How To Ace Your Next Job Interview
Everyone feels nervous before an interview; it’s a universal experience. However, it’s all a matter of shifting your perspective and seeing it as an excellent opportunity to display your skills and best qualities to your potential employer. The key is preparing well before the big day so that you have the confidence you need to make a great first impression. In this article, we cover 13 job interview tips that can help you secure your desired role.
Preparing For The Job Interview
1. Research The Company
Learn everything you can about the organization you’re interviewing at, like its history, mission and vision, values, and of course, its services or products. Search the web for every piece of information that can be useful, even for annual reports or social media accounts. Doing your homework will help you answer basic questions in the interview. In addition, you will come across as someone genuinely interested in the company who chose the position consciously.
2. Learn Everything About The Role
Read the job description as many times as you can better to understand the employer’s expectations about the role. This is crucial to help you see if you’re a true match for the position and if you have the experience needed. You can also research the position in general and get an idea of what a typical day would look like. This will give you leverage to ask the right questions and be remembered by the recruiters.
3. Prepare Your Answers
Every interview has some standard questions, including but not limited to asking you to tell them about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, the reason you want to work for the company, and your goals. Prepare your answers in advance and try coming up with creative responses. Then you’ll be able to adjust them accordingly based on the atmosphere in the room or the interviewer’s demeanor. For example, you can add a little dose of humor if you notice that your interviewer is easy-going or keep it strictly professional.
4. Plan Your Outfit
Your clothes can play an important role in the impression you make, so dress according to the company’s culture. For instance, if you know that the employees have a dress code, wear a suit, blazer, or formal dress. On the other hand, if they dress more casually, go for a shirt or sweater. Whether the interview is virtual or in-person, you need to carefully choose your outfit to show you are attentive to details.
5. Don’t Forget Your Documents
Before leaving your house, or entering the online meeting, make sure you have a copy of your resume, cover letter, and references at hand. If you need to show some of your work, like your projects, bring your portfolio, too. Keep in mind that they may want to see your LinkedIn profile, so make the necessary changes to it beforehand. Interviewers usually have those documents in front of them, but you bringing them along as well makes you better prepared and shows your professionalism.
During The Interview
6. Arrive Early
You should arrive at least fifteen minutes earlier to the place of the interview or enter the online meeting five minutes before the host starts it. This will give you more time to compose yourself and review your answers again. Plus, it will show the recruiters that you’re eager to do the interview and respect their time and effort.
7. First Impression
When you meet with your interviewer, keep a smile and be positive. You can also go for a handshake when appropriate. Straighten your posture, pay attention to their words, and show interest in the conversation. You should avoid interrupting them, and if you feel like some of their remarks are unclear, ask them for clarification at the end. If you practice active listening, you’ll see that your questions and answers will be more specific.
8. Be Confident
Your answers and questions should show you’re well-spoken, so use appropriate terms and adjust your tone according to the conversation’s overall mood. Avoid slang or getting too personal, even if your interviewer is friendly. Also, try to minimize filler words and pause your phrases instead. It’s important to use positive words, even when you’re describing unpleasant experiences. For example, if you need to explain that your previous workplace was toxic, try saying, “Despite the challenges, I gained conflict-resolution skills.”
9. Showcase Your Qualifications
Interviews are your chance to share all the things you’ve accomplished professionally but do it moderately. You can state all the times you’ve used your experience in the field and explain to them why your skills are valuable assets to the organization. Don’t forget to mention success stories that are relevant to the role you’re applying for, and be completely honest. You know your strengths, so express them freely, but also state your areas for improvement and plans to bridge the gaps. You don’t want to sound perfect; instead, show them you’re down to earth and can acknowledge your limitations.
10. Ask Questions
Not asking any questions at the end of the interview can be perceived as a negative, even if you’re being honest and you feel that your interviewer has covered everything you wanted to know. So, show you’re interested and ask more about the company’s culture, goals for the future, and other facts. However, avoid asking about the salary or benefits; hold these questions for the next interview.
After The Interview
11. Thank-You Email
After you’ve finished the interview, send them a follow-up e-mail, showing your gratitude for the opportunity. Include your appreciation for the time the interviewer devoted and express your positive feelings towards the experience.
12. Reflect On How You Did
Give yourself time to identify what you did well and what needs improvement for a future interview. Did you feel that some of your answers were spot on? Write them down and remember them for the next time. On the contrary, if you struggled with some questions, see how you can fine-tune your responses. However, don’t overthink it, and try not to predict the interview’s outcome.
13. Evaluate If The Company Suits You
Based on what you’ve heard at the interview, you can see if the position suits you after all. Do the company’s values match yours? Can you align your goals with theirs? You may want to reconsider if something didn’t seem right to you, such as the interviewer’s tone or the office environment. Carefully evaluate everything you’ve learned from the interview and decide if it’s your ideal job.
Preparation and confidence are essential in your journey with job interviews. Knowing all the necessary information about the company and believing in your skills can lead to success. The above tips can help you to think outside the box when it comes to getting ready for an interview and give you the opportunity to impress your potential employer and secure your dream position.