Whether you’re going for your dream job or your first gig out of college, you want to make sure you pull out all the stops in any job interview.
Fortunately, the art of interviewing is a learn-able skill. The more you practice and prep, the better you get.
Facebook global head of recruiting Miranda Kalinowski recently spoke with Business Insider about the tech giant’s interviewing process.
She also shared her top tips for knocking your next interview out of the park:
1. Think about values
Make sure you’re connecting your own experience with the company’s central ethos or goals, Kalinowski tells Business Insider. In Facebook’s case, recruiters are specifically looking for certain personality types.
“We hire builders,” she says. “What I mean by that is, whether you’re someone like a finance analyst or a designer or one of our engineers, the people who thrive here are the people who look beyond the status quo. They love creating new things and figuring out how to continuously improve the way that we’re working and the products we’re building.”
2. Provide details
When you’re answering questions during an interview, vagueness isn’t going to cut it.
“The interviewer will want to get quite deep into the detail of that situation and listen for what the candidate did and said and thought in those moments so they can really get to know how that person approaches problem-solving,” Kalinowski says.
Brainstorm some concrete examples from you experience and be prepared to speak about them. Incorporating specific details will boost your credibility and impress your interviewer.
Oftentimes, the interviewer actually cares more about your thought process than the anecdote or problem itself.
“We’re always very keen to understand how candidates approach a problem,” Kalinowski says.
3. Have confidence
It’s important to be your own advocate, Kalinowski says. During one of her job interviews with Facebook, Kalinowski says she found herself answering a question with what she realised was “a pretty lame example.”
“I had a decision to make,” she tells Business Insider. “I decided to pause the interview and say to the interviewer, ‘I feel like I’ve given a bad example and I can think of a better one, do you mind if I start again?’ I was probably 45 seconds into the answer. The interviewer not only encouraged that, but I think I won some brownie points just in terms of being authentic and having the confidence to ask for that.”
If you find yourself tripping up at any point, take a deep breath and own it.
4. Have a conversation
Kalinowski notes that, while preparation is crucial, it is possible to overdo it. Make sure you’re always treating the interview as a conversation and answering questions, rather than reciting memorized anecdotes.
5. Express your enthusiasm
Kalinowski recalled interviewing one candidate who exuded a “contagious and very refreshing” level of excitement about potentially working at Facebook.
The candidate went so far as to offer to work for free on a trial basis. Kalinowski notes that Facebook would never accept such an offer, but it was nonetheless “an incredible testament and gesture.”
While she’s not suggesting you offer to give away your work for free, Kalinowski says you should definitely find a way to express your enthusiasm to the interviewer.
6. Do your homework
Don’t skimp on the research. Kalinowski recommends checking up on resources like Glassdoor to prepare yourself for the company’s hiring process. Many companies like Facebook also have their own career sites with resources and helpful articles.
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