Are you naturally gifted orator, saying exactly what you intend in each interview, no matter the context?
Don’t worry, almost nobody is!
Interviewing is an important and difficult skill to master, but a good interview can dictate your career path. Whether you’re interviewing in person, over video or on the phone you can make a great impression on the hiring manager.
Here are our interview tips to help you put your best foot forward.
1. Prep for the Interview
Before you even begin talking to interviewers, a little preparation is prudent. First, learn about the organizations to which you are interested in working with.
Second, plan your answers to common manufacturing and engineering interview questions. This is helpful to be at ease during the conversation, as well as remember all the key points you want to make about your skills, experience and work.
Finally, practice speaking out loud. Even the most casual interviews are still a formal assessment of you and your skills and so practicing what you want to say out loud is valuable to speaking in this setting. If you can, find someone to speak with so it feels closer to an interview.
2. Getting Ready for Each Type of Interview
These are usually the first meeting with a potential employer. While not usually an in-depth resume buster, the phone interview is a good assessment of how you may fit into the company culture and if your skills and experience match the position.
Historically, advice for a phone interview was to stick to more high-level responses. However, it is important to note that during COVID, phone and video interviewing are becoming more commonplace and more in-depth early-on so prepare for this interview type as you would a second interview to avoid a surprise question or two.
When taking a phone interview, avoid speakerphone to improve sound quality. Find a quiet room with minimal echo. If you’re using a smartphone, turn off all notifications and call-waiting so you won’t be interrupted during the interview.
Since a phone interview lacks the visual element of other types of interviews, it’s a good idea to record your practice interview with another person and then play it back – this will help you identify if you use too many filler words, pause awkwardly or have other easily-fixable speaking patterns.
Video interviews have become increasingly common as technology advances. You should come to a video interview with the same attitude you would an in-person interview. However, there are a few extra steps you should take.
First, test your technology before the interview. Not only does this ensure your technology is in working order, but it can also help you identify any easily-fixable mistakes – such as an off-kilter webcam.
You should also take a moment to clear the space behind you – the more neutral and clutter-free, the better. Find the room with the most natural light possible or use a lamp to ensure the interviewer can see you clearly.
Second Phone Interview or In-Person Interview
The real opportunity to make a great impression is in this meeting, during the second interview or first in-person interview. Expect more in-depth, open ended questions meant to really learn about you and what you know, and what you can do.
Dress for the second interview in upscale casual, even if you will be in an industrial setting for the meeting or it is virtual. If the interview request includes language for a “working interview” that means you should bring necessary safety equipment, like steel toed or non-slip footwear, safety googles, ear and eye protection.
This interview format can be a candidate group or a panel group.
In a candidate group, everyone is applying for the same job or project. Though this is an uncommon interview format, it is important to stand out from the crowd, show leadership as well as teamwork and an application of your knowledge. It is difficult to not be intimidated by a candidate interview, but group project experience is similar.
A panel interview is more common and means the candidate will be interviewed by a group of people. Most often a third interview, panel interviews are requested to provide more clarity on a candidate’s position and potential fit within an organization.
Making a great impression in an interview is imperative to getting the job offers you want and following the career path you have planned. Research the organizations, plan your answers, and practice speaking out loud.
How you are perceived in the interview process, is a combination of your experience and skills and how your personality will fit into the team. Use your time to talk about your successes and failures, and what you can add to the team.
Want more job searching tips? Strom Minnesota can help you prepare for any job interview and take the hard work out of finding positions. Don’t waste your time scouring the internet for job postings or waste time applying with multiple individual employers. Strom Minnesota takes all the hard work out of the job search, so you can find a new position faster.
Strom Minnesota is an engineering and technical recruitment agency that specializes in high-skilled job candidates for highly technical positions. We facilitate contract employment, project staffing, temp-to-perm and direct hire opportunities. Industries served include IT, engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and manufacturing. We are affiliated with Strom Engineering, a national staffing and recruitment agency.