For most of us in the working world, we know that there are many factors which will affect our chances of getting that job we applied for. Usually, experience is the main factor in whether or not a company finds that a person is the right fit for their team. However, if you make it to the interview stage of a job application process, you are probably going to start freaking out and worrying about making a good impression in hopes of increasing your chances. That’s normal. We all do it. But if you really want to ace that job interview, there are a few simple things to keep in mind before you head out there!
First of…You’ve Already Impressed Them
Something most of us forget when we get called in for a job interview is that we’ve actually already impressed our potential employer before we even start the interview. Few people actually make it to the interview stage, so if you’re called in, remember that someone saw your resume and liked what they saw, otherwise you wouldn’t be there! Your nerves are likely to calm a lot more if you keep this in mind. You are already a winner, because your resume was appealing enough to get you that interview, now all you have to do is show them who you are as a person and as a valuable potential employee. Your experience already made the cut, so now it’s just about how you work and who you are. And think about it…what are you best at? Being yourself, of course.
Don’t Recite Your Resume
In most job interviews, the potential employer is likely to have a copy of your resume in front of them, so they don’t need you to recite the bullet points one. What employers want to hear is how you work best and what your experience taught you as it relates to this position. They’re trying to gauge if your ideas and goals align with that of their company. Do you plan on working there long term or just a couple weeks? Are you reliable? Do you have passion for what the company does? Do you work well with a team? Under pressure? These are the kinds of things they’re trying to gauge. So what you need to do is answer these questions by drawing from your past experience as examples and proof of your ability.
Do Your Research
One of the big issues when it comes to job interviews is that often candidates actually know very little about the company they applied for. Sure, the job market is tough and you probably sent your resume out to 50 different companies, we get that. But if you are interviewing for one particular company, make sure you do your research beforehand and know enough about their history, services, policies, goals, team etc. Most of this can be found on the company’s official website, anyway.
Firstly, interviewer is going to be impressed that you’ve done your research. But an even better use of this research is that you can use the information to frame your answers in a way that already, in their minds, puts you in a position with that company. For instance, when they ask about your strengths, you can tell them about specific strengths which speak particularly to the services this company provides. Do you get the idea? When you know what a company is about, you can subtly insert yourself in the position you applied for simply through answering the questions in such a way that you appear to be the ideal candidate this specific company needs. Framing your answers to meet the company’s needs puts you in a much better position than if you were to just go on and on about your past experience.
Figure Out What The Company Needs
While you may be interviewed as a potential candidate, you gotta keep in mind that it is also about the company trying to fill a need. Once you figure out what the company needs, you can become a valuable asset in helping them move forward by applying the skills and knowledge you have to target these needs. If you know what the company needs, then you can walk into that interview with a plan for how YOU can help them achieve that, and show them how you fit in with their team.
Be Prepared To Explain
You should always google yourself when you are applying for potential jobs, because you never know what info or social media posts might have been made public in the past. If you are going to a job interview, don’t be caught off guard by the interviewer asking about something they found from googling you. You have to be able to explain, without hesitation or worry, anything that is out there on the Internet about you. Know yourself and your online presence very well.
“Tell Me About Yourself”
This is one common, general question that many companies may ask in an interview. A lot of people struggle with this question because there are so many ways this answer can go, right? Well, that’s the trick. You shouldn’t be sharing your life story or your daddy issues in your response, no one’s got time for that. This question is about your background and interests as they pertain to this job and your career. Make sure to, again, frame your answers in a way which illustrates that your interests and background will contribute positively to the position you are interviewing for. Talk about your past work, talk about the parts of your field of work that you are passionate about, and how all these passions can help you do a better job at this potential company. Save the drama for your mama.
“What are your weaknesses?”
This is one of the most frequently asked interview questions, and also one of the ones that most people tend to poorly talk their way through. No, no one really believes that your biggest weakness is that you “work too hard”. You are not “too talented”. Imagine asking a friend or casual acquaintance what their biggest problem in life was and they said “Oh I’m just too beautiful, it’s so hard”…you’d probably roll your eyes and think wow…Well, when you answer an interview question with “I’m just too hard working”, chances are the person interviewing you is not going to believe you, as every candidate has said a similar version of that before. A key to answering this question is to be honest and to provide a way you’ve addressed your weakness. For instance, you can say your biggest weakness was that you were terrible at managing your time but when it began to affect your work you found organizational methods X,Y,Z to help you turn that around, and now you are good at it. You get the gist.
When the company interviewing you asks about your goals, they’re trying to see your ambitions and goals pertaining to their company and your future employment. This isn’t a date or a Tinder profile, don’t be vague or try and impress by exaggerating. Be honest and specific about what you want to achieve. Give details. Include a general mention of a plan if you have one. Companies value ambitious individuals, but they’re also looking for credibility. So don’t try and talk on and on generally without saying anything, you have to be direct and get to the point. The best way to impress is by showing that you have dreams and plans on how to achieve these dreams.
These are just a few ways you can ease your nerves and be fully prepared for a job interview. Remember the first point, you’re there because you’re qualified, now you just need to explain to them why and how you plan on contributing to their company. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions too. This is the process where you are both determining if this is right for you, so be honest and direct. Remember, they need a brilliant, talented candidate like you! Go get em!