A job interview can be the most stressful part of a job search, but nevertheless, the most important. The interview process is the major part of landing your dream job, whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced professional seeking a job in a new environment. Even the most sought-after candidate will have to prepare for an interview beforehand because some of these skills are learned and developed over time - with conscious effort, practice and experience.
With every job interview, you are set to meet new people from different organizations to confidently have a conversation about yourself, the company, the work culture, the job etc - all while remaining enthusiastic and hopeful. This is why it’s important to have the right mindset and acquire effective skills for an interview.
After all, interviews are the first step to making a great and positive impression. Read on to find out the best tips to boost your job interview skills and convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job.
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Tip 1: Practice and Repeat
Believe it or not - there’s actually a rather standard set of interview questions that is commonly asked by most employers. Make sure to research those questions and formulate clear and concise answers for each question. The answers should be tailored to the specific role that you are interviewing for and remember to emphasize skills or any experience that is most relevant for the company. For some people, standing in front of a mirror and practicing works really well, you can consider giving it a shot - have your answers written down nicely on a piece of paper and do a quick run-through. Trust us, you will get calmer with every round of practice.
Also, in almost every interview, the hiring manager would ask if you have any questions for them. Hence, prepare a couple of questions in advance to demonstrate your interest in the role and the company. It would be good to also learn about the company’s background as well as its mission and vision, so you can align yourself to the company’s goals and position yourself as the right fit for the role.
Pro Tip: Depending on the interview process, enquiring about salary during the first round of interview is usually a turnoff for most hiring managers. It’s best to wait till the topic is brought up by the hiring manager.
Tip 2: Get Ready Ahead of Time
In line with making a good first impression, punctuality is one of the keys to a successful interview session. It’s no doubt that you will want to look your best on the day of the interview, so make sure to not wait till the very last minute to pick out your outfit and ensure it's in a good presentable condition. Have everything sorted and ready the day before. The same goes for your transport arrangement, printed copy of your resume and so on. It’s also a good idea to prepare a folder to keep copies of your resume and certificates, a notepad, and a pen.
That being said, with the ongoing pandemic, it has become a new norm for interviews to be conducted virtually. In such a situation, take the initiative to do a trial run beforehand to ensure everything is in order - clean background, good lighting and fast internet connection.
Tip 3: Develop a Connection With the Interviewer
Besides depicting your interest in the company, you should try to develop a positive and friendly bond with the interviewer. Use social platforms or professional networking sites to research your interviewer or potential manager to learn about their career background, interest or any notable achievements or even projects. This could be a great conversation starter and finding common ground in a job interview is a really good way to impress. It shows you are genuinely interested and took the time to prepare well for the interview.
Another thing to note is the interview is basically your opportunity to shine and portray yourself in a good light. At the first point of contact, be sure to remain calm, reach out for a firm handshake and make eye contact with the hiring manager. Also, remember that most people can read body languages quite well so you would want to sit upright and speak in a clear voice as a show of confidence. Don’t slouch in your seat, be too fidgety or stutter too much as it shows an unfavorable character.
Tip 4: Follow-up Email After Interview
Once you are done with the interview, the next smart move would be to follow up with a thoughtful thank you email which could potentially get you ahead of the competition. It’s best to send the follow up email within 24 hours, just to show your appreciation for the opportunity and as a final reminder of yourself as the candidate. Here are some good subject lines for a follow-up email:
- Follow up regarding [insert position title].
- Thank you for your time today, [Hiring Manager’s name].
- Thank you for the opportunity! Hope to hear from you soon.
- I appreciate your time and advice. Hope to see you again.
Check out our recent article on The Do’s & Don’ts of Effective Email Communication!
In conclusion, proper research and preparation will help to alleviate some of the anxiety involved with job interviews and set you up for a positive and rewarding interview experience. Ultimately, building rapport and developing a good connection with the hiring manager would also increase your chances of landing the job you want. Remember to follow the key steps above for a successful interview and wait for the employment offer email to come through!
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