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7 Steps for a successful interview + (How to negotiate an offer)

Did you know that interviews are like the Olympic games? The only difference is there’s only one price, no silver, no bronze. Just a gold medal, and that’s the J O B, won by the selected candidate for the position.

Most job postings receive an average of 100 – 250 applications. This means when you eventually get selected for an interview, you will be competing against qualified candidates like yourself.

As an immigrant professional, there’s also the possibility that you’ll experience bias, language barriers (basically your accent), among others. 

But, you can W I N by being W E L L – P R E P A R E D to exceed the expectations of the hiring manager.

Steps for a successful interview

1. Research the Company

The proven first step for your interview is to learn about the company – history, culture, values, and mission. Next is to familiarize yourself with the company’s products and services, as well as industry news and trends.

This will show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the company and can help you demonstrate that you are a good fit for the company.

2. Prepare to answer simple and tough questions

Interview questions of many companies can be found on sites like Glassdoor. But, whether you’re able to find common interview questions asked by the recruiting company or not, you should be prepared to demonstrate your expertise and fit for the job through relevant, concise and structured storytelling.

Your ability to tell unique stories is what separates you from other candidates that may have the same qualifications as you. Also, stories stick and it will help the hiring manager remember you long after the interview is completed.

But how do you structure your answers?

Interview techniques like STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) and SAR (Situation, Action, Result) are powerful strategies that can help you demonstrate your ability to excel on the job.

In most interviews, the interviewer will ask you to describe a specific situation you faced in your work. These types of questions are asked to allow the interviewer to gain a deeper understanding of your skills and abilities by hearing concrete examples of how you have applied them in a real-world setting.

CAR and SAR follow a similar structure to the STAR technique but are adapted to different types of interview questions and scenarios.

Using the STAR technique, you’ll want to focus on demonstrating how your actions and decisions led to a positive outcome. This could be a project that you completed on time and under budget, a problem that you solved efficiently, or a team that you led to success. Whatever the example, make sure it showcases your skills and strengths and highlights the results that you achieved.

For immigrant job seekers, the STAR, CAR, and SAR methodologies can be particularly helpful because they provide a structured way to articulate your experiences and achievements.

They also demonstrate your ability to think critically and problem-solve, which are highly valued skills in today’s job market.

By practicing these techniques and preparing well in advance, you can increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and landing your dream job.

3. Dress appropriately 

Make sure you dress appropriately for the interview, following the company’s dress code or opting for a more professional look. First impressions are important, and your attire can demonstrate your level of professionalism and attention to detail.

4. Be punctual

Arrive early to your interview to show that you are responsible and dependable. This also gives you time to calm your nerves and review your notes before the interview.

5. Be confident

Confidence is key during an interview. Make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and speak clearly and concisely. Your body language and tone of voice can communicate just as much as the words you say, so make sure they convey the right message.

6. Ask thoughtful questions

Show that you are interested in the company and the role by asking thoughtful questions during the interview. This can also give you additional insight into the company and help you determine if the role is the right fit for you.

7. Follow up with a thank-you note

After the interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer to show your appreciation and reiterate your interest in the position. This can set you apart from other candidates and show your professionalism and attention to detail.

How to negotiate an offer

Salary negotiations can feel intimidating sometimes but you should be prepared for it. Before going to the interview, research both the company’s salary range and the industry average for the role you are interviewing for. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer about the budget or salary range for the role.

You can also play it safe by telling the interviewer that you would like to be paid a Fair Market Value or mention that you can come to an agreement if the job is right for you. It shows you are willing to negotiate a salary that is in line with your experience and qualifications.

Preparing for a job interview takes effort, but with the right strategy, you can make a great impression and increase your chances of landing the job.

Research the company, prepare for common interview questions, dress appropriately, and be confident and professional, and you’ll be well on your way to acing your next job interview.

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