At our most recent QA Practice Lunch we had an interesting topic and a discussion. We talked about what every QA has to know about how to win at interviews. We all know the phrase "You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, and unfortunately this encapsulates how most interviews work, because the job interview is where you win or lose the offer.
Here our hacky tips for killing the interview:
1. Prepare for the interview
That's the most crucial step but also the one that almost everyone tends to neglect the most. Take your time to sit down without distractions and go through the whole interview before it had happened. What questions will the interviewer ask you? How exactly will you respond? Write those questions and answers on a piece of paper. What you mustn’t miss to talk about? The process of writing things down enables you to remember them and to articulate them with confidence.
2. Do your homework - learn about the company's background.
Another greatly neglected step is to not take enough time to do the research. If you lack the knowledge about the business of the company, this will easily be spotted by the interviewer. Take your time to read through the client's website at least 2 times before going to the interview.
3. Write it down and practice - plan your answers for every question
It may sound that we talked about that in the beginning, but we cannot emphasize enough on the importance of going through every question and every answer in writing. You need to give yourself enough time to answer the possible questions in advance. This will take a good amount of your stress and anxiety away.
4. Always remain calm and if you are feeling stressed, avoid letting it show too much
During the interview keep your feet flat on the ground. Feel the ground beneath you and don’t give up to the pressure of stress. Constantly change your position and don't freeze at one spot. If you make yourself feel comfortable, everything will be fine and stress wont beat you down. If you feel that you are about to freeze due to stress, just take a deep breath and breath it all out, move with your body a bit and take a new position. This will restart you. One more tip: SMILE. This will help your body know that everything will be alright at the end, so it can relax.
5. Keep your answers short and simple
Yes - short and simple. That's it.
6. Stay positive and sidestep the drama
If you don’t know how - just smile. A smile on your face, even though artificial will shift you in a better state of your mind and you will inevitably become more positive. The positive and energetic outlook always wins at interviews.
7. Show enthusiasm
Breath in enthusiasm. Breath out enthusiasm. Let your system be refilled with that feeling. Start being more enthusiastic in your expression step by step. Don't overdo it. It will become evident if you fake it too much.
8. Ask the right questions
Don't forget that interviews are two-way street.
In order to skip the dumb questions and get to those that will give you an advantage, you must have done your homework. Start a couple of days before the interview - write down 21 questions, then cross out the ones that are too basic or the unnecessary ones. Do that several times and you'll get to those questions that will make you stand out.
We like to come together for lunch once or twice a month and share what we've learned in our daily projects. If you would like to propose a topic, feel free to message us on our Facebook page