If you believe that most hiring managers base their decisions just on experience and qualifications, you had better keep reading! We have some great job interview tips for you that will help you land the job you want.
Applying the tips from this article won’t change your job skill set or relevant experience but they will give you something just as powerful – tools that you need to present yourself in a positive way when interviewing.
1. – Do Your Research.
Interviewers can always tell if you’ve spent some time researching their company. It doesn’t get the interview off on the right foot when they ask you “What do you know about us?” and you’re scrambling for an answer.
Be ready to show them you’ve done your homework and you know what they do and who their customer base is. In addition to exploring their website and social media pages, try seeing if you can find any recent news stories on Google about them.
No one expects you to be an expert on their business, but knowing the basics will go a long way.
2. – Think about why you’re interested in the company.
This tip will take you a few minutes to think about but it is well worth it. The question of “why are you interested in working here” gets asked a lot in the first interview stage and giving a thoughtful answer will get you remembered.
Try to have a couple of different reasons – one business-oriented – perhaps in your research about the company you saw some news about a new product they’ve launched and you’re excited about it. A second reason that is not strictly business-oriented might have something to do with their company culture or community involvement that really speaks to you as an employer of interest.
3. – Be prepared for the “Why are you looking?” question.
You will need to have legitimate reasons for why this is the time for you to make a move and do it without talking negatively about your current employer. Perhaps you feel it’s time to join a new company that offers a product or service you’re interested in or you’ve accomplished the goals set for you and you’re ready for a new challenge.
4. – Have your elevator speech ready.
This preparation will come in handy when you get asked to describe your work background. Even though they can see it on your resume, interviewers love asking this question because it gives you (and them) a few minutes to relax before getting into the in-depth parts of the interview. So have your little speech ready! But keep it concise and concentrate on your most recent position.
It’s always a good idea to run your eyes over your resume (again!) ahead of the interview to remind yourself of the key points you want to get across.
5. – Prepare to discuss specific accomplishments.
Be ready to impress!
You don’t need to wait to be asked about this and don’t be shy! Your accomplishments can be inserted easily into your answers about your work history or your skillset. By ‘specific’ we mean that details matter here, so make sure you have numbers, facts and real accomplishments.
As an example, rather than just saying you were responsible for handling customer requests at your last job, be prepared to give a concrete example of how you solved a major pain point for your employer or customer.
6. – Expect that you’ll be asked something you don’t know the answer to.
It’s okay – it happens to all of us. Sometimes, interviewers just want to test your limits (particularly if technical knowledge is a requirement of the position) and the only way they can find out what your limits are, is if they ask you something you don’t know.
The important thing here is to keep calm, take your time and ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question. Your thought process is often more important than answering the question correctly.
And don’t be too hard on yourself; you can prepare for questions all day long but you still might hear something you weren’t ready for!
7. – Always act as if you want the job. Even if you don’t.
You have one overriding goal at any job interview and that is to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job and get invited back for the next round. We can hear you asking “what if I decide during the interview that the job is NOT desirable?” You should still be selling yourself – your only job at this point – and you can examine the desirability of the job at your leisure once you get home.
8. – Ask your own questions.
We definitely recommend asking questions of the interviewer once they have finished their own questions. The most desirable candidates spend time evaluating a company, not just trying to get a job with the first company that offers them employment. Well-thought-out questions show that you’re a serious, top-notch candidate!
Some good ones to get you started:
- What would be my number 1 priority coming into this role?
- What can you tell me about the position that isn’t in the job description?
- What’s the toughest part of the job?
- What do you think are the most rewarding aspects of this position?
- What are a couple of things I could do to quickly become a top contributor in the organization?
- Has anyone failed in this position, and why?
- How will you judge my success? What will need to happen in the first six months for me to know I have met your expectations?
9. – Be a Human
You don’t need to be perfect or close to perfect. Don’t even try; it will come across as fake if you are obviously trying too hard to give the “perfect” answer. Answer questions in your own voice, not something memorized from a Google search of Best Interview Answers. Yes, you’re selling yourself and trying hard to get them to see why you’re the best candidate but do it in a genuine, authentic way.
And it’s totally okay that you might find yourself saying ‘I’m not sure’ or something of a similar nature. It happens to most job seekers at least once during an interview. If you find that you’re saying it more than once or twice however, that’s a sure sign to the interviewer that you haven’t done enough preparation.
10. – Make it about them.
Here’s one you might not have thought of…the interview isn’t really about you. When interviewing for a job, you need to make it about the employer. How will you make the hiring manager’s life easier if they employ you?
The research you did in Tip #1 should get you started on thinking of the employer’s needs and how you can be the solution. If you approach your interview and answer their questions with this strategy in mind, you will immediately be in the top 5% of all job candidates.