How To Ace an Informational Interview

Let’s face it. Everyone gets nervous when faced with a job interview. Doing your research and being prepared can help you ace your Informational or Competency based interview. Being prepared is half the battle, and being prepared can give you the confidence you need to succeed and land the job of your dreams!

Only you know how you react to the stress of interviewing. If you are the type to get flustered and tongue tied when doing a face to face or panel interview, then try to at least have the first interview over the phone. This way you can have all your paperwork spread out on the table in front of you. Just be sure not to rustle papers or they will think you are reading your answers. Your responses should come across as natural conversation. Practice your responses with your family and friends. Let them ask you some interview questions and try your best to answer each one.

Being prepared to ace your informational interview is really not that hard to do. Try to respond to the interview questions using the STAR technique. This will keep you from rambling on and getting off topic. The STAR technique is simple to understand. Each letter stands for what you need to talk about. The “S” stands for Situation. The “T” stands for task or job, The “A” stands for action, and the “R” stands for result.

If you are asked if you ever were in a situation where you had to deal with an irate client you can say this. The situation was this and then you briefly explain it. Then add my task was to do this and add in what was expected from you and what you tried to do. Next, say My action was to do this. Tell the interviewer what actions you took. Finally, tell them the result. The result was this. Many people talk about the situation for a long time but often neglects to talk about the result and if it had any monetary savings.

Take a few business scenarios and write them out using the STAR technique and try to memorize them as best you can. You will be surprised about how some situations can be adapted to different questions. Knowing that you are prepared for the interview questions will put you at ease and you will come across with confidence to your potential employer.

Keep yourself organized. Only bring the papers that you think you will need during the interview, like your resume, or reference list. Having too many papers with you might make it difficult to find the one you need since you will most likely be nervous already.

The potential employer will want to see that you are confident, prepared and organized.


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