by Michelle Keefe | October 6, 2022
Top 8 Interview Tips That Will Ensure You Get the Job
Whether you’ve been working in a certain industry for several years or you’re completely new to it, interviewing for a new position can be nerve-wracking – especially if you haven’t interviewed in a while. But here’s the thing: actually landing that interview is the hardest part! Everything after that is easy in comparison. It shows that your resume and cover letter impressed the employer, and they believe you could be a good fit for their company. Now it’s just time for you to prove them right during your interview!
Remember that practice makes perfect, and it’s important to prepare for your interview beforehand to remove any anxiety and ensure success. Read through these top job interview tips to help you nail your interview and land your dream job before, during, and after the process.
Before the Interview: How to Prepare
Research the Company and Who Will Be Interviewing You
Although the chance of the interviewer asking you to recite the company’s entire history is slim, it’s still important to research the organization prior to your interview. Familiarize yourself with the following information:
- What’s the general story of the company?
- What do they sell, and who do they sell to?
- Have they had any big announcements recently, such as an acquisition or a launch of a new product?
- Who are the executives?
- What’s the overall culture of the organization?
This will give you a better understanding of what the company does and how you’ll fit in there before you even begin your interview.
Additionally, if you know who will be interviewing you, research them as well. Read their bio on the team page of the company’s website, if they’re listed there, and peruse their LinkedIn profile. Get a feel for how long they’ve been with the company, what they’ve accomplished there, what their role is, and also what their overall background and experience is. Knowing this information beforehand, and being able to reference it during the interview, will prove that you did your due diligence and will help to build a relationship and rapport with the interviewer.
Practice Your Answers to Common Interview Questions
The interviewer will likely ask you questions that you may not be able to prepare for, which is okay. However, you can also predict certain questions they may ask you and prepare your answers for those. Common interview questions, as shared by Harvard Business Review, include:
- “Tell me about yourself. What made you want to apply for this position?”
- “How do you deal with stress or difficult situations in the workplace?”
- “What are your salary expectations?”
- “How did you hear about this position?”
- “How have you expanded your knowledge and skills in the past year?”
By thinking about these questions beforehand, you’ll be able to craft responses to store in your back pocket so you don’t feel “put on the spot” if, or when, the interviewer asks them. Now you’ll feel confident in your answers instead of saying something you wish you hadn’t!
Collect Examples of Your Work
If your career makes it possible for you to have a portfolio of what you’ve accomplished, be sure to bring that with you to the interview. This portfolio might include:
- Work you’ve completed
- Case studies you’ve developed
- Certifications or awards you’ve received
- Recommendations you’ve been given
Ultimately, you want to use it to showcase your biggest achievements throughout your professional journey to prove to your potential employer that you would be the best fit for the position. You know the saying “actions speak louder than words” – that absolutely applies here!
Once you’ve done everything you can to prepare for the interview before it happens, now it’s time to learn what you should do during the interview itself.
During the Interview: How to Nail It
Make a Great Impression on Everyone You Meet
From the minute you walk in the door to the moment you leave, you want to make a great impression on everyone you interact with. Although this may seem like a simple and obvious tip, it may be one of the most important ones. After all, you could check all of the boxes for being a great fit for the position due to your experience and skills, but if your potential employer isn’t impressed by the way you present yourself, that could prevent you from landing the job.
Here are easy ways to impress your interviewers:
- Dress professionally and confirm your clothes are devoid of stains and tears.
- Smile and make eye contact during the interview.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview.
- Showcase your personality.
- Remember the names of the people you meet.
Simply getting people to like you can make a big impact in the overall success of your interview.
Relate Your Answers to Your Skills and Experience
Whenever you’re asked a question, always try to relate your answer to your skills and experience. Providing examples of solutions you presented when problems arose and results you’ve achieved will prove to the interviewer that you’re more than capable of excelling in this role.
Let’s take a look at examples of how you can do this with the common interview questions shared above.
“Tell me about yourself. What made you want to apply for this position?”
In your answer to this question, talk about your experience and positions you’ve held in the past. When discussing your previous roles, give an overview of your top accomplishments in each one and explain how they benefited your employer.
“How do you deal with stress or difficult situations in the workplace?”
Think of 2-3 stressful, difficult situations you’ve faced during your career and what you did to solve the problems that came up. By sharing those examples in your response, the interviewer will see your capability to nip any issues in the bud.
“How have you expanded your knowledge and skills in the past year?”
Employers put a big emphasis on encouraging their employees to continue to learn, expand their skills, and develop new talents. By giving examples of how you’ve grown in your career and continued your education, the interviewer will know that you’re a professional who’s dedicated to providing the best results for your employer.
When giving examples of your skills and experience, it’s important to determine that your answers are relevant. Avoid trying to shove your achievements in responses where it doesn’t necessarily make sense to share them and instead, be intentional with how you discuss them.
Avoid Negative Talk
A big red flag for an interviewer is hearing a candidate talk poorly about previous employers, positions, or coworkers. Even if you had a negative experience in the past that justifiably puts a bad taste in your mouth, avoid bringing that up with the interviewer. As an alternative, when asked about your prior positions, share what you’ve gained from them and what you hope to do next.
By following these guidelines to put your best foot forward during the interview, you’ll wow the interviewer and make it a no brainer for them to either offer you the position or advance you to the next round of interviews! However, remember that your work doesn’t end when the interview does – it’s crucial to keep in touch with the employer to show your dedication to the position.
After the Interview: How to Get the Job
Inquire About the Next Steps
No one likes to be left hanging! Ask the interviewer what the next steps are so you know whether you may need to come back for a second interview, send references, or complete an assignment. By inquiring about what you can expect next, the interviewer will see that you’re on the ball and passionate about getting offered the position.
Send a Thank You Note
Sending a thank you note to each person you spoke with during the interview process isn’t just a suggestion – it’s a requirement! Although it seems simple, taking the time to write a note that thanks the person and shares specific tidbits during the conversation you had with them will prove your interest in joining the company. If you interview in the morning, send a thank you note in the afternoon. If you interview in the afternoon, it’s okay to send a thank you note the next morning.
Reaching out via email is a good option, but if you’re able to physically mail a thank you letter, that’s a great alternative and will surely set you apart from other candidates.
Implementing these tips during your job search process will ensure you go through your interviews with smooth sailing! Remember that the more you interview and practice, the better you’ll become. What has helped you to nail your interviews?