Did your awesome resume just get you an interview? Well, good for you! Now that’s when things get serious. Job interviews are not your most pleasant meet-ups but you can nail it and get that job if you know how.
For sure, job interview can be really intimidating. Convincing someone of your qualities is a toughie, but if you’re well prepared, there’s no need to panic. Confidence is the key to your success. It’s important to go and meet your potential future employer confident and collected. In order to give off that impression, you need to take the time and carefully research a couple of things.
So keep calm and read on. Here are 8 things you should definitely know about before your job interview:
1. Know more about the company than others
Knowing who the founder and the CEO are, together with a short history and structure of the company that you’ve read on Wikipedia are the very basics. This is just not enough. You should go deeper than that and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge about the company. Above all, you have to understand the company and show that your personality matches with the company philosophy.
If the company is developing a certain product, know as much as possible about it, express your interest in it and know what sets it apart from the competition. You should have knowledge about the company’s successes and the most important milestones. If the company is active on social media, research their sites, read a couple of their most recent blog posts or read what other people are saying about it. It’s always good knowing a bit more than others – find some fun facts or company stories.
This will also help you during the Q&A session. You might ask the hiring manager about a fact you researched or about a new project the company is working on, etc. Also, if you understand the company, your answers will sound more proficient.
2. Make a thorough research about the job position
Knowing the details about the job position also helps you better answer the hiring manager’s questions at job interview. Research thoroughly what are the competencies and duties of the person working on the position you’re applying for. Be ready fit your skills and knowledge to the job and tailor your answers so that you appear perfectly suited for the job.
By doing the research, you’ll also discover whether you are the right person to do the duties that are required for that position. Any duty of the position shouldn’t take you by surprise. According to what is required for the position, you can rehearse your answers and prepare how you’re going to address your skills and identify what you know and how you can use this knowledge and skill in the position.
3. Know yourself!
It might sound a bit strange but you have to ask yourself this: How are you going to convince the hiring manager about your abilities if you’re not 100% sure about what you can and cannot do? Go over your resume once again and be aware of the fact that the recruiter doesn’t know you, he or she only has your resume in front of her/himself. Your resume has given the hiring manager a certain picture about you and now you have to live up to his/her expectations. In order to sound convincing, you should create your professional identity and stick to it. Settle on an attitude you’re going to present and which of your skills you’re going to emphasize.
4. Prepare questions and answers
Though you cannot predict what they’re going to ask you, it’s important you come equipped with a number of questions and answers. There are several commonly asked questions, for which you can prepare answers to but they should still come across as unrehearsed and convincing.
Even though a job interview is mostly about the recruiter asking questions, most of the recruiters will summon you at some point during the interview to ask them anything you want to know. In case they don’t, you still have the right to ask questions. most recruiting experts even think that questions the job candidate asks are sometimes more important that the answers they give to the interviewer’s questions.
For the questions part of your job interview, you’ll find our first two points most useful – having carefully researched the company and the job position, you’ll find it easier to ask additional questions and your questions will also sound more clever and professional.
Learn more in our previous blog post on the 20 best questions to ask the hiring manager.
5. Practice your body language
You might not believe it, but body language is crucially important during an interview. You should try to look as calm as possible. The body language of a calm person is a whole different than that of a nervous one. There are plenty of online sources dealing with body language. Make a little research and find out what your gestures mean.
Use open gestures, leave your arms resting calmly, don’t do any overexposed gestures, don’t let your nervousness show. You can practice this either in front of the mirror or opposite somebody else, which is even better. Ask your family member or a friend to play the interviewer and you try to answer his or her questions in a way you would in a hot chair.
6. Address your failures in the right way
Most hiring managers will try and put you on the spot about your potential incompetences. Some might even try to catch you unawares to see how you react in awkward situations. Addressing your failures or lack of skills is not pleasant, nor easy, but don’t worry. You can fight it by preparing for these questions in a right way.
They might ask you about your worst personality trait or a thing you think you’re least good at. The magic is to make your failures sound as though they’re in a way positive. Here’s an example: “I tend to get impatient when I don’t get enough work”, or: “I hate it when others in my team lag behind with work.”
Also, when they ask you about what you think your greatest incompetency is, pick a skill you think you’re good at, but you didn’t have a chance to get too deep into. So finish it off by saying something like: “I am still learning and I can tell from my progress I might get considerably good at it.”
7. Know the terminology
You should be prepared to use the jargon that’s used in the industry you want to work in. Using the right terminology will make you look more competent and intelligent. Be specific and speak clearly.
It doesn’t make a good impression when you twaddle about nothing just to say something. Don’t use helper phrases such as like, you know, I mean too often.
The recruiter doesn’t want you nattering away as though you were talking over a beer. If you want to be better than the rest of the candidates, you should appear professional. So, before your interview, refresh your vocabulary and get familiar with the professional jargon.
8. Be dressed for success
You might think that looks is not important but the hiring manager can judge a lot about you based on how you came dressed for the interview. Before your job interview, research what clothing requirements are there in the company you’re interviewing with.
A general rule is that you should fit your clothes to the culture of the company. Medium to large companies prefer formal, professional-looking clothes, while some smaller companies don’t require it. Avoid being overdressed. Startups, marketing, programming or designer jobs usually don’t require formal clothing on interviews. You might even look funny if you knocked on their door in a suit and tie. For corporate, banking, legal, public policy jobs and the like, jeans, sneakers or tees are out of bonds completely.
One final tip: Before your interview, take a long beauty sleep and on the big day, leave home half an hour early so you’re not late. Good luck!