Attracting the attention of a job recruiter or hiring manager with your resume or job application is a huge achievement in your job search, but the next step is just as critical and can be just as challenging. Whether the job interview is in person or on the phone, you’ll need to persuade the interviewer that you are a perfect match for the position.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to boost your interview performance. Here are some proven tips to help you make the best impression and ace the interview…
Do Your Homework
If you know who the employer is, use the Internet to research background information on them. Look at their website and any social media accounts they might have to gather a sense of the company’s business goals and culture. Having this information can help you tailor your responses to the specific company and demonstrate you’re a good fit.
Prepare answers to the most common interview questions
According to an Inc. Magazine article, 27 Most Common Job Interview Questions and Answers, the most common question you’ll be asked in an interview is: “Tell me a little about yourself.” This question is very open-ended, so focus on qualities that demonstrate your qualifications for the position. Two other top interview questions include “What are your strengths?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Practice your responses
When you know your statements and responses by memory, you’ll feel less nervous during the interview. Practicing out loud helps build confidence, ensure you remember all key points and improve your delivery.
Bring a list of 3-5 questions
Nearly every interviewer will ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions?” Coming up with questions about the position and the employer on the spot may be challenging, so prepare your questions in advance. You demonstrate stronger interest in the opportunity by asking a couple good questions than if you respond that you don’t have any questions.
Follow-up with a thank-you note
It isn’t just a social formality: a thank-you note is a strategic opportunity to express your interest and reinforce your qualifications. If there’s relevant or follow-up information you didn’t mention during the interview, include it in your note.
Avoid these common mistakes
- Arriving too early or too late
- Forgetting to answer the question asked
- Providing irrelevant information and speaking longer than necessary to answer the question
- Forgetting to silence your mobile phone and looking at it during the interview
- Forgetting your resume if meeting in person
- Focusing only on your career goals, and not mentioning what you can contribute to the company
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Good luck on your next interview!