Essential Interviewing Skills | New Tripoli Bank
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Essential Interviewing Skills

September 13, 2023


Job Interview 3

For many people, the most daunting part of any job application is sitting down for an interview with a potential employer. The impression you make on an interviewer can often outweigh your credentials; a good first impression can bolster an otherwise average resume while a poor interview can sink the prospects of even the strongest candidate.  When you sit down for an interview, your poise, attitude, social skills, and ability to communicate are being evaluated as much as your experience and education.

An interview is a conversation between you—potentially a stranger to the employer—and an interviewer seeking to learn more about you. Through conversation and dialogue, the interviewer determines if you’re a good match for the position they’re trying to fill. Preparation is the key to nailing this interaction, and there are several good habits every job seeker should practice if they want to ace their next interview.

Arrive On Time

The interviewer is ready for your appointment before you walk in the door. You should show them the same courtesy and arrive 10-15 minutes early. Give yourself extra travel time in case you get lost or end up in traffic. This shows you can be relied upon to arrive on time for work.

Be Courteous

Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile. Make sure you know the interviewer’s name, its spelling and pronunciation. If you’re unsure, you can call beforehand and ask their secretary.

During the interview, maintain eye contact with the interviewer and practice active listening when they are speaking to you. Never speak negatively when discussing previous employers, teachers, friends, or your university; doing so indicates to the interviewer that you might speak the same way about them.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

Before the interview, spend some time researching the company and the position you are being interviewed for. Prepare some questions of your own to ask the interviewer; it is a dialogue, after all, and asking relevant questions will show your interest in the company and that you have done your research. Bring several copies of your resume and your transcript in an organized folder.

Job Interview 2

You can practice interviewing with a friend or family member before your actual interview. There are several questions you can expect during any interview, such as:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • What made you interested in the company?
  • How do you handle stressful situations?
  • What are your goals for the future?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Practice answering these questions in a way that sounds natural and stays on topic. Listen carefully to your interviewer and be sure you understand a question before answering; don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Practice Good Posture

Interviewing isn’t just about the things you say, but how you act during the interview! Your body language can communicate confidence or disinterest, so make sure you sit up straight and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

Speak loudly and clearly when answering questions and watch your grammar when you speak. Don’t be afraid to talk slowly and correct yourself to make sure the interviewer fully understands what you are saying.

Stay Confident

Interviewing is a skill and like any skill it takes practice. Don’t be embarrassed if you are nervous during an interview, as you gain experience this nervousness will gradually decrease.

When talking about yourself, take pride in your accomplishments, your applicable skills, your positive attributes, and your willingness to learn. Never apologize for lack of experience—everyone has to start somewhere—and instead focus on your strengths and what you offer the organization.

Be Patient

Don’t expect a job offer after the first interview. Often you will be invited to a second or third interview before an offer is made. You are likely just one of several candidates interviewing for the same position. Make sure to note if the interviewer gives you a time frame in which you should hear back from them and only follow up if you don’t hear back within that period.

End On A Positive Note

Have you ever seen a movie that had a great beginning and middle but a terrible ending? How often do those movies stick in your head after you’ve left the theater? The same is true of an interview. It’s important to end on a positive note to leave a good lasting impression.

Thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the job. Ask what the next steps will be in the interview process and leave with a firm handshake and a smile. That same day, you should send a follow-up letter, email, or phone call to express your appreciation for the interview and to reaffirm your interest in the job. This last step can be the difference that gets you the job offer.

Ann Bavaria

Ann Bavara is Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Marketing and Compliance for New Tripoli Bank. Ann has been part of the banking industry for the over 35 years, holding many positions including consumer lender, government affairs lobbyist, regulatory compliance, and human resources mergers and acquisitions.

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