and being a leader but really getting involved in the day-to day details as opposed to being more of a big picture/operational manager.
Your future employer (and you) will thank yourself for being true to what makes you happy and setting yourself up for success.
- Be Inquisitive – In tune with coming prepared and doing your research, having a list of questions pre-thought out to have on hand for your discussion is an important way to ensure you walk away with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Be curious throughout your conversation – whether that is to the company structure, projects, process, whatever is most important to you about a prospective firm and employer (within reason ;).
A meeting is double sided – it’s an opportunity for an organization to determine if you are a good fit for their firm, and for you to decide if you are interested in the company. Being prepared and natural during a conversation is the perfect blend of staying true to who you are while also putting your best foot forward. Be open and let the dialogue flow, and don’t forget to smile! And if you really want to knock that meeting out of the park, enlist a career consultant to give you the inside scoop and assist throughout the career search process – you can even reach out to an A+D career consultant RIGHT HERE – (disclaimer: it is me 🙂 ).