David Burnett, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based startup Prep’t, hopes that its online service launching later this month will
transform how you prepare for interviews.
"The current job market is brutal – especially for recent college graduates," Burnett says. "The competition for jobs is tough, and, unfortunately, many early career job seekers are not prepared to stand out from the crowd and ace their interviews."
Prep't allows job seekers – especially recent college graduates, people just beginning their careers and those changing industries – to practice interviewing with industry professionals with experience in conducting real interviews.
"By connecting people who do not already know each other, we replicate the pressure and feel of job interviews. At the end of each session, our interviewers provide feedback to the job seekers on how to improve their performance," Burnett says.
Dr. Scott Baylin, of Leikin and Baylin Dental Care in Catonsville, said that interviewees should highlight their positive traits to stand out.
"I would recommend that they come in positive [and] energetic," Baylin said.
As for Catonsville Hair Company's senior cosmetologist Laura Treat, she said candidates should tailor their resume to the specific position.
See what other local businesses suggest for interviews in the video above.
Here are Burnett's top three tips for any interview:
- Practice, practice, practice.
"To do well in an interview, you have to be confident – and confidence comes from practice and preparation. Ideally, job seekers should do some mock interviews, whether via Prep’t or with someone they know in the industry. You can also practice with family and friends, but your mock interviews will be most useful when they feel like real interviews. At a minimum, all job seekers should investigate potential interview questions and practice them on their own. You can never know exactly what your interviewer will ask, so your goal is not to memorize canned answers to exact questions. Instead, you want to practice answering a range of questions, becoming confident presenting your experiences and skills no matter what question they ask."
- Research and understand the
company/organization and the position.
"We hear this again and again from hiring managers. One of their biggest pet peeves is when a job seeker comes to an interview but has not invested the time to really understand the position or the company. That’s a huge red flag. Spend some time investigating what the company does. Be informed to speak about their products or services. And be ready to discuss why you are the right person for that specific job at that specific company."
- Be enthusiastic.
"The best employees don’t just have the skills – they also have enthusiasm and passion for what they do. Companies want employees who want to come into work. Show your interviewer that you are enthusiastic about the position, and convince them that you are eager to get started."
Post-interview tip? "Always remember to send a thank-you email. I’m always surprised how many people don’t do this. It’s a great way to show your enthusiasm, and it can certainly be a tie-breaker between two even candidates."
Prep't will be launching its pilot program later this month. Job seekers that sign up for the pilot will receive a free, 30-minute online video conference practice interview with an industry professional. Prep't is also still recruiting for its pilot program. Interested? Email Prep't at firstname.lastname@example.org.