So tomorrow’s the big day when you’re sitting face to face with your potential employers and presenting yourself as a serious candidate for a vacancy they have. This opportunity obviously arose thanks to your ability to meet the basic requirements of the vacant position. Your resume has done its bit. Now it’s your turn to shine and win them over with your charm, knowledge and personality. Tomorrow you’re going to ace your job interview and confirm that you indeed are the right person for the job.
But here’s the catch – there’s a good chance you’re not the only candidate they’ve shortlisted for the job. That means “selling yourself” isn’t going to be a walk in the park. You have to be able to display skill and knowledge. You have to be likable. And you’ll have to convince them that out of all the other candidates they should pick you. So how do you actually ace your job interview? Here are a few tips I’ve seen work for many candidates:
1. Know the Company
From an interviewer’s perspective, job interviews are about knowing who you’re considering to hire. Looking at it from your perspective, i.e. the interviewee, your aim is to win them over. However, to truly win them over you need to prove to them that you’re interested in the position and the company. And to do that you should know certain key aspects about the company. What are they into? What are their products and services? Who are their competitors? Who are a few key people in the company? To answer some of these basic questions about your prospective employer do some research online. Companies have tons of information on their company website and social media channels where you can learn a lot about them. Use these avenues to your advantage so that you’re not sitting in an interview with zero knowledge about them.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Ask
You know how interviewers ask you probing questions to get an insight about your personality and professional skills? Similar to that is how aware you should be about the company you want to grow your career with. Sure you can extract some basic information about them but there are many things you won’t be able to read about. Things like their culture and environment, their success story and how innovative or creative they are can’t be found online. The night before your interview think of a few “interesting” questions about the company that you wish to know about. There’s a good chance your interviewers will provide you an opportunity to ask them questions. That’s the cue you need to show them that you’re seriously interested in knowing more about them and about your prospects with the company.
3. Tell a Good Story
Everybody loves a good story which ends with success or accomplishment. And that’s true with interviews as well. A good story about your achievements can work wonders to help you really ace your job interview. To prepare for this, jot down three key achievements you’ve had or impact you’ve made so far in your career. Build up the story with a solid background so that your interviewers understand why these achievements are significant. Emphasize on how you made it all happen with your skill, knowledge and abilities. Make sure to throw in numbers – everything else is subjective but numbers speak for themselves! End the story by shedding light on the results and what rewards you earned (be it monetary or praise). The idea is to share stories that show you as an important member of your team whose contributions were significant and impactful to the company. Also, non-work related stories can also go in your favor, so don’t shy away from them if the conversation heads in that direction. Just make sure your stories are well structured and don’t bore your audience.
4. Dress the Part
While you can hide behind your resume, you can’t do the same in a job interview. What you want to avoid is presenting yourself in a way that doesn’t appeal to your future employers. Dressing appropriately can seriously impact your ability to ace your job interview. You surely don’t want to under-dress (too casual) or look shabby. That’ll just spell out to your interviewers that you’re not serious for the job (even if you really are). Similarly, you don’t want to overdress (too formal) because then it may appear as if you’re not the right cultural fit or too “stiff” for the company. And that’s why the first tip (know the company) is important. Familiarize yourself with the culture and how people generally dress. What they find acceptable and normal attire at the company is what you’re aiming for. This way you’ll be dressed in a manner that presents you as “one of them” at first sight.
The day before your job interview is a crucial time for you to prepare yourself. Using this time wisely to be prepared can massively improve your chances to ace your job interview. It’ll help you stay focused, brimming with confidence and help you avoid awkward situations. I’m confident you’ll fly through your interview if you’re able to follow through with these tips the day before.