You just received a call from a recruiter—awesome!
It must’ve been that polished resume and perfectly-branded LinkedIn profile you’ve been working so hard on.
Just as you start your happy dance in front of the mirror, you’re hit with a wave of panic with a side of anxiety. Your interview with the hiring manager is in less than 48 hours!
You can relax! We’ve compiled these 13 job interview tips to help you prepare for—and ace—your upcoming interview.
(And if you feel you need a little extra support and guidance, we have Expert Interview Coaches on standby. Our experts will not only help you up your interview game, but they will actually have you looking forward to your interview.)
13 Job Interview Tips to Help Your Interview Go 100% Better
Acing the interview is crucial to the end game which is landing that ideal job. So, here are 13 tips to help you:
1. Research the company
Spend some time learning about the company’s history, mission, clients, competitors, and products/services. Don’t limit yourself to just a Google search - read their company blog, stalk (don’t worry, this is the good kind of stalking) their social media pages, and see what others are saying about them.
Take note of information that may relate to the role for which you are applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, you’ll want to look for a new product or service launch, recent campaigns, and recent news coverage.
Your due diligence and preparedness will show in your well-informed answers and help position you as the best candidate for the position.
2. Research your interviewer
Establishing a rapport with the person you are interviewing can help you stand out among other candidates. Look to LinkedIn for information such as their history with the company and how you might potentially work together. Search on social media profiles and company websites to find common interests, community affiliations, Before and maybe even alma-maters!
3. Choose your stories
You’ll want to choose stories that fit the job and illustrate your value as an employee. In other words, you’ll want to connect the dots for your future employer by using concise stories that show how you have contributed to the success of your current/former company. Here are some examples:
- How did your work improve the customer experience?
- Did you find a way to decrease cost?
- Is there a process that you developed or optimized that made something easier, saved time, or saved money?
- Did you build a technology solution that addressed a common consumer pain point?
4. Remember your soft skills
Your resume may have highlighted your soft skills, but the interview is where you will bring those soft skills to life.
According to LinkedIn’s annual Global Talent Trends 2019 report, 91% of HR professionals identified soft skills as the number one emerging trend in the workplace. The same report states that most hiring (and firing) decisions come down to soft skills.
Here are a few examples of soft skills:
Keep these top-of-mind and find opportunities to weave them into your answers and in the stories you tell.
5. Line up your questions
Nine times out of ten, you will hear, Do you have any questions for me?
A lack of follow-up questions can make you appear unprepared, or even worse - not interested. Prior to your interview, write down at least 3-5 questions you might want to ask. They can be role-specific or general questions about the company and/or culture.
If you think of a question during the interview, don’t be afraid to jot it down. It shows you are attentive and truly interested in what the interviewer is saying.
6. Ask clarifying questions
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Your answers to interview questions are only as good as your understanding of the actual question. If you’re unsure of what you’re being asked to answer - just ask for more context or details.
It can be something as simple as,
“Would you mind repeating that? I'm not sure I heard the full question correctly.”
That’s not too scary, right? Trust us; it’s better to ask for clarification than to ramble off words that don’t address the question.
7. Be personable and authentic
Smile and relax! Let your qualifications, stories, and credentials do most of the talking. Don’t forget to give the interviewer a firm handshake and make direct eye contact! The goal here is to be personable, honest, and authentic to who YOU are.
Job Interview Tips for Answering Common Interview Questions
Confidently, answer these common interview questions by preparing your answers before your interview.
8. Answering 'Tell me about yourself'
Arguably one of the most common (and dreaded!) interview questions. Don’t sweat it! Keep your answer simple by addressing and highlighting qualities and experiences that correlate to the role you are applying for.
Here’s a pro-tip: Pull the details from your past experiences that relate well to the organization and role. Keep it high-level, talk aboutwhat informed your growth and pivots to get you where you are today, and keep your answer to under 1-minute.
9. Be prepared to answer why you are looking
Oftentimes, hiring managers use this question to better understand your values and career goals. When answering this question, remember to focus on the future, new opportunities, and your professional growth.
Use this opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and the company. NEVER talk negatively about your past employer, company, or manager—it’s not a good look!
10. How to navigate your greatest weakness question
This question may seem a little old-school, but having a prepared answer will save you from any awkward silence or response. Never say, “I don’t have any weaknesses.”
It’s perfectly acceptable to admit to your weaknesses - but be sure to follow that up with how you are working toward career growth and development! Have you taken any additional course of action such as a class, training, or maybe you searched for guidance in a good book? Mention it here!
Virtual Job Interview Tips - How To Prepare For a Virtual Interview?
11. Test the technology
A few days before the interview, download and perform a few test runs of the software you'll be using. This will allow you time to troubleshoot any connectivity issues that may occur.
Ensure your username and any personal information the recruiter or interview may see is appropriate and positions you in a polished and professional manner. Don’t forget to check your computer camera and microphone!
12. Choose your location
You’ll want to choose a location that is free from distractions and noise. Tidy up your area and put away any clutter that may be in the background. (Yes, that includes that lovely pile of laundry that’s been sitting there for 3 days).
You should also ensure your space has plenty of good lighting that illuminates your face.
13. Stay focused (using a Post-it®)
Yes, a Post-it® note can help you stay focused during your virtual interview.
How? Our CEO and founder, Briar Dougherty explains all:
Ultimately, the key to acing any interview—virtual or not—is preparation. How you spend your time preparing for the interview can set you apart from other qualified candidates.
Want more job interview tips and guidance? Schedule a complimentary consultation. Our coaches are ready to help you reset and refocus so you can finally start your journey to a more fulfilling career.
Blog Written by - Jessica Shephard