How to ace a job interview
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Whether you're down on your luck or looking to upgrade your position, you may have been interviewing for new jobs.
Sometimes when it feels like nothing is clicking, you start to feel discouraged about your prospects, and your mind begins swirling with self-deprecating thoughts: Is my resume not up to par? Do I have enough experience? And what about my job interview skills? To address the last point, here are several ways to make your next interview a slam-dunk.
Visualization techniques can be incredibly powerful. Athletes use them before big games and CEOs use them prior to major presentations. Follow the professionals and do the same thing. For several days before your interview, visualize yourself confidently sitting in front of your prospective employer. Imagine the questions you'll be asked and practice your responses. It can also help to practice in front of a friend or family member. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself before the big day. This can help get you in the proper mindset to perform your best.
Smile and stay relevant
Arrive at least ten minutes early. Be nice to everyone you meet, including the person who holds the door as you come in, the secretary that offers you water, and the janitor who passes you in the hallway. Once your meeting begins, give everyone a genuine smile, then dive into the key qualifications you have for the position. Stay relevant. Try to shy away from explaining experiences that have no bearing on the position. Instead, talk about what you can do for the company and how your expertise can help the business.
Prepare short stories
You may be asked to give examples of certain situations you've experienced. Knowing this, prepare several short stories in advance that illustrate the times when you dealt with difficulties and what you did to improve the situation. You should also prepare to talk about other successes, like the times you improved a company's bottom line, or won an unlikely client contract. Write down notes for each story and practice telling them.
In order to seem enthusiastic to a hiring manager, it's important to act engaged and ask questions. Arrive with these questions in mind. Do your research and ask about recent—and of course, positive—news you've heard about the company. Ask your hiring manager about their experience. Better yet, look them up on LinkedIn beforehand and identify anything you have in common, and find a way to work it into the interview. Also, be sure to ask them their favorite things about working at the company, and pay attention to their tone and body language—which could be more revealing than their answers. Keep your questions conversational, professional, and genuine.
Have a closing statement
Find out about the next steps at the end of the interview. Ask about their hiring timeline, and then finish with a closing statement. Reiterate why you're interested in the role, how your experience is perfect for the position, and how you look forward to helping the company.
Reach out within 48 hours
Post-interview thank you notes are essential to any hiring process. A few hours after the interview, send a short email thanking them for their time and confirming your interest. Wait another 24 hours, and then send a handwritten thank you card. This card can help keep you at the front of their minds as they're making the final decision.
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