It's not easy to land a job interview. That's why whenever you do get one, it sometimes feels like it's you're one and only chance at employment. That very mentality adds unnecessary pressure to the overall experience. However, taking a job interview shouldn't be stressful—if you think about it, it's just a conversation, only in a more formal setting. The entire purpose of it is to allow the employer to get to know you better. So, doing well in a job interview really all depends on how well you know yourself.
That being said, the secrets for acing a job interview are actually not secrets at all. It's all just simple logic. The key thing to remember is to be yourself—while the following tips will lead you in the right direction, how you present yourself to the employer is still entirely in your hands. The more natural you are during an interview, the more your personality will shine through, and the better your self-confidence will be. Consider these five tips to help you nail your next job interview:
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#1 Study the job description
The better prepared you are for your job interview, the more confident you'll be at answering the interviewer's questions. One of the best ways to get yourself ready is by studying the job description, in and out. It might be your most useful tool during a job interview, as it outlines everything the employer seeks in an ideal candidate.
When you review the job description, identify the areas where your skills are relevant. Prepare to talk about prior experiences and achievements that prove your qualifications further. At the same time, identify the areas where you might be lacking. Prepare to talk about instances where you were able to quickly learn something new and excel at it to demonstrate your versatility as a worker.
#2 Research, research, research
Even a basic knowledge of the company will impress the interviewer. During your pre-interview preparation, make sure to take the time to research the company's initiatives, its mission, any products it offers, and if it has multiple locations. Learning a bit about its history could be useful as well, but keep a primary focus on its current projects.
Similarly, if you know the name of your interviewer beforehand, it may help to do a quick Google search on them. It might seem creepy, but it's perfectly normal to get an idea of who your interviewer is before you sit down with them. After all, the interviewer has probably screened you behind the scenes; you might as well do the same to them, right? Check their LinkedIn account and find areas of commonality between you two—you might be able to bring something up during the interview encourages them to talk about themselves so that the interview isn't just all about you.
#3 Think of good questions to ask
At the end of an interview, the interviewer usually asks whether you have any questions for them regarding the position or the company. Most people often don't take this portion of the interview seriously enough, but it's actually more important than it seems. The question period is your last chance to make a good impression on the employer. Based on the questions you ask, the employer will be able to get an idea of just how serious you are about the position.
Pay attention to what has been discussed during your interview. You don't want to ask something that the interviewer has already explained in great detail. If no logistical questions come to mind, think of more personal questions—ask about the team, their experiences, etc. The more you are able to engage your interviewer in a natural way, the more they will be able to picture themselves interacting with you as a coworker.
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#4 Muster your confidence
Confidence is everything in an interview. Remember, it's just a conversation, only in a more formal setting—there's nothing to be afraid of and nothing for you to lose. So hold your head up high, smile, make eye contact, dress appropriately. Those little details can do wonders for your confidence. Let your personality shine through. Try to enjoy the moment instead of worrying about every little thing.
#5 Talk about your personal experiences
When answering the interviewer's questions, always take that split second to think of a related experience that you can speak about. Interviewers are often more inclined to listen to you if you tell them a story. Not only will you be able to demonstrate your qualifications with real-life experiences, but you'll also be able to show a bit of your personality to the interviewer. Those little anecdotes could be what differentiates you from other candidates.
Think about previous positions you've held, past projects you've spearheaded or contributed to, and improvements you've helped make. Any situation where you stood out or came out on top is worth talking about. Just make sure to be genuine about it—speak your truth and don't be overly cocky about your achievements.