Tips for Succeeding in Your Job Interview

Job Interview Tips

Job Interview Tips

I despise job interviews. I really do. Something about having half an hour to give someone who-currently-holds the power to determine whether or not I’ll eat next week is disheartening.

However, the Job Interview is a very important milestone in the journey to go from no employment (or poor employment) to something better, so it’s worth getting the interview done right. It all boils down to your attitude going into the interview, how you tackle the interview and what you do in the post-interview process.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll land the job after reading this, but hopefully we can allay some jitters and make you feel more confident about the process.

Preparing for a Job Interview

So you got the call and you have an interview at a job you’re interested in taking in a week. Now what?

Well, aside from shopping to brush up your wardrobe, it’s very important to do some research into the company to which you’re applying. You should have already done some basic work to make sure your resume fits their needs, but now it’s time for something more in depth.

  • Research the company’s background and profile. What are their goals and values? How are employees treated? What will the name of your interviewer be? Dress code? What recent achievements has the company seen? How could you help bring up the slack? Most of this can be found online or by calling the company.
  • Think of you own questions to ask. An interview, when it is done by two interested parties, is a two way street; they ask you, but you ask them. Think of some good things to ask in order to show your interest and also to ensure that you actually want to be there. These can be queries related to the future of the company (such as upcoming goals, chances of personal growth), questions about the interviewer (such as how long he or she has worked there) and asking questions throughout the interview itself. In short, you want to open up a dialogue.
  • Hold practice interviews with a friend or family member to help you brush up.
  • Research common interview questions and have answers set up for them so you’re not thrown for a loop. For example, ‘What is your greatest weakness’, ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ and ‘why did you leave your last job’ are all very common and yet all too easy to bungle. Be honest in your answers and don’t give canned responses!
  • Going to the Interview

    It’s I-day! Worried sick? Yeah, you’re not alone; we’ve all been there. But interview day need not be a complete stress bomb of a day that leaves you shaking in a corner (hopefully!).

    First, eat a good breakfast (or a good lunch if your interview is in the afternoon) and then burn some stress off. Exercise for a while, read a book; in short do something to take your mind off things. Then have a shower and get dressed. You should wear clothing to your interview that you would wear to work, so this means lint free, clean clothes that are suitable for the environment. Don’t wear scent (save deodorant) and make sure your hair is combed and tidy! If you’re not sure about the dress code, call the company and ask; there’s no shame in it.

    Arrive about ten to fifteen minutes early and be polite to everyone you meet because you never know who has input into hiring. And you never know who exactly you’re talking to-some bosses are pretty hands-on (particularly in smaller companies) and they may be watching how you act without you even realizing it. I knew someone who always had the same older man come in to eat soup and a roll for lunch and he didn’t stick out at all, but it turned out the man was the owner of the business!

    Once you’re at the interview, continue being polite and try to convey a personable and cheerful attitude. Answer questions in thirty to ninety second blocks, don’t forget to ask your own questions, and be genuinely interested in what’s going on. You should be able to feel a rapport-if only slightly-with the interviewer because if you feel it, they’ll feel it and that will improve your hiring prospects. And be honest! This is not the time to embellish, although you can ensure that you choose the phrasing of your answers to reflect you in a positive light.

    Post-Interview

    You survived! Crack the wine!

    Ok, not really.

    Once the interview is over, make sure to thank your interviewer for the opportunity and keep your cool as you head out. Once you’re home, you can fall into excitement or worry all you like and once you’re done that, do the following:

  • Send a follow-up thank you note/email/phone call to your interviewer. Even if you won’t land the job, it was still nice of them to take the time out and in doing this; you keep yourself in the forefront of his or her mind.
  • Follow up on your interview after an appropriate amount of time. It can be anywhere between three days and two weeks, depending on the company and you should know when is best since the interviewer will tell you (or you can ask). You only need to send a short message along the lines of who you are, when you interviewed, inquire whether the position is still open and tell them you are still interested.
  • Landing and thriving in a job interview is all about preparation. Prepare yourself beforehand by doing research into the company and figuring out the answers to common questions. Be well dressed, punctual, polite and concise at the interview and then follow up with courtesy and a gentle query if needed. In doing all of this, you’ll stand well above many of the other candidates and greatly improve your odds of landing that job.

    Good luck!