But, with great opportunity comes the jitters. This is normal—after all, you could be on the verge of your dream career. Don't worry, though. We’ve got some tips on how to ace that interview, giving you the confidence and preparation you need to leave that room feeling like you just got the job. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Do Your Research:
Know the Company, the Position, and What They're Looking For
When it comes to acing an interview, preparation is key. Before you reach out to potential employers and head in for an interview, do your homework! Research the company thoroughly, including what their primary goals are, the team culture, and how they operate.
Also, take some time to study up on the role you’re trying to fill. What skills and expertise would they most value from an ideal candidate? Knowing this information ahead of time will give you an edge over other job seekers by allowing you to tailor your accomplishments appropriately and showcase your knowledge of the organization’s needs.
Dress Well -
First Impressions Matter!
Have you ever heard the expression “Dress to Impress”? First impressions matter and your clothing choice says a lot about who you are and how serious you’re taking things. You don’t have to break the bank on expensive clothing, but an effort should be made so you can make a lasting and positive impression.
Piece together something professional that’s clean and appropriate to the occasion from items you already own, or pick out a statement piece. Whether it’s putting on your lucky tie, going with a smart pant suit, or even accessorizing with a pocket square or nice jewelry—how you present yourself can say as much about you as what comes out of your mouth.
Understand Why You Want the Job and How You Will Succeed
To really impress an interviewer and make yourself stand out, come prepared to talk about the job. You’ll want to express your enthusiasm for this particular opportunity—we recommend mentioning exactly what it is that you find particularly appealing or rewarding about it. Then, go into detail about how your unique skill set will make you a great fit and help their organization succeed.
It doesn’t matter how qualified you are. If you don’t show an eagerness and ability to succeed, you will not get the job.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Yes, we’re talking about practice! One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to have answers ready for common interview questions. You know what we mean: “Tell me about yourself” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” In the moment, questions like these can be intimidating, but with good preparation, you will handle these like a pro.
Taking some time to think about how you want to answer these questions ahead of time will help boost your confidence and give you the best chance of making a good impression during the interview. Also, knowing that you are prepared in advance will make the whole experience less stressful and allow you to focus on making a positive connection with your interviewer.
Ask Thoughtful Questions of Your Own, Showing You're Engaged and Interested in the Role
Getting an employer to notice you in a sea of applicants is not easy. That’s why it’s important to show them you’re genuinely interested in the position. Demonstrating this means going beyond the standard answers and questions, and taking the opportunity to ask thoughtful questions of your own. It shows that you’ve done your research ahead of time and proves you are committed to understanding every aspect of the job so you can be the best candidate possible.
Seriously, don’t be afraid to flip the interview. Asking insightful questions clearly communicates your ambitions, interests, and passion for succeeding in the role. This is sure to make a positive impression on employers.
There are few things more important than staying positive during job interviews. Any time you’re asked to talk about negative experiences—like a previous job that didn’t work out—reframe the answer in a positive way. Rather than dwelling on the negatives, focus on something that has been learned or gained from that particular experience.
Even if the interviewer asks point blank about something you disliked, use it as an opportunity to highlight anything positive that came from this situation. In doing so, not only will you be able to provide helpful insight into how you handle difficult situations and conquer challenges, but you will also show that you are someone who approaches things with a positive outlook. Trust us, hiring managers love that.
Follow Up After the Interview and Send "Thank You" Notes
Following up after an interview is an important and often overlooked part of the process. Taking the extra time to reach out to the hiring manager(s) can be instrumental in making sure you stand out from other applicants. You could take it a step further and also include something memorable that was discussed during your conversation. This will demonstrate your enthusiasm, commitment, and sincerity.
Whether via email or postal mail, thanking the interviewer for their time highlights that you are serious about the role and it displays your appreciation for their efforts in squeezing you into their busy schedule. With this extra effort, you might just get the edge needed to land the job!
Armed with these tips, you know what it will take to ace your upcoming job interview. Research and practice common questions; determine what makes you unique; show up dressed for success; stay positive; ask relevant questions; and follow-up afterwards.