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The Connection

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Job Interview Tips from an Expert

Written by Community Contributor Nicole Murphy, Lead Ninja, Recruiting Ninjas

Here's the scenario: You've updated your resume. Tweaked your cover letter. Applied for the job. As you wait to hear back from the recruiter (and we know you will because you're awesome) here are a few tips from Recruiting Ninjas about how to handle the interview process from that initial screening to the interviews conducted by the hiring managers.

First Call with the Recruiter

During the first call with a potential hire, recruiters want to get to know YOU, your

experience, why you are looking for a job, and what is most important to you in your next role. Is it more money; a better work/life balance; need a new challenge; need some room to grow?! These are all great things to share with your recruiter.

Things to avoid

We have all had a bad manager or may have been in a toxic work environment. These are all valid reasons to look for a new job or to have left a previous job. Just make sure when talking about these topics you don’t start the “complain train.”

Looking ahead

As the interview winds down, ask about next steps. How long does the hiring process usually take? How many rounds of interviews can you expect and what is the format of those interviews? For example, are interviews with a panel or individual interviews? Which interviews will be behavior-based and which will be technical?

Be honest about where you are in your search. If you have other interviews scheduled or a final interview coming up share that with your recruiter. It is okay and encouraged to let them know about any offers you have or are anticipating. Most of the time, they can use this information to move the interview process along quicker.

Keep in mind that recruiters share their phone interview/screening notes or a summary of the call with hiring managers.

Prepare For Hiring Manager/Panel Interviews

Virtual Interviews are today’s normal. Make sure you take a few minutes the day before your interview to download or update any applications you will need for your interview. There is nothing worse than clicking on the Zoom or Teams link and being prompted to update, or worse, it doesn’t work, at all!

Appearance: Dress appropriately and find a quiet space. If your home and office are too noisy there are several places around the metro area that have rooms you could reserve for interviews ( such as mid-continent public libraries).

Research: everything. Research the company you are interviewing with and the interviewers. Most company values and culture can be found on their website. Keep this information in mind when you are answering questions and be ready to ask questions about the company and position.

Re-read the job description. It's always good to keep a copy of the job description, and reference it throughout the interview process. Jot down any questions you might have and ask them during your interviews.

For next time: Recruiting Ninjas will walk through potential interview questions and how to answer them.


Nicole Murphy, the lead Ninja from Recruiting Ninjas, has been in the recruiting industry for eight years!

She loves providing great experiences to candidates and hiring teams. She's been a recruiter for technical positions (like software, DevOps, and test engineers) for most of her career. The best thing about her job: Extending an offer that changes someone’s life!


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