Interviewing can be stressful and exhausting, especially if you have to do it often when searching for a job. While your resume might be what gets you the interview, the interview itself will let potential employers know if you are the right candidate for the job. Making even a small mistake during an interview can cost you a job, because the job market is very competitive in many fields and there are lots of qualified people vying for different jobs. Even if you are polite, well dressed, and do a decent job answering the interview questions, that still might not be enough to set you apart from other applicants.
In order to really succeed at an interview, you need to be extremely polished, and you also need to prepare ahead of time. If you want to ace your interview, read the list of the following five tips, and make sure you keep them in mind before and during your interview.
1. Research the company
Researching the company doesn’t just mean research the basics. Hopefully, if you applied for a job at a particular company, you already know at least what the company does. Once you are offered an interview, you should spend a good deal of time researching more specifics. Start by looking at the company’s website. Determine how it markets itself, how it claims to differentiate itself from the competition, and so on. Determine if you know someone who works at the company already (if you don’t know off the top of your head, search Facebook and LinkedIn.) You can also look at the company’s blog if it has one. Lastly, if you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you (or people) try to find out about them. The more you know about the company, the better you will be able to answer the questions.
2. Show your excitement for the job
While you should certainly take your interview seriously, that doesn’t mean you can’t show any emotions. By acting enthusiastic about the position you are interviewing for, you are showing the interviewer that you would enjoy the job, and that is a big part of convincing the interviewer that you would be a good fit for the company. Be sure to highlight specific aspects of the job that you would be best at; use specific examples from past positions as well. One note of caution: make sure your enthusiasm is sincere. If you are too enthusiastic about every little thing the interviewer says, you will appear dishonest or insincere.
3. Show that you would be an indispensable asset
There are many people who are probably qualified for each job that you apply for, and most likely, when you interview, you are only one of many good candidates. However, one way you can set yourself apart is to showcase specific and hopefully unique qualifications that only you (or very few others) have. For example, if you are applying for a company that works heavily with a specific client whom you have worked with before, make sure you highlighted this fact.
Any unique experiences that you have and skills that put you above other candidates must be focused on during your interview. If you are not asked about a specific case in which your experiences helped you prepare for the job you are interviewing for, make sure you work the facts into your interivew anyway.
4. Anticipate the questions and be prepared for them
One of the best ways you can ace an interview is to be prepared. Many people interview so often or are so comfortable in their own abilities that they don’t prepare very much for the interview. You can increase your chances of being calm, collected, and prepared at the interview by anticipating the questions. Part of your preparation will come by researching the company, but try to take your research a step further and think about logical questions that the interviewer might ask you.
Many employers will ask similar questions, including asking why you are interested in the job, why you will do well, and what your biggest achievement is. However, once you get past the common questions, interviewers will ask you questions that are specific to their company. Make sure you are prepared to answer the questions, and even practice the interview if you can.
5. Ask questions
This is one of the easiest steps to forget or mess up. By the time many people answer all the interviewer’s questions, they are just relieved to have survived. You should prepare specific questions for the interviewer before you go to your interview. Not only will asking questions about the company or the specific job show you researched the company and care about the job, but it will also help you look confident and prepared. While many people end up stuck in the place where they just have to take a job, no matter what, the interview should really be an opportunity for you to get to know the company at the same time as they are getting to know you. This means that occasionally you might go to an interview, ask a few questions, and realize that the job isn’t a good fit for you. On the other side, if you do really want the job, asking questions will show that you are interested as well.
If you are doing everything on this list and you are still not getting hired, there might be a good reason why. Be sure that your references are good ones, and that you don’t have any lingering inappropriate social media posts or photos.