Landing the interview is a major milestone in the job search process. When a company is genuinely interested in you and your work, however, you’ll rarely participate in only one interview. Instead, you’ll communicate with the organization multiple times in various interview formats—and you’ll need a distinct set of tactics for each.
Here are tips on how to prepare for each of your interviews:
The Phone Interview
Phone interviews are often brief. Their goal is to cover certain basics, so the hiring manager can decide whether scheduling an in-person interview is a valuable use of the company’s time and yours. To prepare for phone interviews:
- Create a “cheat sheet” of essential bullet points, such as your most recent major accomplishments, what you’re looking for in a job and why you’re interested in this employer.
- Create a quiet space and time you can speak without interruptions.
- Dress well, sit (or stand) up straight, and speak confidently—these factors carry in the tone of your voice.
Your First Interview
The first in-person interview allows you to connect with the hiring manager one on one. It also gives you the chance to ask questions and gather information so you can decide whether it is worthwhile to continue in the process. To prepare for a first interview:
- Do your homework. Understand what the company does and what they’re looking for in top performers.
- Practice answering common interview questions with a focus on your recent accomplishments.
- Prepare several questions that will help you learn more about the company and the day-to-day demands of the job.
Your Second Interview
When you’re invited for a second interview, it’s often to answer more in-depth questions from your original interviewer or from another interviewer. For your second interview:
- Review what you covered in your first interview and choose two or three points on which to expand, or clarify topics from the first interview.
- Prepare follow-up questions using your knowledge of the company from the first interview.
- Ask your recruiter for advice on how this employer handles second interviews and how to succeed at them.
The Panel Interview
A panel interview typically involves several interviewers, all asking questions. To prepare for a panel interview:
- Learn who will be on your panel before the interview, if possible.
- Prepare to talk about your accomplishments with the perspective of each interviewer in mind.
- Practice pacing: Take a moment to think about each question before answering it, so you aren’t distracted by the rapid-fire pace of panel interviews.
At SoloPoint Solutions, our recruiters connect engineering professionals with some of the best companies and work opportunities available. Contact us today to learn more about our engineering employment opportunities in Irvine and beyond.