Best Interview Tips To Land Your Next Job
You have been job searching for a while, and you finally got called back for an interview, you might be wondering about the interview itself. What should you do to prepare? What do you need to know going in? Here are the best interview tips to help you land that perfect job.
Know the Company
You are going to want to know a little bit about the company you are applying for a job at. You can do your research online, and even look at their social media accounts. This will give you the information you need so it is clear you are interested in the company, and even give you some extra talking points.
Know Why You Want This Job
You are probably going to have to explain to the interviewer why you are interested in this particular job. Think about why you applied for the job in the first place and go from there. You will want to have a clear answer when this topic comes up. Make sure you know what skills and accomplishments you can bring to the job and don’t be afraid to highlight your strengths.
Again, congratulations on landing an interview and best of luck!
Know Common Interview Questions
Besides knowing why you want this job, you should go over some of the most common interview questions before going to the interview.
Questions such as these below are probably going to come up during the interview:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- How did you hear about the position?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Tell me about a conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
Go over and think about how you would answer these questions so you are prepared for when they come up during the interview.
Practice at Home
You are going to want to practice your interview at home, and use many of these common questions when doing so. Find a friend or a family member to be the interviewer. Practice everything from coming into the room and introducing yourself, to how you will leave the interview. Going over this many times will help you feel more confident once you have the actual interview.
Dress Professionally and Clean
Make sure you look professional and clean for your interview. You don’t want to come across as sloppy or that you don’t care about your appearance. You should wear professional or business attire. Your hair should be neat, and don’t forget about your shoes.
Being assertive at a job interview means being confident and not being afraid to ask questions. This can come easy to some personalities and harder for others. This is when practice and going over what to expect will help you. Tell yourself that you will need to show the assertive side of yourself going in to the interview, even if that isn’t naturally how you are.
Know The Type Of Interview You’ll Be On
Don’t ever assume the type of interview you will be going on. There are MANY types: one-on-one interviews, group interviews, behavioral interviews, skype interviews, and phone interviews to name a few. Ask the person who is scheduling your interview what type it will be so that you can prepare appropriately. If it is a group interview, ask the name of the other interviewers so that you can do your homework on each interviewer you will come in contact with.
Be Ready Ahead Of Time
Don’t wait until the last minute to get yourself ready for your interview. You will want to prepare and then have plenty of time to get ready the day of. You don’t want to rush and find yourself in a panic because you ran out of time. Plan a few days on your calendar to spend time practicing and getting ready for your interview.
Prepare 3 Stories About Yourself
Instead of wasting time preparing 20 answers to 20 possible interview questions, go through your resume and choose three work experiences or accomplishments with concrete results. Among these stories you should touch at least once on your strengths and weaknesses. These stories should be versatile enough to expand on in multiple different interview question situations. Also, pick stories that are interesting! That way you don’t have to worry about memorizing, and most likely your interviewer will be more engaged.
Be There Early
You are going to want to get to your job interview early. You don’t want to be late for any reason so leaving early will give you time if you end up needing it. Make sure you know exactly where to go and you are aware of any regular traffic delays that might add time to your commute.
Throughout your interview, you are going to want to try to stay calm and confident. If you are not, the interviewer can usually tell. Being nervous is normal but try to compose yourself so you can stay calm through the whole experience.
Bring Your Resume
Make sure to bring multiple copies of your resume, even if you have already given the company a copy of one. Your interview might not have a copy, and you will want extras in case you want to give them to more than one person. Make sure your resume is updated with all of your correct information.
Know Your Resume
Make sure you know what information is on your resume! It’s embarrassing to be asked about your resume and now know what it contains.
Bring Your Reference List
They might ask you for personal and professional references when you are at your interview. You want to have them already decided and ready to share. You don’t want to spend time looking up phone numbers on your phone or otherwise looking like you hadn’t thought about this part of the job search process.
Make Sure You Are Rested
Staying up the whole night before a job interview is not a good idea. You want to be rested and appear that way. You don’t want to come across as tired or that you would rather be in bed. Be smart about what you do the night before and go to bed early.
Maintain Good Posture
Keep good posture, but also make sure your back is touching the back of the seat. Sitting so far off the seat comes off as very rigid and like you are uncomfortable. (Have you ever caught a glimpse of someone sitting a mile away from the back of their chair just hanging off of the front of the seat? It’s awkward for everyone.)
Develop a Connection With The Interviewer
During the interview you will want to form a good connection with the interviewer. Learn their name and use it, and make sure to make eye contact. You also want to make sure you pay attention to anyone who is talking to you.
Don’t Talk Badly About Previous Jobs
You don’t want to bad mouth a previous employer, even if you couldn’t stand working there. A job interview isn’t the place for that. If they ask why you left your previous job, respond professionally and don’t start bashing how horrible the place was.
Prepare 5 Questions
So the end of the interview comes and the interviewer asks you.. “Do you have any questions?” The worst possible answer you could have is “No, I think you covered it all!” Although it might seem like that makes you sound informed and educated, it actually makes you seem like you are uninterested, didn’t pay attention during the interview, or didn’t do your homework. Have at least five questions prepared in case a few are already answered during the interview. Coming with questions proves you are prepared & interested!
When going into your interview, and while you are there, think positively. There is a very good chance you are going to get this job. After the interview, don’t dwell on any of the mistakes you think you might have made, in many cases, they might not have been noticed.
Make sure to follow up after the interview. You should send a short thank you note right away. Then, after a few weeks, if you haven’t heard from them, send a follow-up email. Don’t assume you didn’t get the job and be professional in your email. You don’t want to overdue this part but know that it is usually pretty normal for employers to receive follow-ups from those they have interviewed.
As you are getting ready for your next interview, remember to stay professional and go in prepared. Get there on time, and make sure to use eye contact. You want to present your best self to the interviewer and appear confident that you are the right person for the job.
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About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.