Whether it is a board interview or an interview in general this article will let you know how to do well in an interview. These are the 5 major things I see people struggle when in an interviews.
- How to prepare for an Interview
- How to dress appropriately
- How to present yourself during the interview
- That difficult and guaranteed to come up question
- How to leave an impact
what you are being interviewed for; the job description in your own words, what
the daily job may entail. They want to make sure you know what it is like.
Know the people who are interviewing you (if possible). This means know what job they do and the achievements, why they are the ones chosen to conduct the board interview; and by using this information you can draw connections, making you a favorable candidate for the job.
Dress appropriately to the situation. This may sound like a no-brainer, but still, it’s very important as it is the first thing they will see, and it will give the first impression; how you present yourself and act will be second.
Firstly, if you have a uniform, wear it. If no uniform, dress business formal (unless specified otherwise) and always match your belt with your shoes.
If you are traveling during the winter or in bad weather, make sure you have a second pair of shoes so you can slip the good pair on right before your interview. They will likely start with your shoes and go up. Sometimes, if your shoes are not up to par, they will stop there and not inspect further.
Be confidence in the way you walk, talk, and act. There is a clear line between cocky and confidence so know when to have humility. Control of body language is always a must. Never cross your arms (it makes it look like you do not want to be there), do not lift your chin too high, and square your looks. Do your best to act respectful -no be respectful- they are in that position for a reason. Do not apologize, and especially not a half-hearted apology; when you are talking about weaknesses, act humble (it’s almost like embarrassed but not quite that far).
Eye contact is very important as it let them know you are confident, but not too much, so make sure you break the gaze sometimes either by drinking water or talking to someone else or thinking.
Address the interviewer respectfully by "Sir", or "ma'am", and rank or position when appropriate, to indicate that you know who they are.
Sometimes they will ask about regrets (it’s fine if you don’t have one) and mistakes. Never bring them up on your own unless the interviewer specifically asks, and try not to push blame onto anyone else, especially past employers, as this makes you sound petty. They will not always be looking at your mistakes but mostly to see if you have learned from it and assurance you will not repeat others like it again, and to see if this question will fluster you.
This leads us into the next topic...
"Know your strengths and weaknesses, know your strengths and weaknesses, Know your strengths and weakness." -
I can’t stress it enough. Never have I not been asked what my strengths and weaknesses are. For me, they have changed over time depending on what the employer is looking for, and as I work to improve upon them, but they have always been true. Always give an example.
Currently, if I was to be interviewed, I would say that my strengths would be to work well under pressure, and the leadership skills and qualities I've developed from the time I spent in senior positions within cadets… (Explain in a little more detail of what I did there). My greatest weakness would be linguistics, particularly my inability, sometimes, to get what I’m thinking in my head out on paper in a coherent way.
"Tell me about yourself?" is a question that often comes up. That question is looking for something similar to the strengths and weaknesses question. They may not directly ask for your strengths and weaknesses, and can sometimes hid it in a different question. This is where you can show them that you are optimistic, balanced, and that you are realistic, by giving them two strengths and a weakness.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will usually ask you if you have any questions for them regarding the position. This is your chance to shine and stand out from others, it also is probably one of the most difficult things.
What you want to do is ask a question that makes you seem interested, thoughtful, and invested in the position and the company. The question you ask should show that you've done your research on the company, and not that you just applied because they were hiring. This isn’t about setting you up by asking a question that you already know the answer to, as that makes you look arrogant. If you can't find a questio when preparing for the interview, perhaps think of one while the interviewer is explaining in greater detail what your position would entail.
During one of my first interviews, they had asked me if I had any questions for them three times, I replied "No" then "No, sir", the third time they asked they gave me a look. I had to think, and I thought hard, still couldn’t come up with a question.
A few months later (yes I still got the position), I found out that even if you don’t have a question for them you should think, and think hard about it (make it look like your gears are turning) because they want you to at least consider.
My advice is if you don’t have a question, run the whole interview over in your head, as much information as possible. You may want to ask for something to improve for your next interview or when you may hear the results, or something specific about the job. I found that if you ask a really good question, they will be impressed. They usually grade or mark you on this aspect as well.
When I was preparing for my interview for the military, I was able to get both my parents to give me hard questions and was even able to set up a coffee meeting with someone who used to be a recruiter to give me advice. If anything, practice with other people, find questions, and get family or friends to question you to oblivion! It will always help!