This story appeared a few years ago in the Sydney Morning Herald (Rachel Loock, SMH, December 3, 2016). It's still the best article around on the nerve-wracking process of job interviews. Doing research helps to limit those nerves while understanding what interviewers are looking for. There's a book called 'Interview Skills' by Michael Spiropoulos that expands on what is written here.
"Whether you are interviewing for the first or fifth time, or you haven't interviewed for a position in some time, there are a number of things to remember to be sure you nail your next interview. Advance planning and preparation and letting your passion shine through will you help you nail your next interview.
"Once you've been selected for an interview, the first step is to research the company thoroughly. Company annual reports and articles can be found easily for most companies online. The company's web site can also provide a wealth of information about the company's products, services and important initiatives.
"Take the time to familiarise yourself with as much information as possible about the company. Be sure to also speak with current and former company employees who can share information about the company's culture, successes and challenges. These conversations will help you to gain valuable insight prior to the interview.
"Panel interviews, where more than one person interviews the candidate, are very common. Inquire about the interview format and with whom you will be interviewing.
"Generally, an interview will start with a few traditional interview questions, such as "tell me about yourself," or "walk me through your resume". Your response to this should summarise four to five key points that describe your education, relevant experience, and why you are interested in the industry, company and position.
"Traditional interview questions allow the interviewer to get to know the candidate and put the candidate at ease before moving to more challenging questions.
"These are usually followed by a series of behavioural interview questions, which are based upon the premise that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Examples of these questions include "tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team", or "tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer".
Use the SAR story format (situation, action, result) to tell your story in a concise and compelling manner that makes it easy to for the interviewer to see that you are a fit. Be sure to also describe and quantify the end result of your achievements. Where did you increase revenue, decrease costs, or improve customer satisfaction?"