Practice can make a HUGE difference while preparing for your interview, especially since interviewers can always tell who took the process seriously and who didn’t. Sharpen your skills by conducting practice interviews.
Get a group of peers together and start asking each other interview questions. While the answers are important, being comfortable with the format of the interview is also essential.
Most interview questions help determine a candidate’s ability to be successful in the open position. Therefore, researching the position might help you predict some of the questions. Is it a job that involves customer service? If so, you will probably get a question on your experience dealing with customers. Does it involve project planning? Problem solving? Working in a fast-paced environment? Look at the job posting to see what tasks are involved.
Sample practice interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when you administered excellent customer service. What did you do and what was the end result?
- How does your previous experience relate to the job you are applying for?
- Tell me how you would handle a difficult customer? What was the situation and what did you do to help the customer?
- What would you do if you witnessed another associate demonstrating poor customer service?
- Tell me about a time you had to come up with a quick solution to a problem. What was the impact of that solution?
How to create job-specific questions:
- First, you should always research the job you’re interested in
- Look at the tasks listed in the job description or job posting, as well as the working conditions
- Create questions starting with:
- “Tell me about a time you [insert task from job posting]”
- “Give an example where you [insert task from job posting], and what was the result?”
- “Tell me about a time where you have worked in [insert description of the work environment in the job posting, i.e. fast-paced] environment”
Top Tip: How to answer the question
HUGE TIP: Answer the question completely. You won’t get credit for things you don’t say. Many people lose points because they feel some of the details in their answer are self-explanatory. A good way to ensure you answer all the parts of the question is to use SAR.
S = State the Situation
A = What Action did you take?
R = What were the Results of your actions?
And for extra points, explain what you learned!
The person interviewing you wants to know if you have relevant experience, if you take the action they’re looking for in the job, if you can apply the learning to new situations and if you’re a good match overall. For instance, if you’re asked a question about customer service, then you should describe a relevant situation from your experience, actions that you took and the results of your actions. Many times associates will stop with, “I provided great customer service by providing the customer what they wanted.” Instead, explain the full situation: how it addressed the specific customer needs and The Home Depot’s needs, how this is a good example of customer service, and what did you learn?
Do Your Research: Research the position, the department and the manager. This can make for great dialogue when interviewing and provide you with information on what they are looking for in an associate.
Shine on the day of the interview
Be Prepared -Always bring a pen, paper and extra copies of your resume. Know what questions you’d like to ask at the end of the interview.
Dress for Success - Dress one level up from the job dress code.
Get Some Rest and Eat – You want to feel your best and be on your “A” game
Arrive Early – Rushing and feeling frantic will carry over into your interview. Get there early, walk around and be calm when it‘s time to meet the interviewers.
Leave a lasting impression
- Express your enthusiasm for the job and tell them you look forward to joining the team
- Ask questions about the job and the group after the interview – it shows you’re interested and provides you with information to help you determine whether or not you’re a good match
- How long have you been with the company?
- What do you like best about working here?
- What makes people successful in this role and in this group?
- How would you describe the way the team interacts with one another?
- Don't be afraid to ask about next steps in the selection process and when you can expect to hear from them
- Leave your interviewer(s) with a firm handshake, a smile and a “thank you” for their time
- Send a "thank you" note affirming your interest in the position