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interview tips

10 Interview tips that will get you the job 

We’ve all been there. The nervous waiting, the stuttering responses, the awkward pauses, the sweaty palms just before that crucial handshake. Interviews are often anxiety ridden, nerve wracking, and downright stressful. But they don’t have to be! If you’re ready to land your dream job, then read on for these 10 interview tips that will get you the job!

interview tips

Top 10 interview tips to get you the job. (Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash)

Top 10 interview tips that will get you hired 

1. Research the company – Knowledge is power, as they say. The more knowledge you have the better equipped you will be to navigate any situation. This is also true when going for a job interview. Get to know the company, learn their values and mission statement. With the power of the internet and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, it’s never been easier to find information. Use this to your advantage. The company will want to know why you are the right fit for them, so, tell them! Flex your knowledge of the company and relate it back to you and your story. 

2. Practice, practice, practice – As part of your research into the company, you will likely encounter what the company is looking for and what they value. Try to use your research to anticipate the types of questions they may ask during your interview and work on your responses. As we all know, practice makes perfect, and practicing your responses will also help ease your anxiety or nerves during the interview since you will already know what to say instead of working through your responses on the spot. If you can, enlisting the help of a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview will also allow you to stretch those muscles in preparation for your real interview. 

3. Develop your personal story – Another great interview tip many do not consider is to develop your story. As we mentioned previously, you want to establish a personal connection between yourself and the company. Use your knowledge of the company to tailor your story and brand to fit with their values and mission. An interviewer will likely ask you to tell them about yourself. “Who are you?” “What’s your story?” “Why are you the right fit for this company?” When preparing for your interview, evaluate your life and experiences. Ask yourself:

  • What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them? 
  • What do you value in a company? 
  • What are your skills and what can you bring to a company? 
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? 
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years/What are your long-term goals?

Work through these questions and begin developing a story. Your story is everything, there is no one else like you! 

interview tips

Interview tips: Show up early and dress to impress! (Woman photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com)

4. Show up early and dress to impress – First impressions are crucial. We have been told over and over again that a good first impression can make all the difference. Arriving late or underdressed to an interview may send the message that you are irresponsible and not really interested or committed to the position. 

However, things may happen outside of your control such as traffic and public transportation delays. If something does arise, it’s crucial to reach out and contact the interviewer immediately to inform them of the delay. The interviewer will appreciate the notice as it will allow that person to attend to other duties or interview the next person in line until your arrival.

5. Stay calm and speak confidently and clearly – There is nothing worse for an applicant than doing everything necessary to get the interview and then blowing it because the anxiety was too much. The first step to staying calm is to breathe properly. Stress and anxiety often creates a shortness of breath, which leads to more anxiety and a jumble of words that can seriously impact your chance of getting hired. Focus on taking deep breaths. Write a reminder on your notepad to “breathe and relax.” Also speak with confidence. If you’ve been practicing, then you already know your story and answering whatever questions interviewers throw at you will be a breeze. Maintaining good posture will also help not only your non-verbal communication, but your verbal communication as well, by giving you more confidence when you speak. 

You might be interested: How to manage and prevent burnout in the workplace

6. Practice good non-verbal communication – Another often forgotten interview tip is practicing your non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is just as important as your verbal skills. Non-verbal communication is also often the first impression you give when entering an interview. Proper posture, good eye contact, and a firm handshake will help you make a great first impression, setting a solid foundation for your interview.

Interview tips: Practice good non-verbal communication. (Business photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com)

7. Listen and connect with your interviewer – Really listening to your interviewer is extremely important. Asking frequently to repeat a question can give off the impression that you are not focused or interested. Your interviewer may also mention things such as their alma mater, their favorite restaurant, weekend plans, a favorite book, or other topics that can be opportunities to connect and establish some commonalities. By listening and taking these opportunities to engage, you make a better impression and increase your chances of getting hired. 

8. Answer each question fully – Each question asked is a chance to tell your story and really sell why you are the best person for the job. Each question is also a tool interviewers use to gauge your personality, behavior, and skills. When you don’t have an answer to a question or don’t answer it fully, you are providing less information to your interviewer, thus lessening your chances of getting the job. Instead, someone who gave full answers and spoke about themselves will have a leg up over you. So be sure to take every question as an opportunity to share your story, your thoughts, skills, and values. 

9. Ask questions – Many candidates answer, “No,” when asked if they have questions. This is the wrong answer. Just as answering the interviewer’s questions is important to showcase who you are and why you are the right fit, asking your own questions is equally important. Asking questions again shows your interest and commitment to the position. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. By asking questions, you not only demonstrate that you were listening and engaging, you also show interest and commitment to the position. 

10. Follow up after the interview – Lastly, this interview tip could give you a boost up and help you stand out among other candidates. Following up after an interview is a great way to show your interest in the position and appreciation for the opportunity. You can follow up by sending a thank-you note or email reiterating your interest in the position. Sending a personalized note to each person who interviewed you also adds an extra touch and helps foster a stronger connection. You can also use your follow up note to include any details you may have forgotten to mention in your interview. 

Succesful Interview skills

5 Steps to a successful interview

Interview skillsI had the pleasure of interviewing on my radio show human resources expert Brenda Ferguson Hodges regarding successful interview skills.

Brenda shared some of her nuggets of wisdom earned over 25 years in her various HR roles within notable companies including Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, and Lucas Film, to name just a few. I’ve included Brenda’s insights below, along with some of my own personal observations that have come from running financial services organizations.

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