10 Job Interview Tips You Need to Know
A position has just opened up, and it’s calling your name. You’re perfect for the job, right? And while that’s undoubtedly true, there are many other people out there who are thinking the same thing. But take heart—you just need to learn how to distinguish yourself from the competition. After all, preparation is one of the best ways to guarantee a good impression during a job interview. So take the time and hire a professional resume service to help you to craft a stellar resume, conduct a mock interview, and get feedback on your overall presentation. Here are 10 job interview tips to get you started.
1. Do your research.
You need at least a basic knowledge of the company you’re applying to, as well as a good grasp of the industry. And the more you know, the better the interview will go. Make sure you can talk about the company and answer the interviewer’s questions without sounding like you just memorized a few facts. You should know about the company’s competition and what factors set the company apart.
2. A little rehearsal can go a long way.
Once you’ve done your research, take time to practice for your interview. Ask trusted friends or family members to play the role of interviewers, or get mock interview services from a professional company. Chances are good your actual interview will be done by a team, so a group rehearsal is appropriate. Get feedback about your tone of voice, your appearance, how confident you seem, and how clear your answers are. If you’re not aware that you’re slouching, this is the time to address it.
3. Physical impressions are still important.
Our society may be less formal than it used to be, but appropriate attire will still make a good first impression. Dress for the type of business you’re interviewing with. Use moderation and common sense when it comes to colognes and perfumes. And we shouldn’t have to tell you this, but deodorant and mouthwash are essentials. When you meet the person or persons you’re interviewing with, be sure your posture is straight, your handshake firm, and your voice clear and strong.
4. Make those first few minutes count.
When you begin the interview with energy and enthusiasm, you’re going to make a stronger impression on the interviewer or team. The first five minutes—and this is backed up by studies—are often when you’re judged as a worthy candidate or not. Express your appreciation for the invitation. Tell the interviewers that you’ve been looking forward to this meeting, and talk briefly about the company and why you’re excited about working for them. Smile and keep that enthusiasm level going as you begin the interview.
5. Narrow down your selling points.
Giving vague generalities about your career won’t impress any interviewer. In a broad sense you’re selling yourself, so prepare three to five strong points about yourself that clarify why you’re a great asset for the company. Illustrate each point with an actual example, and be ready to adapt your selling points to what the company is looking for in a candidate.
6. Think on your feet.
A passive approach to an interview won’t get you very far. But you don’t want to be too aggressive either. Be ready to sense objections the interviewer might have, such as a comment about lacking a particular job experience. For example, “While I don’t have actual working experience with social media, I had extensive training in a marketing class and received a high grade.”
7. Master the common interview questions.
When the interviewers say, “Tell me about yourself,” or ask “Why are you applying for this job?” your replies should pretty much roll off your tongue. There are anywhere from 10 to 20 common questions interviewers use, along with those that are specific to the position.
8. Prepare your own questions.
We can almost guarantee that the interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” To avoid looking like a deer in the headlights, prepare those questions ahead of time. Of course, you’ll likely have new questions from the course of the interview, but make the most of those last few minutes to demonstrate your interest in the company and in the position. At least one of those questions should reflect what you learned in your research. Above all, don’t say, “No, I can’t think of any questions.”
9. Leave a lasting impression with your closing comments.
There’s often a bit of awkwardness after the interview is completed and you’re getting ready to depart. Be ready with some closing comments and questions, such as when they hope to make a decision. Express your appreciation for their time, and reiterate your interest in the position. Strengthen your enthusiasm by saying something like, “After visiting with you, I’m even more eager to work with this company.”
10. Follow up after the interview.
There is a remote chance the interviewer will call before you get home and offer you the job. But that’s not likely to happen, so you’ll want to follow up with a thank-you note. Write the note immediately after the interview, when it’s still fresh in your mind. Refer specifically to subjects discussed during the interview; for example, “I was glad to hear you plan further expansion over the next two years.” Whether you send your thank-you note by e-mail or old-fashioned postal mail, the main thing is to send it within 48 hours of your interview.
We hope this list lays the groundwork for your job search and interview preparation. Please check out our job success package, where you’ll find great resources and details about our resume service. After all, one of the best job interview tips we can offer is this: the more you prepare for your job interview with research and practice, the better your chances of success.