By Braulio Giron, Jr. on April 11, 2019
While sometimes routinary, job interviews can also be career turning points. Make sure you steer yourself right into your dream job with these helpful tips
Even when at the point where you’ve gone to more interviews than you can count, interviewing for a job never seems to get any easier. Along with the awkwardness common to when meeting new people, there is also the matter of having to sell yourself and your skills, then receiving the third degree about everything you say, all while having to appear enthusiastic throughout the entire process. All this can be a challenge, particularly when under pressure to get hired, or when applying for a job that you really love.
With that said, job interviews should be no more stressful than they have to be. By knowing how to effectively you prepare beforehand, but at the same time not placing any undue pressure on yourself by treating it like an exam where you have to study for hours on end, you can ace just about any interview you go to, be it an initial interview with a recruiter, or succeeding interviews with the head of human resources, department manager, or even CEO.
Practice answering certain questions
Your communication skills are the most important aspect of your interviews because ultimately, to interview successfully is to be able to clearly and concisely (and confidently) talk about what you can offer an employer, sharing examples of your workplace skills and specifically highlighting your qualifications for the job.
Now, if the importance of communicating well is of little concern to you because you are already an outgoing person and/or are well-spoken, remember, it's one thing to be ready with a mental answer to a common question like, "Why should we hire you?", but it can be completely another to actually be able to articulate exactly what you are thinking with confidence and conviction.
So research and review the job interview questions the company, and other employers within the industry, typically asks. Then think of, practice, and polish your answers. Remember that the best answers are specific but concise, and draw on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your resume. As you practice, your answers continue to be delivered more smoothly and become more articulate.
Common questions which employers often ask are: “Why should we hire you?” and “Could you tell me a little bit more about yourself?”
Prepare questions of your own
While it’s important to familiarize yourself with the best answers to give during an interview, it’s equally paramount that you listen carefully to your interviewer/s in order to ensure your responses provide them exactly the information they are looking for. Remember, while a job interview is centered around you as an applicant, its purpose is still to eventually see if you have what it takes to fill a position which THE EMPLOYER requires.
So do some research about the company and industry in general, to get a feel of what their standards are as a brand and as a workplace. Through this, you’ll be able to prepare questions which you can ask them when they mandatorily ask you at the end of the interview if you have queries of your own. Having a question or two ready is important, because not asking about anything may lead the interviewer to think that you are apathetic to actually getting the job.
A good question you can ask almost any employer: “Could you describe what (the company) considers as the ideal employee/(position you are applying for)?"
Doing research is also helpful, since they might also ask you: “What do you know/how did you hear about our company?”
Keep calm and pay attention
As your body language will be telling just as much about you as the answers you give to the interviewer’s questions, it is important to relax and stay as calm as possible. Following the aforementioned tips and coming in ready will help you exude confidence, confidence which your interviewers will then feel about considering you for the job.
Keep in mind however that there is more to this than maintaining eye-contact with your interviewer while you have a discussion. Be sure to also actively comprehend every question, listening each in its entirety and never interrupting the interviewer, in order to make sure you know exactly what they are asking.
For the unusual or unexpected questions, make sure to take time to put some thought in your answers, and not rush into an answer filled with multiple “ums” or “uhs”. If a question proves too difficult to answer at the moment, you can buy yourself a little more time with a statement similar to “Great question. Can we circle back to that one?" This would be much better than sitting in silence without an answer, or giving one that misses the point.
Get ready ahead of time
Don’t wait on until the day of the interview to do or decide on any of its related aspects. You can get ready as early as when you agree on an interview schedule with an employer, picking an interview outfit, printing out multiple copies of your resume, and preparing writing materials that you’ll need ahead of time. In fact, it’s good to have these things always prepared, so that you can even take on interviews that are set on short notice.
Not only will planning out every detail of your day, from what shoes you wear and how you’ll style your hair to what time you will leave and how you’ll get there, buy you time in the morning, it can significantly help reduce job search anxiety. Being ready also save you from having to make decisions and feel the associated decision fatigue at the last minute, leaving you with more energy and brain power that you can use at your interview.
Close on a positive note
After answering all of the interviewer’s questions, and he or she has answered yours, there may seem to be nothing left but to end the interview and go about waiting on them to contact you later to tell you whether or not you got the job. Instead of doing this however, take the opportunity to end the interview by letting them know how much you want the job.
In no instance does a good salesperson make a product presentation but not ask the client for the sale, and as you are selling your time and skills to an employer, it is only expected that you let them know that you want them to buy into you. In the instance that the positions comes down to two equally qualified candidates, you and one other, the knowledge that you’re most likely to accept the position may increase the inclination of the employer to make an offer to you.
You can put a little more color in your statement by not outright asking for the job. Rather, let the employer know how you were already excited about it before the interview, and now are even more excited because you're convinced you'd like to work there, and how you look forward to hearing from them soon regarding the position you applied for.
Bonus Tip: Send a follow-up
While a job interview is seemingly over once you leave the employer’s premises, it doesn’t mean you still can’t further leave a lasting impression with your interviewers. Given how long it usually takes for them to choose and hire a candidate, you’ll likely be waiting for some time before being informed of if you got the job or otherwise.
Until then, you can take the time after the interview to thank your interviewers for their time and for considering you for the job, and put in under the guise of a follow-up. Apart from reiterating your interest in the position, a thank-you follow-up also provides you the opportunity to mention other details you may have failed to mention during the interview. If you spoke to more than one interview, send an email to each one, and make sure to do so within 24-hours of the time you spoke to them.
Need more tips for career search? Find more advice and information for professionals at Kalibrr.com.
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