Nailing a job interview is absolutely crucial. I felt the need to write this piece simply because of the economic conditions in my home province Alberta. Jobs are terribly scarce here right now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. So if you’ve made it to the interview stage, you have to absolutely nail it.
If you’ve been applying for jobs and have managed to get to the interview stage, congrats. Your resume is probably pretty solid and you’ve more than likely beat out 90% of the competition. But now, the hard part begins. But don’t worry, we’ll get through it together.
5 tips to help you nail your next job interview
Research, research, research
Depending on how desperate you are, you may have done this prior to applying to the job position. But, if you’ve simply been rifling out resumes to potential job prospects like it’s going out of style, you honestly may have forgotten who is even calling you for an interview. I’m not afraid to admit it, and you shouldn’t be either. With how easy it is to simply submit resumes these days, it’s something that is done all the time.
It’s absolutely crucial if you do get a call back for an interview that you research the company. Who runs it? What exactly do they do? Have they received any awards for outstanding employee or customer relations? When you sit down in the interview, you want to blow their mind away with how much you know about the company. It really shows you’ve put an honest effort in, and will provide the interviewer with a small indication of your dedication and work ethic.
The best way to parlay this tip into ultimate success? Blow them away in the first couple minutes of the interview. Sit down, introduce yourself an speak of how much you appreciate a particular achievement that the company has done in recent times. Most interviewers know within the first 5 minutes if you’re going to be the one. Make it an interview that will stick in their mind. This is something I guarantee you the large majority of people are not doing right now.
Be clear on what you offer
People are too passive these days. It’s a fact. Especially in interviews. When you’re being interviewed, the prospective company wants to know what you will currently bring to them that they don’t have already. So this is the time to brag, to gloat, to talk about how good you are. It’s not a time to act humble, it’s a time to showcase your achievements and skills.
Now, there is a fine line to this. You can do this too much, to the point where the interviewer simply may become annoyed and feel you may not be a positive presence in the work team. There is also the fact that you need to be telling the truth. Don’t like about something you’ve done if you haven’t done it. There is nothing worse than a prospective employee lying their way to a job, only for the company to realize they don’t have the experience or knowledge necessary to complete the tasks.
First off, if they are forced to let you go, it becomes somewhat of a stain on your career. For one, you’ve got a gap in your employment that you must explain to future prospective employers, and secondly, you’ve burnt a possible reference.
Preparation is key
It sound surprising, but there are a large amount of potential works that simply “wing” it in the interview. Prospective employers are going to know if you’ve come prepared, and employers love people who come prepared. Sure, you can wing it through the basic questions, but when a curve ball gets thrown, one that employers may put in there to see if you’ve been preparing for the interview, it decreases your chances substantially if you seize up.
There are some very basic questions you’ll probably get asked in almost every interview. Plan for those, and craft some answers that will be different than the rest of the pack. This is key. But, also be prepared for some awkward questions, depending on the industry you’re applying in. Something like child care, medical or customer service industries can bring a lot of questions to the table that you may find uncomfortable to answer, such as questions about theft, malpractice or dishonesty. But the way you answer these is going to give the company a huge indication if they can trust you or not.
Make it clear you want to learn
This ties in to the be clear on what you offer tip, but it is a little different. Companies know prospective employees won’t know everything. I mean, you simply never do. Even a 40 year veteran in a particular industry still has things to learn, so it is important that you let them know that you have a lot to learn, but are willing to learn it. Express the fact that you are excited to try a new work atmosphere and look forward to learning the ropes from more experienced and knowledgeable employees.
A fresh out of school interviewee that pretends they know everything just shows a particular amount of stubbornness to the interviewer, and they may doubt your ability to work in a group or learn company specific policies and details.
I cannot even imagine how many interviewees are cast aside because of this. You have to project confidence and overall interest in the job if you have any hope in getting it. Showing up in sweatpants and a dirty t shirt and slouching in your chair while checking your phone for text messages is job interview suicide.
My tip for this? Well first off, leave your phone in your car. Don’t even tempt yourself with looking at it during the interview or possibly having an alarm go off or a call go through. This is your job and potential career here, everything else that comes through your device can surely wait the 30 minutes it takes. Depending on the interview, pick an attire that works. If you feel you need to go in a dress, or a suit and tie, go for it. Comb your hair, wear deodorant (but not cologne or perfume!) All of these things show you know how to take care of yourself, and prospective employers are going to get an instant “vibe” off your overall appearance, posture and attention span during the interview. Look interested in every single question they ask, no matter how mundane it might be.