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Financial Education for Everyone

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It is common to feel nervous before an interview, but remember that the interview is essentially just a conversation for you and a prospective employer to get to know each other. This is your chance to learn more about the job role and company, as well as an opportunity for you to present yourself and your skills. It may be tempting to say what you think an employer wants to hear, but ultimately, you need to be a good fit for a company just as much as a company needs to be the right fit for you. The biggest factor that will affect the success of your interview is your preparation for the interview. You will feel more confident during an interview if you give yourself enough time to be ready in advance.

The Interview

Research the company. Familiarize yourself with the company’s history, current condition and potential future, in addition to its competitors and current news about the industry. Visit the company’s website to review press releases and search online for any recent news articles the company may be mentioned in. Taking a look at the employer’s social media accounts is also helpful in understanding its culture and knowing what new projects and successes it is talking about with followers. Also, use online resources to see what current employees think of their company.

Prepare questions. Demonstrate your interest in the company and the role you’d play by coming prepared with thoughtful questions. The interview will feel more like a conversation if you can ask for insights into a company’s values, approach and plans. You want to ask questions that were not answered on the company website and that haven’t already been covered in the job description.

Brainstorm solutions. Try to remember that a hiring manager is looking for someone to fill a need. A candidate is a potential solution for the company’s challenges or weaknesses. Demonstrate your understanding of a company’s unique circumstances and business by identifying how you can provide value and solutions. Show what you can do for the company.

Prepare anecdotes. Anticipate that you’ll be asked to recall examples from your previous experiences. Come up with these examples ahead of time so you’re ready answer. One way to easily share an example of your ability to problem-solve is using the PAR outline: problem, action and result.

    P – What was the project, problem or performance objective that needed to be addressed?
    A – Describe the specific action you took and highlight your contributions that led to a successful outcome.
    R – Pinpoint the positive result.

These anecdotes will help you describe your role and accomplishments with clarity and detail that will make you a memorable candidate.

Dress appropriately for the job. Your interview clothing will serve you better if it is in keeping with a company’s dress code, however casual or formal that may be, rather than just meant to impress. Even for a preliminary video call, dress appropriately and take the call in a professional environment, even in your home.