To help you nail your next job interview, here are some helpful hints to help you be the best candidate you can be.
1. Do your research. This is something you should to before you even apply to the job. Don’t apply for the job just because it is in your field or you will get paid a lot. Make sure it is a job that fits into your career path. If you have applied and got an interview, congratulations! Now do more research! Learn everything you can about the company and the job you are applying for. Some things to look fore familiar with are: the mission, any value statements, objectives of the company/organization, the duties of the job, and any organizational charts you can find. Now that you have that, it is time for hint #2
2. Make a list of questions about the organization. Employers love it when you ask questions about the company/organization. This shows them that you are interested in them and the position for more than just a paycheck. It tells them that you did your research before talked with them and you are serious about the job.
3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. This is a classic statement and good advice. Even if the job you are applying for has a casual dress code, do not dress casual for the interview. If they specifically tell you to dress casual, ask what that means to them. (Or do your research like we talked about in #2 and you will know what their casual dress code means. It can be different things to different organization)
4. Listen. It sounds simple but it can be surprisingly difficult for a lot of people. You need to use non-verbal and verbal communication to let the interviewer know that you are paying attention to what they said. One trick can be to use active listening skills. This means that you try to mirror, or do, what the other person is doing. If they are nodding their head up and down when you are speaking, this means they are listening. So do the same thing when they are speaking. The other important thing about listening is that they might be communicating important information to you. If you are not listening to them or you hear them wrong because you were busy thinking about Real Madrid, you could miss a great opportunity to make a good impression.
5. Don’t talk too much. This can be hard, since the purpose of the interview is to talk. When you are asked a question, answer it. Answer it in a way that helps the interviewer better understand who you are as a person, and why you are the best person for this job. Be careful to not reveal too much about yourself. They do not need to know what you ate for dinner last night, or what your favorite color is. So for now, just keep that to yourself.
6. When you do talk, use appropriate language. This is a job interview. Your language should be formal, professional, and polite. Image you were talking to your parents, a teacher, or sitting for the IELTS exam. You will want to avoid so called “sensitive” topics. In most organizations this means age, race, religion, politics, and topics like this. In some countries it is illegal for them to even ask you about these topics so don’t bring them up yourself!
7. Be confident, but don’t be cocky. If you are not sure what confident means, it means feeling or having a strong belief in yourself and your abilities. This is good. People want to hire confident employees. It makes them feel good about their decision and the decisions you will make in their employ. Cocky is when you are too confident. For example, if they ask you why you are the best candidate for the job, be honest. DO NOT tell them that you are the only one who can do the job because you are the smartest person in the world. That is being cocky, and employers do not like it.
8. Ask questions yourself. This connects back to the research you hopefully did before you went for the interview. Asking questions of a potential employers shows that you are interested in what goes on in the company/organization. It also gives you a chance to find out if this is the right job/company for you.
Remember, an interview is you trying to sell someone something: you! So no matter what, make sure that when you leave the room they know who you are and why YOU are the best candidate for the position.
Finally, above all else, smile. People like it when you smile at them.