20 Tips for a Successful Job Interview
Follow these 20 ways to make a great impression and ace your next job interview, from researching the company to answering critical interview questions.
Do you want to ace your next interview and land the open position you’ve been looking for? Here are 20 tips for a successful job interview to help you get ready.
1. Do your research on the industry and the firm.
It is a basic part of career advice that you should always do your research before an interview. Not only will it show the interviewer that you have initiative and interest in their company, but you can also use this to gain some insight into what they are looking for from candidates.
Before going to the interview, it is important to know everything you can about the company that you are interviewing with. You should be able to answer all of their questions and ask them what they want to know about your skills.
An interviewer may inquire as to how you see his company’s position in its industry, who its competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how the company should proceed. As a result, do your homework!.
2. Be clear about why you want the job.
During the interview, you need to pitch yourself as an asset to the company. Your resume will get you through the door, but your interview performance will give you a leg up on the competition and help land you an interview. Make sure you’re clear about why you want the job at hand, and how your skills match up with what they’re looking for.
Prepare for each interview by thinking about three to five key selling points, such as why you are the ideal applicant for the job. Prepare a demonstration of each selling point. Also, be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want the position, including what attracts you to it, what benefits it provides that you value, and what skills it requires. If an interviewer doesn’t believe you’re truly passionate about the job, he or she will not extend you an offer — no matter how qualified you are!
3. Anticipate the interviewer’s reservations and concerns.
Dont be under the impression that your skills are top-notch and there’s no way an employer could find fault with them. But the fact is, employers may have reservations about you (as they should) and it’s up to you to anticipate and address those concerns head-on.
There are usually more applicants for open opportunities than there are available positions. As a result, interviewers hunt for ways to eliminate candidates Anticipate the interviewer’s reservations and concerns, and try to address them before they can ask. Consider how you might respond if he or she says something like:
- How will my sales team react to these changes you are proposing?
- Is this a realistic timeline?
- Why should I change things now when we’ve been doing it this way for years?
Put yourself in their place and consider why they might be hesitant to recruit you. Then prepare your defense.
4. Get ready for the most typical interview questions.
Prepare yourself to face the common job interview questions. You can expect them from recruiters but also from HR managers during the interview process.
Are you nervous about what questions you’ll be asked in an interview? Or do you wonder if they’re common, or just the same recycled ones that everyone gets? The good news is that there are some standard questions. But the great news is that there are also lots of questions out there to choose from! You might not get all of these exact questions, but chances are your interviewer will ask something along similar lines. And with a little preparation, you can feel confident and prepared.
A list of a hundred or more “common interview questions” can be found in every “how to interview” book. So, how do you get ready? Pick any list and consider which questions, given your experience, industry, and position you are interviewing for, then prepare your responses ahead of time so you don’t have to fumble with them during the interview.
5. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer.
Asking the right questions during your interview can be just as important as giving the right answers. The purpose of asking questions is to find out how you will fit in with the company and if they are a good match for you, too. You may want to ask about upcoming projects or opportunities that you could be involved in, but it is also appropriate to inquire about potential challenges in order to prepare yourself for what might lay ahead.
Bring some thoughtful questions for the interviewer that reflect your understanding of the organization as well as your seriousness. When interviewers ask whether you have any questions, you should always have one or two prepared. If you answer, “No, not really,” he or she might assume you aren’t interested in the position or the firm. “What is your picture of the ideal candidate for this position, what would he or she be like?” is a good all-purpose question.
If you’re doing a series of interviews with the same employer, you can ask each person some of your prepared questions. Then, throughout each interview, try to think of one or two others.
6. Practice is one of the important tips for a successful job interview.
EVERYONE knows that practice makes perfect. Whether you’re practicing your swing before a tee-off or practicing the piano, the more times you do it-the better you’ll be at it.
It’s one thing to have a mental response ready for a query like “Why should we hire you?” It’s a very different task to express it out loud in a confident and persuasive manner. No matter how clear your concepts are in your head, the first time you try it, you’ll sound muddled and confused! Repeat ten times more, and you’ll sound much smoother and more articulate.
However, you should not practice while “on stage” with a recruiter; instead, practice before the interview. What is the greatest approach to practice? Get two friends together and perform “round-robin” interviews: one person serves as the observer, while the “interviewee” receives comments from both the observer and the “interviewer.” Continue through four or five rounds, exchanging roles each time. Another (second-best) option is to record your response and then replay it to determine where you need to improve. Whatever you do, make speaking aloud a part of your practice. Rehearsing your response in your head doesn’t often cut it.
7. Make a remarkable impression within the first five minutes.
According to some research, interviewers make up their minds about candidates in the first five minutes of the interview, then spend the rest of the time hunting for evidence to back up their choice! So, what can you do with those five minutes until the gate closes? Come in with vigor and excitement and thank the interviewer for his or her time. (Keep in mind that she might be seeing several other applicants that day, and she might be exhausted from the process.) Bring that energy in!)
When you are being interviewed for a job, it is important to be aware of your body language and how it comes across. If you make a strong first impression with good body language the interviewer will be more likely to perceive you as confident and capable. An employer should ask themselves, “Does this person look like they could do the job?”
8. Sit on the same side of the interviewer as the interviewer.
Job interviews are sometimes viewed as confrontational by many interviewers: Candidates will try to wheedle an offer from the interviewer, and the interviewer’s task will be to keep it. It’s your responsibility to turn this “tug of war” into a partnership in which you’re on the same team. You may say something straightforward like, “I’m excited to learn more about your firm and for you to learn more about me so that we can determine whether or not we’re a good fit. The worst thing that can happen, in my opinion, is to get hired into a job that isn’t right for you — then no one is pleased!”
9. Take charge of your interview.
Many interviewers ask the same questions because they’re looking for a specific answer. It’s your job to figure out what that answer is and give it to them. You can do this by finding common ground with the interviewer – then leading them through your version of the interview process.
Taking charge of the interview isn’t something you hear much about in career coaching circles, but it’s an essential part of landing any job you want. The best way to take charge is to be assertive.
When it comes to interviews, you may feel like you’re in the hot seat. But you can turn the tables by being assertive!
When you walk into the room for an interview, don’t treat it like a formal court setting, where someone is going to grill and challenge you. Instead, imagine that this is simply an opportunity for a conversation about your goals, what kind of company culture excites you. When being assertive, be mindful so as not to appear arrogant.
10. Be prepared to answer inquiries that are illegal or inappropriate.
Questions regarding your ethnicity, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation during an interview are inappropriate and, in many cases, unlawful. You may, however, receive one or more of them. If that’s the case, you have a few options. You can simply ask a question (“I’m not sure how that relates to my application”), or you can try to answer “the question behind the question”: “I’m not sure if I’ll decide to have children in the near future, but if you’re wondering if I’ll be leaving my job for an extended period of time, I can say that I’m very committed to my career and frankly can’t imagine giving it up.”
More tips for a successful job interview.
11. Clearly state your selling points.
You’ve done the research and you know that your target market is looking for a new team member. You’re confident in your skills and abilities, so it’s time to sell yourself as someone who can fill the role and make a difference for the company.
The job interview is an important step in the hiring process. And one of the important tips for a successful job interview is to show your knowledge, skills, and experience against the requirements of a position. But it’s also a chance for you to sell yourself as the right person for the job.
See a good starting point: “I’m a dependable individual with strong communication skills. I’m comfortable working in a team environment as well as independently, and I am flexible to work long hours when necessary. My strengths are my commitment to the job, my ability to prioritize tasks, and my ability to think quickly on the spot.”
12. Keep a positive and an optimistic attitude.
Interviewers spend a lot of time vetting potential employees, so it’s important to be on your best behavior during the interview process. Make sure you’re not making any common mistakes that could hurt your chances of getting hired.
When it comes to getting the job you want, confidence counts. If you go into an interview hoping to get a job offer and are confident enough that this will happen, your body language will reflect that positivity.
Avoid bringing up negative experiences during the interview.
13. Finish on a high note.
At the end of your job interview, you want to leave a lasting impression on the employer. The best way to end an interview is to thank the interviewer and leave on a positive note. This may sound easy, but it’s something that can be easily overlooked by even experienced job seekers. Here are some tips for ending every job interview on a high note:
- Ask a few intelligent questions based on the interview interaction and in relation to the role or company culture.
- Summarize the responses provided and paraphrase how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the role.
- Ask for the job offer or indicate an interest in the fact that you will be looking forward to hearing from them soonest.
- Thank the hiring manager for their time and the opportunity she has given you for the interview.
When the time comes to wrap up your job interview, do you have a strategy in place? You should. The last few minutes of an interview are just as important as the first — so if you’ve done everything right up until this point, it’s time to seal the deal.
It’s important to establish a good rapport with your interviewer and end the interview on a high note.
14. Take a copy of your CV with you to each interview.
When you go to each interview, bring a copy of your CV with you. If the interviewer has misplaced his or her copy, pulling out your extra copy and handing it over will save you a lot of time (and embarrassment for the interviewer).
15. Be mindful of your speaking style.
When it comes to getting a job, there are countless tips and tricks for acing the interview. These include everything from practicing your elevator pitch to wearing appropriate clothing. However, there is one aspect of an interview that many people forget about: speaking style.
Paying attention to your speaking style can be a good thing if you want the employer to think of you as professional and capable, or it can be detrimental if they think you’re too uptight and sounding unnatural or “rehearsed”.
Some people worry that rehearsing their responses will make them sound “processed” (or overly polished or glib) during the interview. Don’t be concerned. You’ll sound fluid and eloquent, not canned, if you’ve prepared carefully. If you aren’t sufficiently prepared, the stress of the scenario will overpower any “canned” quality.
16. Make the most of the inquiry “Tell me about yourself.”
This is a question that many interviewers ask at the start of the interview. So, what should you do? It’s fine if you tell a narrative about where you were born, what your parents do, how many siblings and sisters you have, or how many pets and cats you have. But would you like the interviewer to jot down your dog’s breed – or why the company should hire you?
To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a sample framework and response:
Framework: State your personality traits briefly, concentrate on your skills, especially those required for the role, describe your key experiences relevant to the role, describe some of your biggest results in previous roles
Sample response for describing results from one of your previous roles: “In my previous role as the Director of Marketing for Acme Inc., I was tasked with developing a strategy that would increase brand awareness and drive sales growth. After months of research and market analysis, I discovered that our customers were looking for improved product packaging. So, we launched a new line of products featuring updated styling and eye-catching colors. Sales increased by 20% in the first quarter alone….”
Preparing for the question, “Tell me about yourself,” is one of the most important tips for a successful job interview. It’s a good opportunity. It’s not to be missed!
17. Use appropriate body language.
The importance of nonverbal communication as one of the tips for a successful job interview cannot be over-emphasized. When you are on a job interview, it is important to be mindful of your body language. It is important to have a positive attitude and good posture. The way you sit, stand, and smile can all convey the image that you want to portray during the interview.
The body language of a job candidate is one of the elements which can make or break an interview. If you want to impress your potential employer, there are some things that you need to pay attention to.
Make eye contact, shake hands firmly, maintain decent posture, speak clearly, and avoid wearing heavy perfume or fragrance!
18. Be prepared to participate in “behavior-based” interviews “.
The behavioral interview is a popular type of interview for job candidates to be assessed on the basis of their past experience. The interviewer typically asks questions about past experiences, focusing on three main areas:
- A candidate’s behavior in specific situations, especially those that are analogous to the demands of the specified job;
- How a candidate handled these situations; and
- What was the outcome of these actions.
In general, behavioral interview questions are broad and open-ended, requiring an extended response from the candidate
In a behavioral interview, the interviewer asks about your past behaviors and how you handled certain situations. The interviewer wants to know what your behavior was in the past in order to predict how you’ll behave in the future.
Asking candidates to explain experiences they’ve had that illustrate characteristics that the firm believes are relevant for a given position is one of the most prevalent interview methods nowadays. For example, you might be asked to discuss a time when you made an unpopular decision, demonstrated tenacity, or made a judgment under time constraints and with minimal information.
The first step is to anticipate the types of actions that this recruiting manager will be searching for. Step 2 is to think of at least one time when you displayed each of the behaviors. The third step is to write a tale for each case. Many experts suggest that you use SAR (Situation-Action-Result) as a story model. The fourth and last step is to practice narrating the story. Also, check your resume with this style in mind before the interview; this will help you remember examples of behaviors you may not have foreseen in advance.
19. Write thank-you letters.
After each interview, send a thank-you note. Depending on the interviewers’ preferences, type each remark on paper or send them via email. Make your notes more personalized by mentioning what you and the interviewer talked about. Notes should be sent within 48 hours of the interview, regardless of the method you use.
You should take time after each interview to jot down a few points about what the interviewer said in order to create a decent thank-you note. Also, make a list of what you could have done better in the interview and make changes before your next interview.
20. Don’t Give up!
It can be difficult to get a job, especially when you’re new to the workforce. You may have had multiple interviews for jobs you really wanted, only to be rejected. It’s tough not to take it personally, but this experience can be instructive as well. Learn from your mistakes and don’t let one rejection discourage you from looking for work.
Being rejected from a job can be disappointing and discouraging. The good news is there are ways to get around this occurrence while still moving your career forward. If you’ve been feeling like the hiring process has hit a wall, or if you’re just starting out in the workforce and looking for some advice on how to find that first job, read on! We’ve created an infographic full of helpful tips and tricks to avoid rejection, boost your confidence, and propel your career forward.
You’ll be as prepared as any applicant an interviewer has ever seen if you follow these tips for a successful job interview. Check out some available positions to get started on your new career right away. Best of luck!