How To Win the Job Interview
These steps will help you land the job of your dreams and show up to an interview with the confidence you’ll need to create a lasting impression.
- Research The Interviewer
Look up your interviewer on www.LinkedIN.com. Read the individual’s profile to view common connections, education, volunteerism or outside of office activities, and what companies they follow. The more you can make a connection and find commonality between you and your interviewer, the more likely that individual will perceive you as the exact kind of person that would fit into their company culture.
- Do Your Homework on the Company
Is the company publicly traded? If so, we advise you to Google to find their investor relations site. Investor relations sites are an incredible resource for Press Releases, quarterly and yearly earnings reports, and any other news and information about the company. If the company is not publicly traded, it’s still best practice to Google the company for recent news as well as research the website.
- How Honest Should I Be?
Stress what your interests are and what you would like to do in your career – it’s best to be transparent about this. As always, a job interview is not only for the company to find out if you meet their needs, but it’s also as much an interview for you to determine whether or not the company is a match. So, in short, don’t lie. Once the selection is made and you’re working, performance coupled with your ability to fit into the environment comfortably are the only two things that matter. One thing must be noted here, though, and that’s: You should resist any urge to speak negatively about your former employer(s). This could reflect negatively on you and disengage the interviewer. It’s better to say something like, “While the environment provided many challenges, I did not see the openness to promotions from within. I am seeking the opportunity to move onto a company where I know I can have room to grow and make a greater impact over time.”
- Have a Game Plan for your Future
A popular interview question is: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? Be able to answer this question with a Goal you’ve set for yourself that applies to the job. Example: I am applying for this Manager position in hopes that within 3-5 years I can earn promotion to Director to be able to lead strategic change at a higher level within the company and create opportunity for others.
- Be an Energy Giver, not a Taker
This is a simple statement that means, show up to your interview with positive enthusiasm. Drink a coffee, get a workout in, or simply show up to the interview with 30 minutes to spare to decompress in your car while listening to music. Whatever it takes, you should do your best to show up calm, yet determined and focused. An attractive hire is a candidate who speaks with excitement and talks about opportunity and success rather than failures. When asked, “What’s a time when you failed in your career and/or a project didn’t go right?” be sure to give a concise example but also be able to say what your take away lessons were from the experience to be able to move forward and learn from your mistakes. These questions are asked to find out how you handle adversity. You want to tell the interviewer how you are the kind of person who wants to grow, learn and strive get better at your job every day.
- Spotlight Your Accomplishments with Conviction
State any awards you’ve won, promotions you’ve earned with factual dates and information on how you obtain these accomplishments. Example: I grew sales and hit 120% of my quota by Q4 of that year and therefore earned the Sales Director title.
- Be Sincere, Remove Clichés
It’s very common to want to say things like “I’m a people person” or “I like people” when asked “What is your strength?” but we recommend you explain this trait further. Rather than “I’m a people person,” explain the WHY behind it. Example: I have been successful at getting others to work toward common goals. OR I’ve been successful at getting others to work toward a common goal and vision.
- ASK for the Job
This is as simple as a strong handshake at the end of the interview while saying, “Thank you for your time and I want you to know that if given this opportunity, I will readily accept an offer. I would love the chance to work here and make a strong contribution to the company.” We can’t tell you how long this small step means to the interviewer! This step can be a deal-sealer.
- Send a Follow Up Thank You Note
The “Thank You Note” is something we always recommend to our interviewees. It creates a lasting impression in a competitive job market and gives you the opportunity to:
- Clarify anything left uncertain within the interview
- Follow up with further examples/samples of your work attached
- Reiterate your strong interest in the role
- Summarize the value you’ll add to the job
- Reconnect with the interviewers on something you discussed in the interview
For more interview tips, contact us for help!