The Best Interview Techniques for Job Seekers in 2022/2023
For most people, interviewing for a job is nerve-wracking. Even when things are going well, it's difficult to know how to respond and whether the employer likes you. But some techniques can help candidates get the offer more often when they interview. Doing your research and practicing with a friend before the big day might be helpful, but that’s not usually sufficient preparation.
In this article, we will discuss the challenges people face during interviews and the best interview techniques to help you get your target job.
However, if you don’t have a lot of time to read, just click on the button below to get straight to the hottest modern interview technique of 2022.
What Challenges Do Most Candidates Face During A Job Interview?
There are many challenges that job seekers face during interviews. The most obvious challenge is the interview process itself. Many stressors are involved in the interview process, starting with meeting new people and making a good impression. The more stressors involved, the greater the challenge.
Before you even get to the interview, though, one challenge is the online application process. Many companies today use an online application to assess and hire candidates. This creates a unique challenge because most candidates do not know how to present themselves effectively in a cover letter and resume. And getting interviews is especially tricky when you are considering transitioning to a new type of role or career path.
The other challenge is getting past a tough phone screening or an initial interview, and not knowing how to prepare for subsequent interviews that might occur later in the process. Also, candidates usually don't know if they will receive another interview or if the company will even contact them again. Therefore, they may have limited time to prepare for additional interviews when they come up.
Simply put, interview challenges fall into three categories. These include technical, personal, and situational.
Technical interview challenges revolve around a candidate's skills and knowledge — what you know about the position you are applying for, your ability to perform the duties you would have, etc.
Personal interview challenges relate to a candidate's personality and attitude, their ability to present themselves appealingly in an interview setting and communicate well with the interviewer.
Situational interview challenges are given by behavioral interview questions. These relate to the candidate’s background and experiences and may contain questions about their successes and failures in previous companies, relationships with customers and teammates, and ability to manage up.
The best way to handle all those kinds of challenges is to prepare for them in advance. Smart preparation includes the following:
- Identifying the key requirements in the job ad, and writing stories about your achievements that match
- Researching the most typical questions in the chosen niche/industry/organization (Glassdoor.com can be very helpful for this.)
- Finding information about the organization and hiring manager in the media, on LinkedIn, or in the chosen organization’s website or social media
- Searching for former candidates, employees, or ex-employees of the company on LinkedIn or review sites like Glassdoor.com to get tips from them
- Practicing with a professional interview coach
To summarize — to succeed in an interview, you need to understand employers’ various interview techniques, so you are not caught off-guard. We discuss them below. Later in the article, we will teach you how to respond to interview questions and explain why traditional approaches to interviews may not optimize your chances of getting the offer. Keep scrolling.
Common Interview Techniques for Employers that Candidates Should Know
Behavioral Interviewing Techniques
Behavioral interviewing refers to a system of questioning used to evaluate candidates for a job based on how they have handled specific situations in the past. The interviewer probes the candidate, asking them to describe how they acted and reacted in past situations to understand how they might handle similar situations in the future.
One of the best behavioral interviewing techniques for candidates is telling a complete story from your experience. The interviewer may ask follow-up questions to clarify information, probe deeper into your reasoning, or challenge your response. This questioning aims to learn more about what happened and assess your ability to reason analytically and communicate effectively, skills that are necessary for success in many different professions.
The interviewer will be looking for evidence from your stories to determine if you have a reliable framework for making decisions, can deal with pressure and uncertainty, and work well with others.
Also important among behavioral interviewing techniques for candidates is to be think about the meaning that the listener will draw from the story. Don’t tell stories, for example, where your boss went ahead with a plan you disagreed with, and it turned out badly—just to point out you knew something the boss didn’t. That’s because the interviewer is putting themselves in the shoes of your former supervisor and wanting to be sure that they will be glad they hired you.
How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions Using the STAR Technique
In response to a behavioral interview question, you must tell a true story from your experience. A story is told in the past tense. If you hear yourself speaking theoretically, in the present tense, get yourself back on track by commencing a story. Theoretical, present-tense answers might start, “Well, this happens all the time. What I usually do is …” or “The important thing in handling a situation like this is …” Instead, your answer should sound something like this: “In March 2020, when everything shut down due to COVID, …” or “One time my supervisor wanted to …”
Many interviewees use the “STAR” interview technique, where STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. This method will help you tell the important elements of your story. Just make sure that you don’t spend more than about two sentences on each stage, or your answer will be too long. The most important thing is the R: Provide a happy ending by choosing a story where you were the hero who made something great happen for your employer.
Case Interview Questions
Case interview questions are probably the least common type of interview question, and they can be the hardest to master. This kind of question aims to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to be successful in the role. There are a few different types of cases, but they all require you to take on a problem and develop a solution based on your critical thinking skills.
The interviewer will present a hypothetical situation, such as something you might face on the job. They will then ask you to imagine that you are already in that situation and have been tasked with making a decision. They'll ask you how you'd go about solving your problem or completing your task. This is great because it helps the interviewee express what they'd do in a given scenario instead of just what they've done before, which can be very different. When facing a case interview question, give a complete answer that includes all important considerations.
How Do You Answer Interview Questions?
Most people stick to the traditional approach of answering interview questions. This technique involves researching the company ahead of time. This is a reasonable attempt at figuring out what the company is looking for, but you won’t find answers to each question you're likely to be asked. Researching may also lead you to ask simple questions about the company that don't help you get the offer.
The other approach is brainstorming your answers to possible questions in advance. We do recommend this. However, this approach puts all the pressure on correctly guessing what they will ask and what they will consider a good answer.
Essentially, traditional approaches to interviews are typically recommended for interview skills and techniques. But if everyone is preparing in the same way, how can you stand out from the competition in an interview in a way that impresses your employer?
Best Interview Skills and Techniques to Prepare for an Interview
While preparing in advance for common interview queries is a crucial step, that alone does not guarantee success in the interview. And what is the best way to prepare for an interview anyway? You want to get into the heart of your potential employer, to be the candidate they most like and feel confident about. You must not forget that every invited candidate is qualified for the job, but your use of emotional intelligence will determine if you get the job. And this is where skilled interview coaching comes into play.
Interview coaching is a way to get a professional perspective on your interview skills and performance. A coach will come prepared with questions that will drill down into your strengths, weaknesses and potential fit for the job. They'll help prepare you for how the interview will likely go, how you can shape how it goes, and how best to present yourself honestly and professionally.
In addition, a good coach will teach you how to charm the interviewer, which will boost your confidence during any real-life interviews. In short, they'll prepare you so that the hiring managers will find you irresistible. They’ll help you master ways of developing an instant relationship with your interviewers.
Candidates who qualify for jobs can master the interview techniques employers use through the help of professional interview coaches. Nevertheless, an exclusive interview methodology like the Interview AikidoTM interview technique will give you an even stronger competitive edge. We will talk about this in a bit.
How Can You Make Interview Techniques and Questions Work For You?
Perform In-depth Research
Making interview questions work for you requires that you perform in-depth research on the companies you will interview with. If a job seeker asks questions that indicate they have no idea what the company does or what the job entails, that's a missed opportunity, because it shows your interviewer that you don't care enough about the role even to take the time to learn about it. This is not a good look, and it's also a wasted opportunity.
Prepare Your Answers to Common Interview Questions
Preparation is key to finding success in the interview process, and it starts well before the interview itself. Below you will find common interview questions you should be prepared to answer. It's best to prepare for the most common questions so that you'll have answers ready when they come up. If you can also prepare for some more unusual or unexpected questions, even better.
- “What makes you interested in this position and our organization?”
- “Describe your experience and how that qualifies you for the position.”
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “What is your greatest professional achievement?”
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- “How would your current or former colleagues who worked with/ for you describe you?”
- “Why should we hire you?”
- “Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge on the job. How did you handle it?“
- “Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone very difficult. How did you handle it?“
- “Tell me about a time when your supervisor was wrong about something. How did you handle it?“
- “How long would you stay in the position/with this organization if offered the position?
- “What are your salary expectations?”
- “Why are you leaving your position/How did your last job end?”
- “Do you have any final questions for me about the position or organization?”
Pause and Reflect Before Answering
Most people are uncomfortable with silence, so they tend to fill it with words. Before answering an interview question, though, take a moment to think about your response and the best way to share it. You don't want to ramble on or say things that aren't relevant, and pausing before speaking will make you seem more thoughtful and intentional about what you do say. Doing so also gives you time to collect your thoughts and calm down if you feel nervous or flustered.
Learn Interview Techniques for Interviewers to Know How to Answer
Although the interviewers will ask the majority of the questions, you can influence them using your emotional intelligence and gain some control over the interview by asking questions early on in the interview. For example, ask questions like these:
- What’s working well in your department, and what would you like to see different?
- What are you most concerned about in terms of hiring for this position?
- And at the end of the interview …
- Is there anything you are looking for in a candidate that you’re not sure I offer?
- Don’t bother with questions like these:
- What duties would I have as an employee?
- Will this be an entry-level position, or will there be opportunities for advancement?
- How many people are working at this organization, and who are they?
These questions will not help you get the offer and should be answered by the job posting and/or online research.
It's also not a good idea to ask about things like pay ranges and benefits packages. Once they are convinced they want you, you’ll have the upper hand in negotiating these matters, if necessary. The time to ask any questions related to whether you want the job is when they are indicating they want you—for example, they have asked for your references and said that if they check out, an offer will be forthcoming.
What Is the Interview AikidoTM Interview Technique?
The Japanese martial arts word aikido means “the way of unifying energy.” That’s why, unlike traditional interview techniques, the Interview AikidoTM interview technique focuses on using the interviewer’s energy and reflecting on it, uniting with it, and avoiding the disempowered, dependent position in which you just answer questions.
The Interview AikidoTM interview technique is a method to keep the focus on the hiring manager's interests and the information you are getting from them. If you ask the right questions, you’ll find out what’s on the interviewer’s mind and how you can present yourself as the solution to their problems. The Interview AikidoTM approach aims to empower interviewees so they position themselves as the best candidate or even realize early the role is not for them and be able to cancel the interview to save each other’s time.
There are three main advantages of using Interview AikidoTM interview techniques:
- They allow you to build rapport with the interviewer by showing interest in them and their problems.
- They reduce stress for both parties: The interviewer gets to talk about what they are proud of and unburden themselves of their problems. The interviewee isn’t on the hot seat, getting grilled. You are having a normal, back-and-forth flowing conversation.
- The most important reason: They enable you to get the information you can use to sell yourself.
Bottom Line on the Best Job Interview Techniques in 2022
Interviewing for a job is often a stressful, uncomfortable experience, especially for job seekers. You are trying to beat out the competition and land your dream job as soon as possible.
Thankfully, there are proven behavioral interview techniques, skills, and methods that can help you prepare for interviews in advance, know which questions to expect and how to answer them, and know which questions to ask and how to win over your interviewer.
The Interview AikidoTM interview technique aims to help you unify your energy with the hiring manager’s. Interview AikidoTM is a proprietary method developed by the YES Career Coaching & Resume Writing experts, and you can learn more about working with the world’s only Interview AikidoTM coach by scheduling a free consultation with the team.
About the Authors
Katherine Metres Akbar is the founder and president of YES Career Coaching & Resume Writing Services, one of Washington metro’s two top-rated career success companies. She and her team have helped over 5,000 people and organizations perfect their resumes, master networking, get interviews, receive offers for dream jobs, resettle employees through outplacement, and optimize their teams. Katherine is the world’s only Interview AikidoTM coach, a Certified Talent Optimization Consultant, Certified Professional Career Coach, and a Certified Professional Interview Coach. An award-winning writer, she previously served as a U.S. diplomat and executive director of a civil rights non-profit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Michael Akbar is the co-owner and vice president of YES Career Coaching & Resume Writing Services. He is a Certified Professional Career Coach, Certified Federal Career Coach, Certified Business Advisor, and Certified Talent Optimization Consultant helping leaders build their dream teams. Michael leverages his business development background to help coachees get their dream job, often on the hidden job market. Michael has spent 15 years as an entrepreneur coaching business owners to break through their barriers to success. After talking his way into two jobs in order to get a work visa, Michael was inspired to create Interview AikidoTM to help people get jobs, even when they are underqualified. He holds a Bachelor of Science from McGill University and a Master of Science from the City University of London.
The home team is completed by Farah Akbar, a joyful, stubborn, and—some say—adorable terrier/pitbull mix the Akbars adopted from the shelter after a traumatic early life.