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Domtar Recruiters Share 5 Ways to Wow in a Job Interview

job interview tips

With a surplus of job openings on the market, it’s tempting to think that getting a new position will be easy. But even qualified candidates can miss out on opportunities if they’re not prepared to wow in a job interview.

If you’re looking to change jobs in 2022, these five tips from Domtar talent acquisition specialists could help you ace your next job interview.

1. Pre-screening works both ways.

Pre-screening is the portion of the interview that evaluates whether an applicant meets the basic job qualifications. Talia Massey, who works at our corporate office in Fort Mill, South Carolina, asks candidates general questions about their work history and their motivation for applying.

“Applicants should avoid talking about every item on their resume. Instead, they should highlight the skills and experience that relate directly to the job they are applying for,” she says.

Candidates are often asked about salary expectations at this stage. A candidate can give a range, rather than a specific number, says Clemence Pimont of our corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec.

Pre-screening is also the candidate’s opportunity to learn more about the company. Ask about health insurance, retirement savings, paid time off, incentive pay, flexible work arrangements or other benefits. You can also learn more about the company culture and specific job requirements.

2. Follow the STAR.

After applicants pass pre-screening, they typically are scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager, and possibly other team members. In addition to evaluating technical skills, interviewers assess applicants’ behaviors and their approach to work.

“If you’re well prepared, this is your opportunity to stand out,” says Michelle Johnson, who works with Massey in Fort Mill. Johnson recommends following the ‘STAR’ approach. “Think of five accomplishments that demonstrate your relevant skills, and then describe the Situation, Task, Action and Result for each,” she says.

3. Look for the right fit.

Michelle Holmes, a human resources director at Domtar, is often involved in the final stages of the interview process, when the search has been narrowed down to just a few qualified candidates. She looks for people who have a genuine interest in the company.

“If someone has done their homework, they will show an understanding of our business, and they will be curious to know more about how their role would support the organization,” she says.

Holmes says she also looks for a good cultural fit and whether our company’s values of agility, caring and innovation are a common thread.

“Our employees are humble and hard working. We’re not afraid to challenge each other — respectfully — or to try new things,” she says.

Candidates should evaluate the company as well. Do the company’s values, purpose, mission and long-term goals align with your personal values and career goals?

4.  Don’t forget the basics.

Domtar’s recruiters point to the importance of a positive attitude and professional demeanor at every step in the process. Don’t become overly casual just because you see many job openings in your field, our experts say.

For virtual interviews, Massey recommends applicants wear business attire.She also recommends that you test video technology in advance.

While expressing a desire for a new job, applicants shouldn’t fall into the trap of talking badly about their old or current one. “It may sound obvious, but don’t speak badly about your previous company or manager,” says Pimont.

5. Do your homework before the job interview.

“If you want to get a better job, it’s important to bring your best self to the table. And that requires an investment of time,” says Johnson. “Do your homework.”

By being prepared, you’ll not only show them why you’re the best person for the job, but you’ll also be able to decide whether they’re the best company for you.

Domtar is hiring in the U.S. and Canada. Visit our careers site to search opportunities and apply, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to see highlighted job opportunities.