How to succeed in your next interview: 5 Tips
If you’re looking for a job, then you know that interviews are key. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it’s important to come prepared. By following these simple tips, you can give yourself the best chance of landing the job. First and foremost, be prepared. Know what the company is looking for.
5 tips to help you succeed in your next job interview.
Are you preparing for a job interview? Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been through the process before, there are certain things you can do to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.
Most people would agree that one of the most important things to do when preparing for an interview is to be prepared. That means knowing everything there is to know about the company and the interviewer, having a strong resume, and being prepared to answer any questions about it. It also means dressing appropriately and practicing your responses to common interview questions. Here are 5 tips to help you succeed in your next job interview.
1. Do your research
Research the company ahead of time and practice your responses to common interview questions. This will help you appear confident during the interview.
Learn everything you can about the company’s history, culture, and values. What are their values? What do they do? What are their products or services? What is their mission statement? The best place to find this will be on their website. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to answer questions about why you want to work there. You’ll be able to ask questions about the company, and you’ll be able to show that you’re interested in the position.
2. Practice, practice, practice
Practice answering questions with a friend. Ask them to ask you difficult questions, so that you can practice your answers. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience, skills, and education. Practice your responses out loud so you sound confident and articulate.
Example of interview questions
Practice your responses to common interview questions. There are a few questions that are almost guaranteed to come up in a job interview. Prepare your responses ahead of time so you sound confident and articulate. Here are a few examples:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in this position?
- How do you measure success?
- What are the company’s core values and how do they influence your work?
- Can you describe a time when you struggled with a project but were able to overcome it?
- Describe a difficult decision you made in the past.
- What motivates you in your work?
- Tell us about a big mistake you have made in the past and what you learned from it.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
Here is an example, on how to answer, if they ask what are your strengths and weaknesses?
Answer strength: I am a quick learner and I am very organized.
Answer Weaknesses: I can be a bit of a perfectionist and I sometimes have trouble making decisions, because I would first like to review all my options before making decisions.
This is a question that most people are afraid to answer, especially when it comes to stating your weaknesses, but it’s not that difficult. For your strengths, think of qualities that would make you a good candidate for the job. Are you hardworking? Are you organized? Are you a team player? For your weaknesses, say how you have improved some of your weaknesses you are aware of.
Another example of a good response to the following question is: Give an example where you had to deal with a difficult customer.
Answer: Used critical thinking skills and hands-on experience to resolve a customer service issue that had been ongoing for 6 months. Received positive feedback from a manager for taking ownership of the situation and finding a resolution. Make use of the STAR – method when answering questions (S-situation; T-task; A-action; R-results), this will give an in-depth insight into your answer.
Body Language during an interview
Practice your body language before the interview. Stand in front of a mirror and practice introducing yourself. Stay positive and be yourself. You want to make a good impression on the interviewer, and body language can play a big role in that.
Here are a few tips for body language during an interview:
- Make eye contact with the interviewer.
- Sit up straight and don’t slouch.
- Don’t fidget or play with your hair or clothes.
- Smile and be positive.
- Use hand gestures to express yourself.
You want to come across as a positive, enthusiastic candidate who is excited about the opportunity to work for the company. Firstly, listen to the question the interviewer asked, and take a deep breath to think about the question before answering it. Always be honest when answering the question, and if you don’t know the answer, state that you will find out and get back to them. After the interview, write a thank you email, where you can refer back to the question you could not answer during the interview and state your answer.
3. Dress the part
One of the most important things to do when preparing for an interview is to dress the part. You want to dress in a way that makes you look professional and put together. The first step to nailing an interview is looking the part. Dress professionally and make sure you’re well-groomed. This shows that you’re taking the process seriously and that you’re respectful of your potential employer’s time.
When it comes to dressing for an interview, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Always take into consideration the company culture and where the interview will be held. However, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Dress professionally. You want to dress in a way that makes you look like you’re capable of doing the job. That means no jeans, no sneakers, and no t-shirts. Business casual is usually a safe bet.
- Make sure you are comfortable in the clothing and it shows who you are as well, don’t over-accessorize.
- For men: This might mean a suit jacket, with a shirt and tie or sweater and button-down.
- For women: Look for a power outfit, usually, a blouse and dress pants or statement dress is appropriate.
4. Arrive on time
If you need to travel to a job interview, make sure you plan. Book your flight and hotel room well in advance. If the interview is by Zoom, be sure to test the connection before the day of the interview. Make sure you know the location of the interview ahead of time and plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Nothing makes a worse first impression than being late.
5. Prepare questions for the interviewer
Nothing shows preparation like asking insightful questions to the interviewer. Here is a list of example questions:
- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities?
- Are there opportunities for training within the company?
- Can you describe the working culture of the company?
- What do expect to see from the successful candidate within the first 6 months?
- What is the biggest challenge of this position?
- How has the company changed in the last couple of years?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
After the interview, even though to be old fashioned, you can send a thank-you email. Don’t send follow-up emails before at least 7 business days.
To have the best chance of success in your next job interview, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. By doing your research and practicing your responses, you can feel more confident and prepared for whatever questions come your way. Arriving on time and preparing questions for the interviewer are also key factors in making a good impression. Follow these tips and you’re sure to shine in your next job interview!