Are you a new grad nervously thinking about your upcoming job interview? Have you recently quit or been laid off and are looking for a new job prospect? Or maybe you’ve been preparing for your interviews for a while but don’t know if you’re doing it right? Regardless of what your current circumstance is, preparing for a job interview can often be unsettling, challenging and almost always intimidating. Just the thought that you could be a couple conversations away from getting your dream job is kind of scary! But fear not. Fortunately for you, I had the pleasure of speaking about preparing for the job interview with Dr. Eva Norman, PT, DPT, CEEAA, founder and owner of Live Your Life PT. I’ve broken down her counsel and recommendations below!
Your resume should accommodate or supplement who you are as a unique individual – it should not replace you. Our experiences shape who we are; the better you are able to train yourself to articulate your personal experiences, together with your resume, the more engaging and personable the interview will be. Additionally, by familiarizing yourself with the details on your resume, you will be able to refer the interviewer to specific sections on your resume and impress them with how well prepared you are. Dr. Norman recommends practicing “in front of a mirror to improve your body language and your confidence”. Tip: if you decide to practice in front of a mirror, I would let your roommates know ahead of time so they do not think you are insane!
2. Be Crystal-Clear on Why You Want to Work There:
It is important that the company you are applying for knows your motivation, drive and intentions as to why you want to work at their company. If they decide to hire you, they are investing their money in you. As a matter-of-fact, this is a great practice before you eventually work. Having a daily reminder of why it is you do what you do at the company you work for grounds you to purpose, connection and fulfillment. Is there a skill or expertise in this job that stands out? Is there a mentor or someone in the company that you admire and want to learn from? Do you believe in where the company is heading in the future and want to be a part of it? Do you fit into the company culture? Do the company values align with your values? Dr. Norman highlights “tying your answer with your core values”. With companies in the 21st century investing more into strategic transformation to becoming more purpose-driven and mission-focused versus performance-driven and size-focused, it is imperative that you do your research and recognize why you want to work there.
3. Know Your Strengths and Areas for Improvement:
When an employer asks for your strengths and areas for improvement, you should be well-prepared for your answer. This is a standard interview question, but the way you communicate it can be refreshed. How? When addressing a question on either strengths or areas for improvement, Dr. Norman recommends “including application and an example” to better illustrate your answers. Similar to the first point, being able to story-tell your strengths and areas for improvement will showcase your personality, individuality and help you stand out from the crowd. Now go practice story-telling!
4. What Are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals:
With any new hire, companies want to know if the interviewee is worth the investment. After all, if you do get hired, they will be paying you a salary, and companies want to pay someone a salary they believe will be a good investment. For example, if you were planning on working at that company for 1-2 years, but company A was looking to hire someone looking to work for 3+ years, they may choose not to hire you and go with someone more long term. On the other hand, company B may be looking to hire someone for 1-2 years which would be a better fit for you. By communicating your short and long-term goals effectively, company B and you will be on the same page, making your odds of landing the job higher. Moreover, companies generally want to help you accomplish your goals. By stating your future intentions, both you and the employer may discuss how to reach them. Remember, the hiring process is just as much the company getting to know you as you are getting to know them!
5. Practice Applying Your Clinical Knowledge:
The employer may also throw a patient-scenario or a previous patient-case question at you. But do not be alarmed. Most likely, there will be no one-right-answer. The question(s) is asked to better understand how you process and execute a problem or situation. Dr. Norman advises, “do not be afraid to clarify their question or ask more questions related to the case given”. Usually, the questions employer asks are general and open to interpretation, so think carefully and answer truthfully. Maybe the question asked was one that you have personally experienced. If so, share in detail how you managed or dealt with the situation.
6. You Are a Human-Being – Not a Human-Doing:
Despite most of our days at work, it is not our identity. As social creatures, human beings, and the most intelligent animals on planet Earth, we are so much more than our jobs. And guess what? Employers also want to know that other side of you. A question that Dr. Norman uses to highlight this is, “Tell me something about yourself that I cannot find on your resume”. Tip: be honest – because if you get hired, you do not want to spend half the day fishing with your co-workers if you really do not like fishing… Include topics like your significant other, family, hobbies, sports (anything outside of work) etc. Another question Dr. Norman frequently asks is, “If I were to call a previous patient or your best friend, what would they say about you?”. Again, this is a chance to share more of who you are and not what you do.
To conclude, I echo the words of Craig Groeschel, “Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right”. There is no such thing as a perfect interview, only interviews that are real and authentic. I hope you land that dream job like a pro and please comment below and share what tip or advise resonated with you! Stay safe and get vaccinated!
Hi, I’m Joshua! I’m in the business of optimizing the health and wellness of motivated individuals. I took three years off before going to college. During that time I served in the military and police force, traveled, discovered my passions and interests, and developed my sense of identity. I’ve found that I thoroughly enjoy novel experiences and engaging with a variety of cultures. I believe that there are no limits to what you can experience as long as you stay laser curious. Currently, I’m pursuing a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. I’m a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, which enabled me to be a part of the growing movement of preventative healthcare and holistic living. Furthermore, I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and learning how creative business models can improve healthcare. I try my best to live an active lifestyle and engage my creative side through content creation. I’m also a contributing writer for Startup Island: The Business of Being Happy and Healthy. If you would like to connect with me, feel free to reach out via my social media platforms!