5 Practical Tips to Ace Your Job Interview
No matter how qualified you are, landing a job comes down to the interview process. There’s no getting around it – you need to stand out from the pack and shine in order to impress your potential employer.
The stress of going into an interview can make you feel like you’re back in grade school, where the teacher asked a question, and you didn’t know the answer.
But don’t panic, though; this isn’t an interrogation – it’s just an opportunity to make a great first impression and show off the skills you bring to the table.
While there’s no surefire way to guarantee that you’ll nail any interview, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of success and make it easier on yourself in the process.
These five tips to help you present yourself as the perfect candidate for this new role and get your dream job!
Research the Company
Just as it’s important to prepare yourself before a job interview, it’s equally critical that you do your homework on your potential employer. You need to understand its mission and values, its position in its industry, what sets it apart from competitors, how long they’ve been around.
When you enter an interview well-informed about your future place of employment, not only will you feel more confident and relaxed, but you’ll be able to speak convincingly about how your skills and background could benefit them specifically.
This little bit of extra preparation can help set you apart from other candidates who don’t bother learning anything about their potential employers at all.
Express Personal Motivation and Interest
Though employers know you’re applying for a job, they don’t know whether you actually care about working at their company or if you’re just in it for a paycheck.
Take the time before your interview to articulate why you’re interested in working for this particular company or what motivates you about the position.
It is up to you to show them that you’re genuinely interested in what they do, excited by the prospect of joining their team, and capable of doing whatever it takes.
Practice Answering Tough Questions
While your interview probably won’t feature a pop quiz, you can still rehearse your answers to common questions – just like you might practice hitting softballs or playing scales on the piano.
For starters, write down 10 questions that might come up during an interview, and try coming up with three compelling responses for each one. Practice saying them out loud and in front of a mirror until they roll off your tongue comfortably.
The more familiar and comfortable with your own words you are when answering these questions, the better prepared you will be for them in real life.
You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to respond with confidence when you know what to say.
Show Up On Time
You might think that being just a few minutes late is no big deal, but in reality, it’s one of those telltale signs recruiters look for when deciding whether or not you’re worth hiring.
Being punctual shows a high level of professionalism and indicates that you respect others enough to honor your commitments – and that kind of attitude goes a long way in an interview setting.
Of course, there will be times when you can’t avoid being late due to unforeseen circumstances. If this happens, make sure you contact your interviewer and explain why you need to change things up.
Follow Up Appropriately
You might think that after a great interview, you can just sit back and wait for your phone to ring. The truth is, however, there’s still work to be done on your end if you want to seal that deal. If you really want to get hired, you need to take this final step.
In the days after your interview, send a follow-up email to thank your interviewer and reiterate your interest in working with them. This final email should be short and clear – try not to repeat anything you’ve already said before. Just tell them how much you enjoyed meeting with them, what a great impression they made on you, and that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.
No doubt, landing a job is hard work.
But keep these tips in mind, and follow through with them rigorously before your next interview, and soon enough, you could be counting down to your first day on the job.