What are your tips for excelling in job interviews?
First Impressions are Lasting
When it comes to finding a job or a new career, applying for jobs and going through the interview process can be intimidating. Just remember that everyone has to start somewhere. If you are a first-time job seeker and you are looking for tips to help you excel in job interviews, here are some ideas that might help:
● First impressions are lasting impressions. Whether your interview is in-person or virtual, from the time you arrive to the way you are dressed to how you speak, the actions you make and the things you say will be judged by the interviewer. This means that you need to do your best to be your best.
Arrive at the interview on time, preferably 10 to 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start. Wear a professional-looking outfit that will convey how you have a serious interest in the position. Don’t interrupt the interviewer when talking, and refrain from saying anything inappropriate. The interviewer will likely remember how you act in this first interview, and you want this to be a good memory.
● Learn about the company. Most companies want to know that you are looking for a career, not just a job. You can show the interviewer your interest by knowing about their company.
This doesn’t mean you have to memorize statistics and facts, but you should be familiar with what they do. You should also be familiar with the job you are applying for. A little bit of research ahead of time can go a long way in helping you excel during your interview.
● Talk about your skills and previous experience. Your resumé tells companies in a concise, written form what you were responsible for in any previous positions you held. Unfortunately, if you are a first-time job seeker, you might not have much work experience to show. That doesn’t mean you don’t have skills related to the position you are applying for.
Also, if you have a degree in the field you are applying to, this illustrates how you have long held an interest in this industry. Plus, if you did well in school, this can help illustrate that you commit to what you start.
Even if you are applying for office work, but you only previously worked part-time in retail or the service industry, this lets potential employers know about your work ethic. Try to find ways to explain how your experience, even if seemingly unrelated, can help them.
You are the only person who can give an interviewer a great first impression of you. Some things that you might find small could significantly impact what a person thinks.
Put on a smile, put distractions (such as cell phones) away, and be engaging while you are being interviewed. Nod your head to show you are listening and that you understand what they are saying and know that your body language could send off signals (so sit up straight.)
Generally, be on your best behavior. At the end of the day, who knows? You might do so well in your job interview that you can put your interview behind you and put your great new career in front of you.
Highlight Your Soft Skills
● Do Your Research. By taking the time to research a company before applying for a role, job seekers can ensure that the position aligns with their career goals and work preferences, increasing the likelihood of job satisfaction and long-term success. By researching the company’s culture, values, and mission, you can determine whether the job and the organization are the right fit for you and ensure you are well prepared for interviews.
Not only does this help you avoid investing your time and effort into unsuitable positions, but it also prevents any misaligned expectations that may arise later in the hiring process. So, before hitting the “submit” button on your application, make sure you’ve done your research to increase your chances of finding a position that’s a perfect match for you.
● Think About Your “Why.” When applying for a new job or attending an interview, it’s critical to understand and explain why you are interested in joining their organization. Sharing your ‘why’ can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and company and set you apart from other candidates. By showing that you have done your research and understand what the role entails, you can articulate how your skills and experience align with the company’s mission and values.
Moreover, by sharing your “why,” you can demonstrate that you are selective in the roles you are applying for and are looking to make a meaningful and fulfilling career move. This can show the hiring manager that you are serious about the role and are passionate about the opportunities that the position offers.
● Highlight Soft Skills. Highlight your soft skills to stand out from the competition and demonstrate your value to potential employers. Soft skills such as emotional intelligence, flexibility, and time management are becoming increasingly important in the face of new technologies, making you an asset in navigating complex situations and working well with others.
Showcase your human skills, including empathy, communication, and problem-solving by highlighting specific examples from your previous work experiences, hobbies, or education. Use these examples in your CV, application, or cover letter, and provide concrete examples during interviews to demonstrate how you have applied your soft skills successfully in previous roles.
Practice for the Interview
The first time you’re applying for a job, there are a number of things you need to know.
First, make sure you have your resumé ready. Try to have it ready before the interview date. You can put it together on your computer and print it out to bring with you.
Second, make sure you have all of your references lined up so that they can be contacted by the hiring manager or recruiter. This will help them verify your qualifications and make sure that you are a good fit for their team.
Third, practice for the interview by asking yourself questions about the job. This will help prepare you for difficult questions asked during an interview.
● Do research on the role and the company you are applying for so you can talk about why you would like to work there, referencing something you have read about the company.
● Be honest. Give examples that demonstrate what you do know and what you are capable of. You might not have the right qualifications for some roles, but being able to demonstrate how your skills might transfer can be enough to get you through to the next stage or round of interviews.
● Be yourself. It’s okay to be nervous. Take a breath, have a drink of water, slow down if you need to, and ensure you are answering the question being asked. Try not to waffle just to fill the silence.
● Provide insight into what you hope to learn and what your goals are for the future.
● Come prepared with a couple of questions to ask if given the chance. This shows your interest, that you have been thinking about the role, and what is important to you. Make sure these questions are not already answered prior to asking them.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.