There is a lot riding on your job search. Here are a few tips to help you ace your next interview and increase the odds of a lucrative job offer.
It would be nice if job interviews could be broken down into a simple formula for success. Unfortunately, that’s not how the interview process works. The best interviewers often have a difficult time describing exactly what it is that separates exceptional interviewees from the rest of the pack.
But the majority of interviewers and employers can tell you the general characteristics that go into a great interview experience. Although they won’t guarantee a job offer, there are several things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will ace your next interview.
- Dress Appropriately. One of the most important things you can do ace your next job interview happens long before you arrive on-site: Dressing appropriately. Since there is no worse feeling than showing up for an interview either severely undressed or overdressed, do your research and match your attire to the employer.
- Arrive Early. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early for the interview. Although you might have to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes, it’s much better to be on time than having to apologize for arriving late due to traffic or some other unexpected circumstance.
- Know Your Resume. It’s crucial to be intimately familiar with your resume before you go into an interview. Don’t automatically assume you will be able to regurgitate your resume to the interviewer. In the heat of the moment, a lack of preparation can cause you to forget important details – and the worst thing you can do is to thumb through your resume for answers to interview questions.
- Know the Employer. You might be surprised how many interviewees conduct zero research about the employer during interview preparations. But employers are looking for candidates who have taken the time and energy to learn about the company and it’s core objectives.
- Prepare for Direct Questions. Accept the fact that you will be asked direct questions during the interview. For example, a variation of “What is your biggest weakness?” is standard interview fare. Rather than avoiding the question, prepare direct answers to these types of questions in advance.
- Be Inquisitive. Interviewers love inquisitive applicants. Although it’s entirely inappropriate to discuss salary and benefits during a first interview, feel free to ask the interviewer insightful questions about the company and their take on developments within the industry.
- Stay Upbeat. At some point in the interview, you will probably second-guess your answers or possibly question whether you’ve blown your chances entirely. When that happens, stay upbeat and positive. Many applicants who think they have made a fatal mistake go on to ace the interview and receive a job offer.