Job interview techniques that will get you hired: the essentials | Hitmarker | Skillshare

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Job interview techniques that will get you hired: the essentials

teacher avatar Hitmarker, Multi-award-winning job platform

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Course introduction

      1:05
    • 2. Preparing for an interview

      2:19
    • 3. Making a strong impression

      1:00
    • 4. Interview techniques

      2:45
    • 5. Any questions? (Part 1)

      3:59
    • 6. Any questions? (Part 2)

      3:25
    • 7. Remote interview specifics

      1:52
    • 8. In-person interview specifics

      1:55
    • 9. After the interview

      1:28
    • 10. Dealing with rejection

      3:13
    • 11. What now?

      0:49
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About This Class

In this course, multi-award winning job platform Hitmarker takes you through the entire job interview process, from preparation and research to responding to rejection.

Designed to make your next job interview easier, regardless of it’s your first or hundredth, this course is full of tips and examples to help take your application to the next level.

Some key areas covered in this course are:

  • Researching a company before the interview
  • Interview techniques to impress the interviewer
  • Questions you should be asking, and why
  • Remote and in-person specific advice
  • Handling rejection and following up after an interview

And much more! By the end of the course you’ll have a better idea not only about what you should be doing, but why you should be doing it. If you want to up your job interview game, this is the best place to start!

Meet Your Teacher

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Hitmarker

Multi-award-winning job platform

Teacher

Hitmarker is the leading video game job platform and has helped countless people find careers they love. Over the past four years the Hitmarker staff team has conducted hundreds of application reviews for its users, and is now bringing that knowledge to Skillshare. Expect courses on job applications, hiring practises, and plenty of other insights around modern ways of work from this multi-award-winning company.

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Transcripts

1. Course introduction: Over my time at Hitmarker, I've spent countless hours researching and writing advice about what companies want to see and hear from an interview candidate, as well as the best ways of presenting yourself in this crucial step of the job application process. This course is the culmination of that research, with all of the best advice and tips we have all in one place. We wanted to design this course to be everything that we wanted to know when we were applying for new jobs, and have made it as jam-packed and easy-to-follow as possible. Each lesson is a bite-sized section designed to not only tell you what you should be doing at each stage of the build up and interview itself, but also to explain why the tips are valuable and worth keeping in mind. It'd be very easy for us to just list what you should do, but we want to equip you with the best advice in the game so you can utilize it over multiple situations and interviews at every stage of your career. With all that said, let's dive straight into our first lesson, where we'll be going over what preparation you need to do before your interview. 2. Preparing for an interview: So, how do you go about preparing for an interview? It can feel like a daunting task, but we've broken it down into a few key sections that will help you go into that next interview feeling confident and informed. The first thing you should do before going into any interview, unless you already know this, of course, is research a little bit about the company's origin story. While it's unlikely that the interviewer will ask you to recount every small detail about the company, they might ask you what you know about them. In this case, you want to come prepared with when the company was formed, what their primary business is, and a few significant events that have happened recently — if it's a larger company. It's also worth making a note of a couple of their competitors in case you get asked if there's any other companies operating in the same sector as them. If you're unsure of how to do this, you could always go into Google and search for the primary product or service of the company you're applying to. If this was tech recruitment, for example, you'll get an idea of some of the leaders in this area by viewing the first page of Google search results. Now that we have that background info stored away, it's onto the job description itself. When preparing for an interview, it's important to consider where your strengths lie in terms of what's asked for in the job spec. Is there anything you're especially confident with? If so, make a mental note of this and think about what you can say that backs this point up. Previous work positions or segments of your education are ideal here; what can you use to show that you're the professional you claim you are? Another area that you want to refresh yourself on is the cover letter and resume you sent to the company. It's very likely that these will be brought up in some way, so being able to answer any questions on them is crucial. This is especially important in your cover letter. Since this document should be different for each of your applications, you want to remind yourself of anything you might have said specific to this job description, especially the skills that you emphasized most heavily. It's no good if they bring these things up in the interview only for you to look lost. Finally, it's important to have a few good questions prepared for the end of the interview. It's common practice for the interviewer to ask, 'Do you have any questions for us?' To which you want to absolutely say, 'Yes' — but we'll be covering that in much more detail later in the course, so stick around for that later on. That wraps up most of the preparation stage. Next, we'll be talking about making a positive impression right from the start of the interview. 3. Making a strong impression: First and last impressions are important. So in this lesson, we're going to cover how you start your interviews strongly. Remember, interviews aren't only there for you to expand on who you are professionally, they're also the employer's—and your—chance to connect on a more personal level than is possible for a resume or cover letter. Try to be engaging when you speak. Make eye contact, utilize hand gestures and body movements, and generally aim to show yourself to be a personable, professional candidate. It's likely that you'll exchange some small talk with the interviewer right at the start, so try and go back and forth a little — even if it's not usually your strength. Preparing an answer for 'How's your day been so far?' that gives a little more detail than just, 'It's been okay, thanks,' can kick the interview off in the right direction and begin shaping it into more of a conversation. And if any mutual interests between yourself and the interviewer come up from how you answer, that's great news for you both. With that covered, we'll be getting into the good stuff in our next lesson, where we'll be speaking about some great interview techniques you could be using. 4. Interview techniques: Okay, interview techniques. This is the really important stuff that can help your chance of progressing to the next application round, so let's start off with the fundamentals. Turn off your phone. There should be nothing that can disturb you and the interview at any point in time, so don't take any risks here. If you're interviewing remotely, then turn off your phone *and* mute any notifications you could be receiving throughout the interview: Slack, Skype, Discord, emails — whatever it is, it should not be something that distracts you and makes you lose your train of thought, so this point really is something to follow. Next, make sure you have a drink of water with you, or ask for one if you're interviewing in person. We're minimizing things that could go wrong in this lesson, and a scratchy throat is never fun to have — especially during a job interview. Go into the interview with the company ethos in mind in terms of how formal you're going to be, but be prepared to match the interviewer in terms of style if it's vastly different. Do make sure to always remain respectful, though, no matter how the interviewer presents themselves — even if it's nothing like you imagined. When you're being asked questions, it's a good technique to be thinking of whether or not you can create new questions off the back of what you're currently speaking about, either to ask there and then, or at the end of the interview. This shows that you're actively listening, which will be noticed by the interviewer and can be a clear distinction between a candidate who's engaged in the interview, and someone who's not. It can also turn the interview into more of a conversation, which is a valuable way to build rapport with the person you're talking to. A really key technique in interviews that some people overlook is asking for clarification on a question if you need it. While it can feel like you need to always answer a question immediately to make the best impression, it's more beneficial for you—and the interview as a whole—as they want an accurate response, so ask for some clarification if you need it. Believe us, an interviewer would rather elaborate on their question, than receive a completely unrelated answer, so you shouldn't feel bad for doing this. Take your time when you need to. It's much better than giving an answer that sounds muddled and all over the place. Now, here's a tip that can be easy to forget, especially if you're someone that can feel flustered when put on the spot: you should talk slowly and purposefully in the interview, even if it feels a little bit slower than you'd think is normal. This will prevent you from rushing your words and means your answers won't outrun your thoughts — both of which are very valuable qualities. If you keep these points in mind when going into your interview, then you should come across as a thoughtful, engaging candidate. And that's going to tick several boxes. Join us in the next lesson as we prepare you for the end of the interview, where the hiring manager will ask you what questions you have for them. 5. Any questions? (Part 1): Now that we've talked you through some of the main tips and tricks you could use to prepare for your interview, and some of the best strategies for the interview itself, we're going to tackle one of the biggest questions we get about the whole process. At the end of basically every interview, you'll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, and your answer should always be yes. It can be hard to know exactly what to ask—and what the interviewer wants you to ask— so we're giving you some general ideas for you to consider as some great questions you can have prepared to let you go into this final part of the interview with confidence. The general rule you want to live by is that you should have three questions prepared when you go into the interview. It'll actually be pretty unlikely you end up asking all three of these questions, since things may come up in the interview that either answer those questions, or raise more vital ones that you'll want to ask instead, but having three prepared will give you a good base line to work with. First thing you want to be doing, and this is something you could do during your preparation and research, is to see if there's anything about the company specifically that you want to ask about. Being able to ask something specific and relevant will impress the hiring manager by showing you've done your research on the company, and that you're genuinely interested in the place you're applying to work. It's worth noting that these questions might be covered in the interview, so if they are make sure not to ask them again as this will suggest you haven't been listening. We have some time left in this lesson to offer some suggested questions that you might want to prepare that will not only be valuable to you, but also impress the hiring manager. Don't worry if none of these take your fancy, as we'll be going over more examples in the next lesson as well. Each question will be accompanied here by some explanation on why you would want to ask this, so you can get the answers you want and give yourself a good spread of questions. So the first example: 'What teams would I be working with most often?' This is one of those questions that doesn't instantly come to mind, but it's a very good question for couple of reasons. It shows the interviewer that you're interested in the internal workings of the company, and that you're considering how the job would be when you're working it. We will mention why asking for the day-to-day tasks of a job is quite bad at the end of this lesson, but this question can help get a little clarification on this without looking like you haven't been paying attention up to this point. It's something interviewers don't always offer up at this stage, so it's a nice question to have in mind. Another question: 'What would career progression look like within the company?' This one is a great question as it provides good information to both parties. On your end, you'll be able to find out what you can expect going forward in the company, and for many people, stability in one organization with room to grow and promote internally is super important. Asking this allows you to decide if the company has your future in mind and if it's a future that you want for yourself. The reason that interviewers will love to hear this question is that it shows that you're invested in the long run. In full time roles especially, this is something the company will be on the lookout for. Asking these kinds of questions shows that you're thinking about being there for the long haul. 'What is the company's stance on remote work?' You don't need us to tell you why remote working has become much more common in the past couple of years, and this question is something worth asking about if it hasn't already been covered. This is an example of a question that requires you to go back to the job description to make sure this hasn't already been mentioned, as you don't want to be asking something that's already been stated. We have one last thing to mention when it comes to questions in this lesson, and that's to avoid anything about day-to-day responsibilities. We see it recommended all over the place that you should be asking about what you would be doing each day, but we think this is something that should already be very clear by the end of the interview. That's all for this lesson, but we will be giving some more questions to ask in the next lesson, so we'll see you there. 6. Any questions? (Part 2): We'll be diving right into some more questions that you could have prepared in this second part of our, 'Any questions?' lesson. If you've found your way here without watching the first one, then make sure to go back and get yourself up to speed. Let's look at some more questions we can ask at the end of the interview. 'What will my first week, month, and year look like at the company?' This is a great way of expectation-setting for yourself and the company during the interview process. This can also give the company a chance to talk to you about onboarding if they haven't already covered it, though they might choose to stay strictly on-role. Regardless, the question will be useful to see what skills are needed right away and what you'll have more time to develop. This can be useful as it allows you a chance to reinforce the fact you're the right person for the role, while also being able to prioritize what you need to learn and focus on should you get the job. 'What's the onboarding process like at the moment?' As we mentioned in the last question, this is something that might be covered elsewhere, but if not then it's something worth considering asking. Understanding what would go on in the initial stages of employment will be helpful to you, and it's the sort of question that shows you're taking the process seriously. It's also quite a safe question to have prepared, as it's not something that naturally comes up in every interview. A more personal one now: 'What were your first months with the company like?' Finding out first-hand what a company is like from someone who works there is always likely to help you in an interview. Yes, the interviewer is very likely to only want to share positive things about the company, but this can still be useful. Asking questions of your interviewer can also help you find common ground with them, and building rapport is always amazing when in an interview. We've heard multiple examples of people having mediocre interviews, but turning it around by asking good questions and getting the interviewer on side by the end of the discussion. It's their report that will matter when it comes to the outcome of the interview, amongst other things of course, so you want to bring them in and asking about their experience will help to do just that. 'What's your favorite thing about working here?' This one links to the previous question in that it's also about getting the interviewer talking about themselves to build more of a connection between the two of you. This gives a little less information than asking about their opening few months more generally, but it does give you a good insight into the company benefits or culture. This is also a more varied way of asking about those things, so it's not a bad change of pace. Once again, this is a question that is unlikely to be covered in the interview, but make sure that it is not mentioned off-hand at some earlier stage, as missing something personal like this can really turn the interviewer off you as a candidate. These two lessons haven't covered every single option for questions, and picking up new questions as you go along the interview is always the best way of doing things. Remember to never ask something that has already been covered, which means that it's natural to lose some of your prepared questions along the way. You can replace these and get back up to three questions by thinking about what is being said and deciding if there's anything you'd like to know more about throughout the interview. Don't be afraid to ask questions before the end too, especially if you don't fully understand something you've been asked. But, if it's something that can be saved for the end or is slightly off topic, then it's better to save it for when they ask if you have any questions. 7. Remote interview specifics: In recent years it has become increasingly common to both work, and therefore interview, remotely. In this lesson, we're going to talk about how to prepare your environment and yourself for a virtual job interview. Firstly, and most importantly, dress to impress from head to toe. You absolutely need to be properly attired all over. It's not okay to wear a nice shirt and tie or a good blouse, with boxer shorts or pyjama bottoms underneath — you never know what might happen that could require you to stand up, causing all kinds of awkwardness. Next, be sure to confirm exactly how the interview will be conducted. Find out which software will be used, how to connect on the day, and make sure you familiarize yourself with the software in advance. Trying to figure it out on the day can leave you open to a variety of tech issues, which looks quite unprofessional and can leave you flustered going into the interview. Also, be sure to open the software on the day so you can check for updates. You don't want to be late because you're busy downloading something. Be at your computer nice and early, ready and with no holdups. If you don't have a home office, make one in a quiet corner of your house so you have a nicely appointed, unclustered environment to interview in. Make sure the area is clean; dirty dishes don't look good in the background of a remote job interview, and make sure you remove any personal items that might not look professional. On the day, try and make your environment as peaceful and quiet as possible. Politely ask people still in the house to be quiet for the duration of the interview and avoid hogging the WiFi so that you won't have any connection issues. Be ready to login on time and be prepared to dazzle the interviewer with your well-prepared questions and stunning interview technique. If you have a remote job interview coming up, why not make a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for success? Following the simple steps we've discussed here is sure to boost your chances of nailing that interview. 8. In-person interview specifics: Whether you've been through dozens of in-person job interviews, or you're hoping to get your first interview real soon, we're going to help you to get 100% prepared so that you absolutely nail it on the day. The first step here is incredibly simple, but also incredibly important. Make sure you know exactly where, when, and with whom the interview will be conducted. Double and triple check this. Make sure you write it down and use your calendars to remind you. There is no worse way to begin an in-person interview than by going to the wrong building or showing up late. Be sure to find out in advance if the person interviewing you will be the same person you've been communicating with already, or if it will be an entirely different person. On the day, be aware of how long it will take you to travel, check for any traffic problems or public transportation issues, and leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. You don't want to arrive flustered; rather, try to arrive with enough time that you can be composed and well-presented when called in for your interview. Worst case scenario, you can grab a coffee if you've got extra time to spare. Consider taking along extra copies of your application documents. This can be helpful if the interviewer is a different person to the hiring manager as they may not already have a copy, and it also shows organization and initiative on your part. Some other things to consider: be sure to smile during the interview, even though you may be nervous, and avoid defensive body language like folding your arms or sitting far back in your chair. For your next in-person job interview, prepare a folder in advance with spare copies of your documents, as well as directions to the location. Write a checklist and make sure you don't forget anything, and perhaps even try some interview practice in front of a mirror to see what your body language and facial expressions are like. With a little advanced preparation and following these simple tips, you're certainly going to give a great first impression in your next in-person interview, and that's going to set you up really well moving forward. 9. After the interview: It's over, you've done it! Congratulations on getting through your job interview. But this isn't simply the end of the process. There are some key things you can do to both increase your chances of getting the job you just interviewed for, and give yourself an edge in any future applications. Take some time to debrief. Have a think about what went well in the interview and make a note of what you think really landed. Write down the answers you gave that you feel went really well so you can utilize these again in future, similar interviews. You should also think about any questions you were asked that either caught you off guard, or you simply found tricky to answer. Write these down as well, and spend some time preparing a better response in case you get asked these questions again in a different job interview — especially if it's with the same company. Something that you might consider doing would be to follow up with whoever interviewed you, thanking them for taking the time to see you, and expressing your excitement at being considered for the role. Taking steps like these can help you fix yourself in the mind of the interviewer while they are meeting other potential candidates, and makes you stand out as a strong candidate. By this point, we've been through the entire job interview process with you, and you're as prepared as you can be. If you follow the advice in this class, you really will be giving yourself the greatest chance of success. Now comes the hard part: waiting for the response. The following lesson will cover what happens next. 10. Dealing with rejection: We never like to end on a low note, but when it comes to job interviews there is always a chance that you will get that dreaded rejection — or worse, nothing at all. This lesson is all about what you should be doing upon rejection, if you should follow up, and how you should respond. Putting in so much work and then being ghosted is an awful feeling and companies shouldn't do it. Unfortunately, however, it happens. Asking the interviewer at the end of the interview what the timeline looks like, when you're likely to hear back, and what your next steps are is going to help give you a base from which to work. Once the time they specified has elapsed, it's usually a good idea to give the company a couple of extra days leeway and then get in touch to check in. Once you do so, it's good to leave it at that. And if they don't respond, then chalk it up to not being a company worth pursuing. This is tough, and it's very easy for us to say, but trust us when we say that if companies aren't taking the time to respond after an interview then you shouldn't be too upset about not working for them. Now, let's assume you have got a rejection email. First of all that sucks, and you can take a little time to be upset and decompress. We'd never recommend doing any job hunting the day you get a rejection, unless you have an interview or a time-sensitive application, as it's an opportunity to rest and process. Once you've let the emotions out of your system a little bit, you want to return to the rejection and do a couple of things. First, take note of why they decided on rejecting you. If it's not obvious, you'll want to reach out in your reply for any feedback or advice. If it is clear, then you've either got some good, actionable things to work on next time, or at least an understanding of why the job wasn't yours this time around. Next up, make sure to note if they've said anything about contacting them in the rejection email. Sometimes a company will request you don't respond to their message. And while this is pretty rubbish, you should respect it. You don't want to rub people the wrong way by ignoring their instructions, and in the future you might want to apply to this company again. Chalk the application off and use anything you've learnt to ace the next one. If the company hasn't said not to contact them, then you should always get in touch with them. At the very least, you should be thanking them for their time and consideration, as hiring is a thankless job at times, and leaving them with a good impression is never a bad thing. This is also a good chance to ask for any clarification or feedback if you need it. But again, be polite and professional when doing so. It's also worth responding to anything mentioned in the rejection email, as showing you've read it and taken things on board is a positive thing to do. If you can leave a great last impression on the company then when they're next hiring and see your application, they'll be pleased. And once they see you've made positive steps to improve as a candidate, they will be even more so. We've seen multiple people not get the first job with a company they apply for, but by leaving a good, final impression on their follow-up email, they were again able to ace the next one and land their dream role. And with that last piece of advice—and a slightly more positive note— we are all done with this class. Next up, we'll be telling you about the other advice we have to offer on Skillshare. 11. What now?: Congratulations on getting to the end of our course! We really hope that we've given you the tools and advice you need to thrive in job interviews going forward, and that you now have a better understanding of why you should be preparing, asking questions, and responding in certain ways when you want to land a new role. This advice is only good if you manage to get to the interview stage of the application, and if you want to increase the amount of times this happens then make sure to check out our other courses on resume and cover letter writing. Head on over to our Skillshare profile and drop us a follow to make sure you catch our selection of advice and any new classes we create in the future. Finally, thank you for checking out our class. If you found it useful, we would love for you to leave us a review down below. Good luck in your next application, and we have our fingers crossed for you.