If you are changing careers in search of a job that makes you happy or are fresh out of college, the interview process is going to be the thing you dread most in the search.
It is crucial that you do well on the interview or the odds of you getting hired are not very good. Yet, an interview shouldn’t be intimidating since so many people do them all the time and end up getting the job. What is it that they did to ace the interview and get hired?
There are a number of things to get right if you want a chance of landing the job. There isn’t one particular thing that you have to get right. In fact, there are several and each has its own importance on your chances. In this article, we will go over what you can do to give yourself an edge during the job interview process.
1 – Dress appropriately
First impressions do still count for quite a bit. The way that you dress is going to have a profound effect on how you present yourself for the first impression at the interview. Your outfit will say a lot about you that is very subtle and in ways that you wouldn’t achieve by telling the interviewer about yourself.
Make sure that your dress attire is professional, yet will give some clues about who you are and what you bring to the table. You can dress professionally casual if you feel that is how the company’s culture operates and is part of your laid-back personality. Add some touches that show that you do have some style beyond just following a standard corporate attitude.
The shoes you wear can also make a very good impression. They should be somewhat formal even if you’re going for a slightly casual look since this is what separates your attire from being a little too loose.
Keep in mind also that tall people tend to get hired and even paid more so you may want to think about casual lift shoes that will give you a couple of inches and make you stand out from your competition.
2 – Research the company
Take some time to dig into the research about the company where you plan to get hired. What you really want to show them is that you understand their mission and have the same goals. You should be able to find this information on the company’s website but can really understand more about the company if you find some interviews done with the founder or CEO.
By showing that you understand the goals of the company and how the culture there works, you can use language in the interview that shows that you are a good fit. You’ll be able to tie your own background and achievements into the context of the company.
Additional Resource: The Most important Amazon interview Question You Should Know
3 – Do a mock interview
You can glean a lot of information from the internet that can be useful for the interview. For instance, you may find a forum online where people who work at the company discuss many aspects of it. They could talk about the interview process, for instance, and even give some indications on what questions were asked.
When you have an idea of the type of questions you can get a friend or mentor to run through a mock interview. This is good practice to have some well-thought-out answers to the questions you will likely be asked.
Even if you can’t find any specific questions that will be asked, there are certain ones that are fairly standard no matter what company or industry you are dealing with.
4 – Prepare some questions
At some point in the interview process, you will have the opportunity to ask some questions to get an idea about if you are a good fit for the company or not. It’s important that you take advantage of those moments and ask questions that will not only give you the information that you need but also that the interviewer will understand your thought processes.
Prepare a number of questions ahead of time that are thoughtful and pithy. Ask them about some of the projects that are important and how they see the ideal candidate fitting into the role. Also, ask them how they measure success in the company so you will understand how your performance will be judged.
5 – Be honest
There will be times when you will be tempted to embellish things to put yourself in the best possible light. Some questions will be asked simply to see how you react. This means that being honest is going to work in your favor even if the honesty might seem negative.
For instance, you will likely be asked to describe what happens when you received some negative feedback at a job before. Don’t try to make it sound like you are a perfect person who always does the right thing and actually let them know how you handled it and what you learned from the experience.
You will also likely be asked questions that you have no answer for. Don’t try to fudge an answer and just tell them that you don’t know the answer but will find out. This will show that you are authentic and actually trustworthy.
Somebody who tries to answer a question when they don’t know the answer will come across as somebody who will say anything and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
If there is a question that you were not able to answer then make sure that you do follow up on it after the interview. You shouldn’t assume that they will forget about it as this may be a test.
Send along an email thanking them for the interview and then tell them you found out the answer. This follow-up will show professionalism on your part as well as interest and will help you stand out from the competition.