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How to Master Your Interview

Avatar photoContent Marketing Specialist
On , In Culture

by the Groundswell Talent Acquisition Team

If you are a job seeker in tech, you know it can be challenging to land your dream role. The tech industry is rewarding, fast-paced and continuously evolving. Without previous experience, it can seem daunting to break into this industry. Even with experience in tech, it is challenging; there are a lot of companies to choose from and hundreds of applicants to stand out from. 

Every industry and company has a different way of finding the perfect candidate. Our recruitment team at Groundswell has shared universal advice to set you up for success during your interview process, no matter what industry it may be in!

3 Groundswell employees working in a meeting room.

Come Prepared 

After submitting your application, the initial interview will likely be a phone or video screen with an in-house or agency recruiter. This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression! Before the interview, it’s crucial to acquaint yourself with the job description, ensuring you understand the expectations of the role. If you do not meet 100% of the qualifications, address this by preparing examples of your relevant experience, technical skills, interpersonal skills, and willingness to learn. 

Get curious about the company. Spend time researching their website and getting familiar with the company’s vision, clients, competitors, and current team members. Explore social media feeds, job postings, and Glassdoor reviews. Take it a step further and reach out to current employees at the company to ask for personal experiences and advice. Get an overall sense of the company culture and make sure the culture is the right fit for you.

Show Your Expertise Through Examples 

If you make it past the initial interview, the next stage likely includes a hiring manager and/or a senior team member. These conversations place more focus on functional or technical experience, expertise, and communication skills. Make sure to read the room (in person or virtual) to best understand who the stakeholders are and how you can tailor your situational examples to their relevant interests. The more preparation you do, the more calmly and confidently you can share relevant examples of how your expertise will add value to their team. 

When answering situational questions, make sure to engage the audience. To do so, answer as concisely as possible, avoiding long narrative answers. Be specific with examples, while refraining from naming specific people or client information. Focus on the work, and the direct impact you have made. It is encouraged to speak honestly about failure, learnings, and challenges. Transparency is key in this process!

Showcase Your Skills  

Many interview processes will require you to do a demo assignment as part of the final round. You may have to answer scenario questions live, or have time in between to prepare a more detailed presentation. In either case, the interviewer will evaluate how well you perform under pressure, problem-solve, make assumptions and manage your time. They will also assess your technical skills, depending on the position. View this as an opportunity to showcase your unique perspective, expertise, creativity, and adaptability.

Ask Questions 

During your interview process, you will be asked by the recruiter or hiring manager if you have any questions. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your curiosity, interest, and dedication. This is also an opportunity to gain clarity. If something is unclear, ask away, and you will impress the team in the meantime. Make sure to write down your questions ahead of time and come prepared with the list. 

Examples of questions to ask: 

  1. What does your company do to create a strong culture? 
  2. What constitutes success in this role? 
  3. What are some challenges that people in this role have encountered in the past?
  4. What is the current team dynamic and how would I add to it? 
  5. What is the long-term vision of your organization?

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Always show up on time, or better, early for the interview. 
  • Ensure you have a strong WiFi connection for a virtual interview. Time is a precious resource and rescheduling is not always an option. 
  • Interviewers are taking notes, so speak concisely and avoid scattered answers. 
  • Steer clear of speaking poorly about previous employers and team members. It may be tempting, but it never reads well. Find creative ways to leverage your negative experiences instead. 
  • Be aware of how fast you are talking. It is okay to pause before you speak. Seek clarification if you are confused by a question. 
  • In no circumstances should you be dishonest on your resume or during the interview. Exaggerations of your experience will always come to light and are not beneficial for both you and the employer.  
  • Be upfront and transparent about your employment expectations and hesitations. If the role is not the right fit for you, it is better to know before the offer stage. Trust your gut. 
  • Ask for feedback during and after the conversation. Be open to hearing it.
  • Believe in yourself! There is a reason you made it this far. 

Groundswell’s Interview Process 

At Groundswell, our interview process is designed to be effective and efficient and allow both parties to get to know each other before an educated decision is made. You can learn more about our process here. If you take one thing from this blog, know that recruiters are here to help you! Interviews are challenging and can be nerve-wracking, but keep in mind that we want you to succeed and will do our best to support you and find a role that fits you. 

If you are interested in learning more about Groundswell’s interview process, open roles, or our culture, please reach out to us! Connect with one of our recruiters on LinkedIn, and follow our company page for insights, new opportunities, and company updates.

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