Acing the Job Interview | How to Prepare for a Job Interview￼
Congratulations on landing a job interview! As you prepare for this pivotal moment in your job hunt journey, it’s important to take all necessary steps to ensure that you ace the interview and stand out among other candidates. There are many techniques you can use from perfecting research beforehand to showing leadership potential throughout the conversation – but before we dive into that, let’s focus on one of an interviewer’s main goals: finding out whether a candidate is a good fit for their team. With that in mind, below we address practical tips on how to come across as a confident yet humble contender who illustrates what really matters most in landing that coveted position.
Do your research
Researching the company prior to your interview could be the key to standing out! Take a moment to browse their website and any recent news stories. By learning about their values, recent wins, and current challenges, you’ll showcase a keen interest and leave a great impression on the hiring manager. So, why not take this approach and score some brownie points?
Dress the part
First things first, always go for clothes that look professional, feel comfy, and make you feel confident! Next, do quick research into the company culture and dress codes before deciding on your outfit. For instance, a suit usually works great for banks, but something business casual may be a better fit for ad agencies.
Here’s a pro-tip: if you’re planning to wear something you don’t usually wear on a daily basis, like a suit, make sure you give it a test drive beforehand. This way, you’ll avoid looking and feeling awkward on the big day. And last but not least, don’t forget to polish your shoes and make sure they’re blister-free before you head out the door.
Be prepared to answer tough interview questions
Acing a job interview is not just about your work experience or education, it’s about answering tough questions with confidence and poise. Be ready to sell yourself as the best candidate by preparing answers to the most common job interview questions:
- Why did you leave your last job? Or, if you’re still working, why are you considering a change? Keep your answers positive, highlighting your opportunities for growth and embracing new challenges.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Your answer should showcase your long-term career goals and communicate how they align with the position and company you’re interviewing with. Are you in it just for the paycheck or for the long haul?
- What interested you about this job? Your experience, skills and goals should align with the position. Communicate this, and you’ll demonstrate that you’re the perfect fit.
- What kind of work environment do you thrive in? Do you work well in groups or on your own? In an open, collaborative space or a private office? Your answer not only helps the interviewer understand how you operate, but it also reveals whether the company is a productive place for you.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? Don’t fall into the cliché of saying your flaws are “working too hard” or “caring too much.” Be honest about your weaknesses and explain how you’re working to improve them.
- How do you deal with conflict in the workplace? The employer wants to gauge your interpersonal skills and how you respond in tough situations. Be ready to describe a time when you’ve made a mistake and how you learned from it.
Keep a happy medium
When asked questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” it can be tempting to go on and on about your past experiences, but don’t fall into that trap! Instead, stay on point and discuss only what’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for. Remember, it’s important to be concise, but don’t leave out crucial details either- finding that balance is key.
Body Language during an interview
Body language boils down to what you’re communicating without speaking.
Remember Your Posture
Good posture is essential for making a great impression in an interview. Not only does it convey confidence and energy, but it can also be a sign that you are engaged and interested. Many recruiters and hiring managers are trained to pick up on body language cues and can easily determine whether you appear shy, uncomfortable, or confident. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you sit up straight and your shoulders back, but not too stiff.
Try to relax and loosen up before the interview if you feel too nervous. With the right posture, you can make sure that your body language supports the great stories and examples you have to offer.
Be Mindful of Your Hands
Gesturing with your hands to express yourself is an easy way to showcase your personality. You should not feel ashamed if you get a bit nervous and restrain yourself from using them. Stifling this natural trait may lead to fidgeting and a negative impression. Therefore, use your hands when expressing yourself genuinely.
When you’re not using your hands, keep them in a neutral position. Keep them on the table or desk in front of you to prevent bad posture and have them ready when you need to gesture. If you need to take notes, put the pen down when you’re done. No need to be a note-taking machine!
Make Eye Contact
When you make eye contact, it not only shows confidence in yourself and your answers, but also makes the person feel valued and heard. So, avoid looking around the room or not making eye contact at all, as this can make you appear apprehensive or distracted. Look directly into their eyes while you speak and connect with them. This simple gesture can really make a difference in how you are perceived and can help you make a positively engaging impression!
Prepare to ask questions
When asked if you have any questions during an interview, answering “No” is a big no-no. Trust us! Knowing how to interview includes being ready to ask insightful questions that show an interest in the company and its culture. This is your chance to see if this is the right fit for you. Pay attention during the interview, jot down some notes in a snazzy notebook beforehand, and refer to them during the actual interview. Taking notes will show that you are active, attentive, and serious about your career.
Pro-tip: make sure to write down important things you learn from the interviewer – it’ll come in handy later!
With all of this in mind, it is clear how imperative it is to be as prepared as possible when attending an interview. Doing your research and keeping a happy medium between over-arching confidence and shyness are incredible tips to keep in mind. Additionally, dressing the part and being ready for possible questions not only shows respect for the interviewer but also instills self-confidence in yourself. Above all else, remember that an interview does not have to be a daunting process; it may actually provide an opportunity to show off your qualifications for the position you are interviewing for! Remember to never forget why you applied in the first place—your skills and ambition. So don’t forget to smile, stay focused on why you’re there.