Ask the Expert: Top Interview Tips
James Trefz, a Talent Acquisition Lead at ECCO Select, is sharing his top tips for interviewing. With over 20 years of recruiting experience under his belt, James has helped thousands of candidates find their perfect fit and seal the deal.
Q: Where do you recommend candidates start when prepping for an interview?
A: Conduct research on the company you’re interviewing with.
- Review the job description to understand the background the company is looking for in qualified candidates.
- Confirm the reasons you want the position and why you’re qualified.
- Create a 2-minute (max) introduction about yourself that might include a few points of your expertise and accomplishments, as well as some of your personal hobbies/interests.
- Prepare for potential interview questions— common questions include:
- Why are you interested in working here?
- How do your qualifications align with the requirements of the job?
- Why are you seeking a new opportunity?
Q: What are some standard questions that a candidate should be asking an employer during an interview?
A: In addition to these standard questions, create a list of 5-7 thoughtful questions for the interview – again, thoughtful and not cookie cutter questions you can find on the web.
- What are the qualities of your most successful employees or those that perform well in this position?
- What are some opportunities and challenges of this position?
- What has your experience been with the company?
- What do you like the most and what would you change if you had the opportunity to do so?
- What is the next step if I am selected to move forward in the interview process?
Q: Any tips on presentation for an interview? Should you approach this differently for in-person vs. virtual interviews?
A: In the current hiring environment, we’re seeing a majority of interviews take place virtually. It’s important to treat these virtual interviews as if you were meeting the interviewer in person.
- Professional dress always, unless given specific direction by a recruiter or HR representative to do otherwise.
- Well-groomed, minimal jewelry, no perfume/cologne.
- For a video interview, blur the background, test lighting + speakers/volume, and make sure you are in a quiet environment with no chance of interruptions.
Q: What’s the best piece of interview advice you’ve ever received?
A: Don’t be everything to everybody. Sometimes, interviewees feel they need to be experienced with every sentence and bullet point in a job description and more. If you don’t know something, that’s alright– just be transparent and forthcoming with your experience. Many employers will hire attitude over aptitude.