Q: What is the most common mistake candidates make in interviews?
A: The most common mistake candidates make is not communicating concrete ways in which they’ve made an impact in their past jobs or other experiences. Be prepared to go beyond what’s on your resume and speak to specific projects you worked on or efforts you spearheaded. Provide details on what your tasks were, what skills you applied and what learnings you took away from the experience. Then quantify the results.
Q: When interviewing with multiple people, is it alright to deliver similar responses to different interviewers?
A: The most important thing in any interview is being your authentic self. Don’t feel like you have to change up your story simply for the sake of variety. However, if you find an opportunity to tailor your message to the person you are interviewing with that’s usually an effective strategy. Take note of the interviewer’s background and job function which they generally discuss at the beginning of the interview; you may find you have a perfect way to position your experience that will resonate with that individual.
Q: What’s the best way to handle it if I get asked a question I don’t know the answer to?
A: First and foremost, it’s okay not to know the answer to every question so don’t panic. We recommend saying something like “I don’t know the answer to that specific question, but I am familiar with…” then provide some information on a similar topic you are knowledgeable about.
Another way to handle the question is to simply say, “I don’t know, but I can follow up with you after the interview on that”.
It’s very important to note that if you say you will follow up that you do so within 24 hours of the interview.
Q: How do I come up with good questions to ask at the end of an interview?
A: As candidates get told over and over, one of the biggest mistakes one can make in an interview is not asking questions at the conclusion.
Stay away from logistical questions– you can follow up with your recruiter afterwards. Asking one to two business-related questions, a question about company culture and a question about the interviewer’s personal experience is a good guide.
Prepare questions more generally then try to apply your pre-prepared questions in a more personalized way by being a good listener when the interviewer is talking. It’s always good to jot down a couple of quick notes you can refer back to.
In addition, the person may have said something during the interview that you want to know more about which is great; tell them why it piqued your interest and ask to hear more.