Most people share the common dreadful fear of job interviewing. Regardless of how qualified you are for the position you desire, any mistake in the interviewing process can cost you your dream job.
The recruiting process has transformed from the corporate and traditional approach of seeking a professional with years of experience in the field, into teams hiring people with less experience simply because they fit the company culture. Thus, preparing for a job interview requires more than memorizing answers to popular interview questions and reciting your work experience.
Here are five ways that help you succeed in your next job interview.
Before your interview, be sure to visit the company website frequently and learn as much as you can about their products and services. You won’t want to go in blindly, especially after convincing them what a great fit you are in your cover letter. If the interviewer notices that you haven’t done your research, it will most likely cost you the opportunity.
Learning about their mission statement is also a great way to show why you believe in the company and why you want to be a part of it. Considering what modern companies look for in a candidate, skip memorizing the standard interview questions and creating cookie-cutter answers. Instead, understand the company culture and see how your values will fit in and benefit their goals. After you’ve studied how their company culture is, you will be better able to answer a behavioral question with an answer that seems to fit in with what they do.
Along with many specific questions that the interviewer has prepared, there will be a few open-ended questions where they seek a full, well-rounded answer. A common request at the beginning of an interview is ‘So, tell me about yourself.’ Use this moment to prepare a brief bio that showcases your background and goals without going off track or sharing unnecessary details that don’t directly apply to the position or the company. You want to share valuable details about yourself that you wouldn’t normally get to in an interview.
Prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer about the company to demonstrate your interest and concerns. Remember to also come with a couple copies of your resume in a folder with a pen to take notes. Although they will probably have a printed version themselves, it will give off the impression that you came prepared.
Exuding confidence from the way you answer questions to how you’re dressed and down to your body language, is key to performing well during a job interview. 93% of communication is nonverbal, so practice a firm handshake, perfect your posture and maintain eye contact while speaking to others. Although these things may seem small, they’re vital in demonstrating a strong presence.
Dressing appropriately doesn’t strictly mean sporting a perfectly tailored suit or a skirt that reaches your knees with a modest heel. If you’re interviewing for a startup that prides itself for keeping its culture casual, you’ll want to match the vibe. It will help to look on the company website to see if you can get a sense of their culture.
Remember that you’re interviewing as yourself, and no one else. It’s important not to over-embellish your experience, or position yourself as someone you’re not. After all, you’re going to be entering into a relationship with this company (and interviewer) if you get hired. There is no point in starting off on the wrong foot with a lie that will, no doubt, get revealed as one down the line – if you get hired, that is.
It’s common during an interview that you’ll be asked about the negative experiences you’ve had at your previous companies. It may be easy to fall into the multiple conversations you’ve had complaining to your friends about your manager or your co-workers, but this opportunity is for you to demonstrate how you handled a tough situation and how you grew from it.
Remember that the company is looking for a cultural fit, so refrain from being negative and focus on describing the situation from an outside perspective as well as what you would do differently in a similar situation. You can also use questions like this to bridge into positive experiences you’ve had that highlight your accomplishments.
Thank the interviewer
After the interview, with another firm handshake, thank your interviewer using his or her name. Also, it may seem like sucking up, but everyone likes receiving a handwritten note. It will stand out to the employer and serve as a personal reminder after multiple other interviews.
You don’t have to mention specific details about what was said, just a short note thanking for his or her time and remind that you are dedicated to joining the company. The interviewer will appreciate that you took a moment to send a personalized note.
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