5 Things That Can Help You Nail a Job Interview
Do you know that you have about seven seconds to make a good first impression at a job interview? There are few things more nerve-wracking than job interviews. If you’re a generally introverted person, they probably make you incredibly nervous, making your introversion a weakness for job interviews.
We get it; job interviews seem like make-or-break situations. Employers are picky, and job candidates often make easily avoidable mistakes that end up getting them rejected.
Let’s talk about some of the most common mistakes job candidates make during interviews, so you can steer clear of them for your next interview!
Common Mistakes Job Candidates Make
- Showing up late.
- Being sloppily dressed.
- Not doing their research about the company they’re interviewing at.
- Not asking enough questions about the company.
- Not brushing up on their own resume.
These seemingly small mistakes can make or break your hiring. Did you know that 76% of job candidates are rejected because they have unprofessional-looking email addresses? Employers can be very nit-picky when it comes to hiring. If you’re feeling even more nervous about an upcoming job interview, don’t worry, we’re here to help!
5 Tips to Nail a Job Interview
Research is the tip that will help you ace a job interview. Let’s assume you’re interviewing at a big pharmaceutical company. To nail the job, you need to do your research. Look up their website, go through their social media, try to find out as much as you can about the company.
This is important because companies often like to quiz prospective employees to try and gauge their interest and enthusiasm. When your potential employer sees that you can answer questions about their company, they’ll see you as someone willing to do their due diligence, put in the effort, and is enthusiastic about the prospective job.
Moreover, while researching a company, you’ll often find things out about a company that will help you shape your answers to their liking. For example, you can mention the current happenings in the company while answering a question, signaling that you’ve been keeping up with what’s going on.
Also, if you’ve done your research, you’ll also be better prepared for questions to ask during a job interview. Asking questions signals interest in the job, making a good impression on potential employers.
Lastly, if you know the person’s identity hiring/interviewing you, research your interviewer specifically. Do a quick scan of their social media accounts and take note of their interests. You can use this knowledge to make yourself more likable to them.
If you’re awaiting an interview and are unsure about preparing for job interview questions and answers, the first step should be researching. The bottom line is; research is the key to unlocking another level in the hiring process!
The second tip is to study your resume. You may think you know your resume front to back, but it’s easy to forget small details. Potential employers will ask you questions about your resume for two reasons.
The first is simpler; they’re trying to gauge if you’re lying on your resume and asking questions to confuse you. Secondly, they’re trying to see if you pay attention to detail and have a good grasp of your qualifications. Job candidates often crowd their resumes with meaningless qualifications that they may have been a part of, without being passionate about, simply to fill up space. And employers know that.
So, if you’ve got an upcoming interview, it would be wise to go over your resume once or twice.
An interview is like an acting role; while many people will advise you to simply “be yourself”, we would recommend kicking it up a notch. Be the best version of yourself, and that requires practice!
Practice for the interview like you would practice lines for a play; rehearse the questions you might be asked and practice answering them. We don’t mean rehearse the interview from A-Z and memorize your answers. Doing that will only throw you off if you’re asked a question you didn’t rehearse.
This is where your research comes in handy. Do your research and make a list of questions you might be asked during the job interview. When you have the list, practice your answers for them.
Always remember that you can’t practice for what you don’t know yet, so just do your best to appear confident and articulate even if you weren’t expecting a question. Chances are, even if your interviewer doesn’t ask the exact question you rehearsed, it’ll be somewhat similar. In that case, just tailor your answer accordingly.
The key is to be practiced in answering questions and establishing rapport beforehand. Developing rapport with your interviewer is a skill that isn’t learned in a day.
If it helps you practice, go to other job interviews for jobs you’re not particularly interested in, just to gain experience and insight into the interview process. No interview is a waste of time, you’ll come out having learned something you didn’t know before. This will prepare you for interviews and jobs that you are interested in!
Speaking of job interview questions and answers, let’s talk about the STAR method! STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
For example, you’re asked a behavioral or situational question during your job interview. This refers to questions that are posed through describing situations and asking what you would do in that particular situation.
The STAR method is the best way to answer such questions. Begin with the situation, talk about your tasks for tackling it, then move on to what actions you would take, and end at the desired result. It’s better if you refer to examples from your own life, killing two birds with one stone!
For behavioral or situational answers, use the STAR method to nail the job interview!
5. Avoid Negativity
This may be an unusual one, but avoid negativity at all costs! This doesn’t mean you need to be overly optimistic and sugarcoat information about yourself. Learn to maintain a balance between two extremes, tread the line of being moderate.
Potential employers tend to frown at displays of emotion, especially negative ones. For example, if you’re not a particularly confident person and tend to berate yourself, avoid it in front of your potential employer. Employers want candidates that are confident and sure about their own abilities.
Similarly, if you were previously at another job and it did not end well, steer clear of mentioning it to your new potential employer. Interviewers tend to frown upon candidates that badmouth people who have been in their position. Even if your last job left off at an unpleasant place, try your best to sound neutral about it to your interviewer.
Job interviews can be tricky! They’re precarious situations that can turn sour at the smallest thing. It’s crucial to be fully prepared before you walk into the interview room.
This means researching your interviewer and their company. Moreover, study your own resume and practice answering challenging questions during the interview. For longer, more detailed questions, use the STAR method and practice those answers too!
Lastly, steer clear of talking negatively about things and appearing bitter, keep things light and pleasant!