7 Top Tips to Help You Ace That Job Interview

No matter how much work experience you may have, job interviews can be an overwhelming experience. We all feel a sigh of relief when we get an interview, but then along with that comes the stress and anxiety of facing the situation in person. Picture this – you’re sitting across the table from the hiring manager, settling your mind with positive affirmations, and, at the same time, trying not to make it obvious that you are feeling anxious and nervous. You spend hours on end wondering what your strengths and weaknesses are and where you could possibly see yourself in the next five to ten years. All you can think of is the hope of the interview going successfully and not blowing your chance to work at this organization. This blog will talk about how to not let those creeping nerves get the best of you and help you ace that interview to get your dream job.

Believe In Yourself

Believing that you can achieve the best of the best is the first step to getting through the interview. This means giving yourself credit for your resume and making yourself look smart in front of the hiring manager. According to Indeed, you should “ask yourself why you should apply for that job and why the employer should hire you.” This will give you a chance to automatically reflect on any other potential questions the hiring manager could ask you. The rest is up to you. There are so many ways to build your confidence. It could be from the smallest of tasks, such as dressing up for the interview, to the biggest tasks, such as going over sample questions repeatedly. Another method of validating your efforts is to surround yourself with a positive and encouraging support system. Friends and family are the biggest sources of encouragement to all of us. Their positive affirmations and good wishes keep us motivated to put our best foot forward for any goal we wish to accomplish.

Do Your Research

One of the most common interview questions hiring managers ask candidates is “why should we hire you?” Answering this question not only requires self-reflection but also requires doing research about the company you want to work for. According to Indeed, “researching the company well will help you align your CV with its expectations.” It allows you to figure out where exactly you can fit in with the organization’s culture. Thoroughly studying the company website, including its values and mission or vision statements, will help you focus on how you can communicate your resume during your interview. Familiarizing yourself with the organization will also help you think about what questions you would possibly want to ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview.

Be Prepared

There are so many ways to be prepared for an upcoming interview, such as looking up interview sample questions. Using such questions to prepare before an interview can help you feel more confident in your answers if you’re asked such questions during the interview itself. Some good practice questions include the following:

  • Tell us about yourself
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • Have you ever faced a situation of conflict within your team? How did you handle it?
  • Why did you leave your last organization?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What salary are you hoping for?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Are you flexible with regards to the office location?
  • How did you hear about this position?

According to Business Insider, “most experts will tell you that it comes down to preparation – knowing in advance how you’ll answer tricky questions and reflecting on the direction you want your career to take.” Writing down your answers to sample questions will give you a massive confidence boost prior to and during the interview. You want to have as many advantages as possible, in order to make the best first impression on the hiring manager and committee.

Freshen Up Your Resume

There is more to life beyond good grades and obtaining a degree, obviously. Your resume needs to reflect that reality, by bringing out your personality and work style. Examples of corresponding activities to highlight include college clubs, spiritual activities, volunteer work, athletics, and other common interest or skill groups. Sharing the activities you participate in outside of your education and work experience will not only round out your resume, but it will also give the recruiter a more positive impression of you. Such activities also help you grow emotionally and spiritually, as they teach you how to work in a team, handle tough situations, and prioritize your time between all your activities.  According to LinkedIn, you need to remember that you are selling your experiences to the hiring manager. Find a way to make your resume stand out from those of other candidates. One way to do this is to use the summary to your advantage. The summary paragraph is the first thing the hiring manager will read to get an initial impression of you. You can put this paragraph to good use by briefly highlighting your experiences in a concise, yet impactful manner.

Dress Appropriately

The saying goes “what you wear defines who you are.” When it comes to the office environment, the typical dress code is business casual but can differ from workplace to workplace in the level of strictness or flexibility when it comes to working attire. To make the best first impression, neatness and dressing for the role you’re applying for are always appropriate for job interviews, both for candidates and hiring teams alike. It might be surprising to include the hiring team in this consideration. According to Indeed, “dressing professionally helps you present a positive, professional image of your organization to others.” It’s important to keep in mind that your physical appearance reflects the image and reputation of your organization.  You do your best work when you feel like you represent your best self. Dressing up gives you a confidence boost so that you can face any obstacles that come your way.

Reach the Location Early

Reaching the office location a few minutes early gives you a chance to take a breath and keep your mind relaxed before the interview. If the location isn’t nearby, you can use the time to re-hydrate, use the washroom or just generally freshen up. According to Indeed, “reaching early helps reduce anxiety and gives you time to mentally prepare for the interview.” Reaching the location early will give you the opportunity to conduct one last practice round with yourself so that you can internally breathe a sigh of relief over the course of the interview with the hiring manager.

It’s Okay to Say “I Don’t Know”

Most candidates have this assumption that they need to be a know-it-all before attending their interview. The feeling of intimidation in front of a hiring manager is absolutely real. However, this does not need to be the case. It’s completely okay to use the phrase “I don’t know” during interviews when it is necessary. Hiring managers don’t expect you to know the ins and outs of the job you are interested in. This is the whole point of the initial training when you join. The best thing about working in any job is that the learning never stops. You face the opportunities to learn something new every single day. As a Chinese proverb states “he who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” Understanding your personal limits of knowledge is important when facing a new environment, like a new job, so making sure you are prepared to learn from the get-go is important for your continued growth.

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