How to Prepare for a Professional Interview
Prepare Your “Elevator Speech”
In most interviews, you will get the prompt to “tell us about yourself” or something of that nature. It’s best to prepare a short but compelling description of yourself. Consider including:
Brief summary of your career, potentially highlighting your most relevant job.
Why are you looking to start a career at Bridgestone, or are you looking to change careers/jobs?
What was interesting about this particular role or working at Bridgestone?
Be Ready to Answer Questions
During an interview, you will be asked questions about previous experience to learn more about you. Whether you are asked about strengths or weaknesses or about a particular work situation that you might have considered a challenge or a win, it helps if you structure your answers with the STAR Method.
Situation: Describe the challenge you faced, win you had, or relevant situation
Task: Explain the role you played
Action: What were the detailed steps you took or how you accomplished the task
Result: Explain the outcome
Make sure that it is relevant to the role you are seeking. This method also helps you demonstrate how you accomplished something or overcame a challenge independently or while working well with a team.
Be Ready to Ask Questions
It is also important to ask questions to help you make an informed decision about the role if an offer is extended to you. Remember that you are interviewing Bridgestone as much as we are interviewing you, so asking interview questions is critical.
Some questions you can ask:
What would my day-to-day role look like?
Describe the team I would be working with.
What is your favorite thing about working at Bridgestone?
You mentioned (insert topic here). Tell me more about that.
By asking open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” you can learn more about the role and the people you would be working with. And by circling back on information shared during the interview, you show that you are actively listening and interested.
Plan Your Route
If you are interviewing in person, map out the route you will take before the day of your interview to make sure you allow enough time for travel. Be mindful of traffic patterns and look for any construction in the area. Aim to be about 15 minutes early for your interview so you can find a place to park and take some time to prepare mentally.
If you have an unexpected schedule conflict, notify your recruiter via phone/email/text so they can work to reschedule your time.
Dress to Impress
Dress appropriately for the role you want. Different work environments may be more casual, but you always want to look your best for an interview. Consider this for a video interview as well. Most of us have better posture and body language when we look and feel our best. While no one may know you are wearing pajamas, your casual demeanor may not make a great first impression. Make sure you are free of as many distractions as possible. With many of us having to work from home while taking care of our families, we understand that quiet space can be challenging to find for you as well as for the interviewers. While we encourage you to find an area where you can focus and not be interrupted, we understand that life happens and might just happen during your interview, so don’t stress too much about it.
What to Bring
Even if you have provided a resume, always bring one additional copy for each person interviewing you. And for any interview, it’s always good to bring a pen and paper if you want to take notes. Stay engaged in the conversation; no one wants to see the top of your head while you write notes for the entire interview.
In today’s interview landscape, these tips will help you show yourself in your best light in person or via video. Still, there are a few other things to consider when looking for virtual or video interview tips.
Interviewing Virtually? Check Your Tech
Confirm what platform you will use and make sure that you have it properly installed and launched on your system.
If you use a device like a tablet or a laptop, ensure it is fully charged. Try not to use a phone if possible.
Confirm that your webcam and microphone are allowed and work correctly in your chosen browser.
Test your internet connection to ensure it is strong and working.
If using headphones, make sure they are connected and selected prior.
At the beginning of the interview, verify that the interviewer can hear and see you.
Close other programs on your computer. Getting notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, ensure all other computer windows are closed, and notifications are silenced or turned off.
Switch your other devices onto silent mode; however, have your phone handy if your interviewer is having technical difficulties or trying to reach out via phone or email.
If you need any accessibility accommodations or are concerned about the required virtual platform not being fully accessible for you, please let the recruiter at Bridgestone know. We will reach out to discuss how to best support you.
Prepare Your Space
Conduct your interview in a quiet, well-lit environment, without a backlight or window that may put you in a shadow.
Find a place with a simple backdrop or blank wall to eliminate distractions and put the focus on you.
Avoid taking an interview from your vehicle. If it is the only quiet place you can find, DO NOT attempt to interview while driving or in a moving vehicle; our recruiters will end the call. After all, at Bridgestone, we make safety a business value.
Smile for the Camera
Look at the camera. Looking directly at the video camera (not the screen) is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
Try to focus on sitting up straight and making eye contact. At the beginning of the interview, verify that the interviewer can hear and see you.
Be mindful of your body language. Not all physical cues translate from in-person interviews to video interviews. Be sure to have good posture and stay engaged.
Silence any other technology, i.e. smart watches; you don’t want to be distracted or appear disinterested during your interview.