It's a no-brainer: job interviews differ based on the industry and position you are interviewing for. An interviewee in the finance industry, for example, will be asked questions that test for required analytical knowledge. A/E/C interview questions will vary depending on the industry and discipline, but a common thread is that all employers want to know if the potential hire has the required technical skills and will fit in with the existing culture of the company.
We've compiled a few tips and tricks to help you be more confident in your next interview.
To Get Started:
Everyone who's ever interviewed for a job has been asked these basic interview questions (and attempted not to roll their eyes at the interviewer): "Why should we hire you?" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
Tip #1: Start off strong.
Try not to blow past the introductory questions. This is an opportunity for you to highlight specific areas of expertise and responsibilities you've held in the past. Are you a problem solver? Do you take the lead in difficult situations? What is your conflict resolution style? They want to know that if a problem arises, you won't wait for someone else to figure it out.
Tip #2: Be honest.
When describing your weaknesses, be honest. There's no more annoying answer to this question than, "My biggest weakness is that I'm always busy because I work too hard."
Once you get through these initial questions, the more analytical part of the interview begins, when the interviewer will assess you on a much more comprehensive level.
Tip #3: Highlight accomplishments and skills.
Don't forget to highlight accomplishments from all stages of your career: what you've learned in school, professional projects you've worked on, and other positions you've held. Demonstrate a broad comprehension of relevant situations and concepts to help the interviewer understand why you're the best fit for the job.
Getting to the Good Stuff:
Be prepared to answer questions about certain scenarios, good and bad, that you were previously faced with.
Tip #4: Use your past experiences to your advantage.
For example, "Describe a time when you used your engineering knowledge to solve a problem for which there appeared to be no answer?" The more you can illustrate previous circumstances in which you were resourceful, creative, and equipped to solve any problem thrown your way, the more value you will bring to a new company.
Tip #5: Communication is key.
When confronted with questions similar to, "Give an example of a time when you had to teach a skill to another engineer," demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate with others. Teaching is no easy task and being able to do so proves you are a great asset to the company.
Tip #6: Prove your value.
"How can you best use your engineering education and prior work experience to help our company grow?" Remember, when companies hire a new employee, they are making a significant investment in that person. You want to prove your value and how you can benefit the company will make a return on their investment. Did you improve something in a previous job that expedited orders or saved thousands of dollars? Did you add to the company culture? Keep all of these examples in mind during your interview. Our company culture
Other Things To Keep In Mind:
Tip #7: Be Prepared.
Engineering Manager Jess Sisson said, "Candidates often expect a totally verbal interview and some struggle with this, especially candidates with a relatively practical background." For example, the interviewer might show you a drawing of one of their products and ask for you to explain the basics of how it works. This could throw some off guard, but if you are prepared you can really exhibit your skill set and maybe even say how it could be improved!
Tip #8: Be Specific.
Lastly, whether this is your first job out of college or you're a mid-level PE looking for a change of scenery, keep in mind to talk about specific work you have done. Interviewers really want to know how you contributed to a project contrary to what others achieved in the same task.
Tip #9: Proofread Your Social Profiles.
When you apply for your job interview, don't forget about your social media. Most companies look at that first before scheduling an interview. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social medias are very important websites to keep clean and professional.
Tip #10: Get Started!
Ready to get the job hunt started? Look no further. ExactSource is the premier recruitment company for the A/E/C industry. Click below to browse our open positions or join our confidential candidate network here.