5 Ways to Turn an Interview into a Good Conversation

5 Ways to Turn an Interview into a Good Conversation
Photo Credit: Christina Morillo

A job interview can be nerve-racking. One way to potentially reframe it is to focus less on the stress of “being interviewed,” and more on having a conversation. Adjusting your mindset can help take the pressure off, and put you in a better position for making a good first impression. Below, we share 5 tips for standing out from the crowd.

1. Your interview begins much sooner than you think! Your social skills are being assessed from the moment you walk through the door, hop on the phone, or appear on a video screen. Show your personality by engaging with company reps in an upbeat and thoughtful way—they’ll take notice, and it will help you kick off the conversation on strong footing.

2. In your interview, be ready to share real-life success stories. Describe projects you’ve led or worked on that are relevant to the role you’re applying for and that showcase your proactive problem-solving, organizational skills, and ability to communicate clearly and effectively. 

As an example for customer service: think of a past experience with a challenging client. Share how you defused the situation or solved the client’s problem while balancing your organization’s needs and capabilities.

3. Be professional, but strive for a level of connection with your interviewer. Connect over the ideas and causes that are important to the position you’re seeking and company you are interviewing with. Working the company’s mission into the conversation demonstrates your preparation for the interview and alignment with the company.

4. Ask questions that show you have gone beyond researching the job and the company. Let the company’s blog posts and social media guide your questions. Engage in topics that are meaningful to the organization.

Additionally, consider what the interviewer might like to speak on. In the words of famed business communications writer Dale Carnegie, “Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering.”

5. End the interview with confidence by asking what the next steps are. This will give you an idea of how quickly (or slowly) their interview process may take. Sometimes, by asking what the next steps are, you will be able to book the next interview before leaving the current one.

– Mary-kate Grohoski, Sales Manager

Put these tips to use by finding your next job on NYFA Classifieds, the go-to listings site for artists, arts administrators, and museum professionals. Sign up for NYFA’s bi-weekly newsletter to receive artist resources and upcoming events straight to your inbox.

Mary-Kate Grohoski
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