5 Job Interview Techniques That Actually Work
Use these interview techniques to help you land your dream job.
Finding a new job can be a daunting task.
From updating your resume to preparing for interviews, there are a lot of moving parts. A good resume will get you in the door, but a great interview will land you the job.
Your potential employer is looking for someone who is not only qualified but also a good cultural fit. During the interview, they're keeping an eye out for red flags, but they're also looking for qualities that will make you a valuable asset to their team.
5 Interview Techniques That Actually Work
Even seemingly small things like your body language, the way you dress and how you speak can make a big impression. So, how can you make sure you're putting your best foot forward?
Here are a few interview techniques that will help you land the job.
1. The STAR Method
The STAR method is a great way to answer behavioral interview questions. This technique is especially helpful for those who tend to get nervous or flustered in interviews.
The STAR method stands for situation, task, action, and result. When using this method, you describe a specific situation that you were in, the task that you needed to complete, the actions that you took, and the result of your actions.
Keep this in mind when your potential employer asks you behavioral interview questions like, “Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge,” or, “Give me an example of a time when you had to use teamwork.”
Have a few different STAR answers prepared before you go in for the interview. The best way to use this method is to describe a situation in which you were given a task, and the result exceeded expectations in a quantifiable way.
For example, maybe you oversaw social media for your previous company. By using the STAR method, you would first describe what your manager expected from you in the role. Then, you would explain the actions you took and the results of those actions. An example of this could be, “I increased overall post engagement by 50%,” or, “The company gained 10,000 followers on Instagram over six months.”
By using the STAR method, you can give a clear and concise answer that will give your employer a good idea of how you handle challenges and work with a team.
Additionally, real-life examples will make you stand out among other applicants. Anyone can give vague answers and say they’re a good fit for the job, but not many come prepared with examples and data of their past performance.
All-in-all, having your answers prepared ahead of time with the STAR method will help you to feel more confident and less flustered during the interview, as even though those questions are commonly asked, they can be difficult to answer on the spot.
2. Be on Time
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to show up early to your interview. This shows that you’re reliable and takes some of the pressure off of you and the interviewer. Additionally, coming in late or not at all is a major red flag for employers.
A good rule of thumb is to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. This will give you time to use the restroom, check your appearance and fill out any necessary paperwork.
3. Be Prepared for Common Questions
While you can’t predict every question you’ll be asked, there are some common interview questions that you should be prepared to answer. These include questions like:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- “Why are you interested in this position?”
- “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Preparing for these questions ahead of time will help you to feel more confident and less flustered during the interview. Remember, potential employers are looking for qualities like confidence and poise, so it’s important to show them that you have those qualities.
4. Be Confident, but Not Arrogant
It’s important to come across as confident during your interview, but you don’t want to come across as arrogant. This is a fine line to walk, but a good way to think about it is that you want to be confident in your abilities without seeming like you think you’re better than the interviewer or the company.
Some body language cues that can help you project confidence are maintaining eye contact, sitting up straight, and having an open posture. This doesn’t mean that you should be stiff as a board, but you want to avoid crossing your arms or slouching in your chair.
5. Ask Questions
At the end of most interviews, you’ll be given a chance to ask questions. This is your opportunity to get more information about the company and the position and to show that you’re truly interested in the opportunity.
Many make the mistake of not taking advantage of this opportunity and sheepishly respond with “No, I think that’s all.” when asked if they have any questions. If you truly believe that the interview covered everything, you can ask questions about the next steps in the process or what the timeline looks like.
If you have any questions, now is the time to ask them.
Ending the Interview on a Positive Note
When the interview is coming to an end, thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the position. This is a great opportunity to reiterate why you’re the best candidate for the job and to leave the interviewer with a good impression.
Sending a thank-you email after the interview is also a nice touch and shows that you’re grateful for the opportunity. Just be sure to keep it brief and professional and don't be alarmed if you don't hear back right away. Sometimes it takes a while for companies to make their decisions.
Also, be prepared to attend more than one interview. Even if you nailed it, there are usually other candidates that the company is considering, and they want to be sure they’re making the best decision.
If you follow these tips and techniques, you’ll be sure to land the job you want in no time. Just stay confident, be yourself, and remember to ask questions. Go in with the mindset that you’re interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing you, and before you know it, you’ll have a job offer in hand.