How to ace your job interview!

Research your potential employer and the industry

Would you hire someone who’s completely unaware of your company and the industry or someone who believes in learning and evolving so they researched your company? You know the answer!

Researching a company is as important as preparing for common interview questions.

Conduct company research so that you will be well aware of its accomplishments, goals, and mission. Knowing as much as possible about the company's past performance and future plans can also help you better explain how you can add value to the company.

Avoiding interview stress

Are you looking for a job and stressed over interviewing? You're not alone. Job interviews can be very tough and sometimes sabotage your chances of landing a job.

Many people believe that visualizing images of success can improve performance and reduce anxiety. Try frequently imagining positive interactions with your interviewer, particularly in the hours immediately before your interview.

Most Importantly, if you don't get this job, there will be another one. Consider it a learning experience and move forward to the next opportunity.

Score points in the first five minutes

It's believed that interviewers make up their minds about candidates in the first five minutes of the interview and then spend the rest of the interview looking for things to confirm that decision! So, come in with energy and enthusiasm, and express your appreciation for the interviewer's time.

Also, start off with a positive comment about the company - something like, "I've really been looking forward to this meeting. I think SnappCV is doing great work in the recruitment industry, and I'm really excited to contribute."

Prepare your selling points and reasons you want the job

Sit down and make a list of your top-selling points. These can be areas of expertise, key accomplishments, education or training, soft skills, or personality traits. For each of them, write a supporting proof statement: a brief example of how you have successfully demonstrated this strength in the past.

be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job including what interests you about it, and what abilities it requires that you possess. Show the interviewer that you are really interested in this job.

Anticipate the interviewer's concerns and reservations

Remember that you are likely being evaluated in relation to a number of other strong candidates. Beyond the minimum qualifications, your interviewer will be looking for what makes you different and how you can contribute to this specific role at this specific organization. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they might not want to hire you. Then prepare your defense.

Prepare for common interview questions

Every "how to interview" book has a list of a hundred or more "common interview questions." (You might wonder just how long those interviews are if there are that many common questions!) So how do you prepare? Pick any list and think about which questions you're most likely to encounter, given your age and status. Then prepare your answers so you won't have to fumble for them during the actual interview.

Practice makes you perfect!

Conduct practice interviews with a friend or a family member and ask for their feedback. You can also record your responses so you can review your answers and check your body language. The first time you try it, you'll sound confused, no matter how clear your thoughts are in your mind! Do it another 10 times, and you'll sound a lot smoother and more articulate. prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions. You don’t need to memorize answers, but having an idea of what you’re going to say will help you do great.

Get on the same side as the interviewer

Your job as a job seeker is to ensure the interviewer that you are both on the same side. You could say something as simple as, "I'm happy to have the chance to learn more about your company and to let you learn more about me, so we can see if this is going to be a good match or not. I always think that the worst thing that can happen is to be hired into a job that's wrong for you."

Be assertive and take responsibility for the interview

Speak clearly and use good diction at a reasonable volume. Don't talk too loudly in an effort to appear assertive. Concentrate on expressing yourself in a positive and confident manner with an appropriate amount of industry terminology. Use words and phrases that illustrate confidence. For example, say "I'm confident that I can perform the job" or "I've done this kind of work before and am quite comfortable with what it takes to succeed. Avoid using tentative words and phrases such as "I believe I can" or "I'm pretty certain I can."

Be ready to handle illegal and inappropriate questions.

Interview questions about your race, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation are inappropriate and, in many areas, illegal. Nevertheless, you may get one or more of them. If you do, you have a couple of options. You can simply answer with a question ("I'm not sure how that's relevant to my application"), or you can try to answer "the question behind the question": if you're wondering if I'll be leaving my job for an extended period of time, I can say that I'm very committed to my career and I can't imagine giving it up."

Make your selling points clear

if you communicate your selling points during a job interview and the interviewer doesn't get it, did you score? On this question, the answer is clear: No! So, don't bury your selling points in long-winded stories. Instead, tell the interviewer what your selling point is first, then explain it with an example clearly. Like, how did you help increase sales if you're a sales executive or describe your accomplishment stories?

Avoid negative answers

No one likes a complainer, so don't dwell on negative experiences during an interview. Even if the interviewer asks you questions like "What did you like least about your previous job?" don't answer it as it's been asked. Instead, say something like, "The job involved a lot of collaboration, which was challenging for me because I generally prefer to work alone. But I came to appreciate the help of my teammates and recognized that the work we produced together was of a higher quality than any one of us could have done alone.

Don't worry about sounding "canned"

Some people are concerned that if they rehearse their answers, they'll sound "polished" or “canned” during the interview. Don't worry. If you're well prepared, you'll sound smooth and articulate, not canned. So long as you have prepared in a way that actually addresses the questions that the interviewer asks, you will come across as articulate and professional. Also, if you're not so well prepared, the anxiety of the situation will eliminate any "canned" quality.

Make the most of the "Tell me about yourself" question

Your goal when answering, “tell me about yourself,” is to give a brief, concise walkthrough of your career story that will show off relevant pieces of experience. As you tell your career story, explain key accomplishments you’ve achieved, the work you’ve done, the skills you’ve learned, and key career moves you’ve made.

Were you promoted? Did you accomplish something significant like solving a big problem for your last employer? But random impressive facts aren’t enough. You should be thinking about how this tie in with the company you’re talking to.

Speak the right body language

Body language during an interview plays a very important role in making or breaking your career. The expression “actions speak louder than words” holds very true, especially during job interviews. The way you present yourself leaves a significant impact on your interviewer. Everything! right from your outfit to your hairstyle, accessories, and all other things you might be carrying are judged!

Quick pointers:

  • Sit straight and tight in your chair

  • Have and maintain passive eye contact

  • Occasionally use hand gestures to express yourself

  • Nod your head as you’re listening

Be ready for "behavior-based" interviews

One of the most common interview styles today is to ask people to describe experiences they have had that demonstrate behaviors that the company thinks are important for a particular position. With these kinds of questions, interviewers are usually trying to learn three things: First, they want to know how you behaved in a real-world situation. Second, they want to understand the measurable value you added to that situation. Finally, they are trying to learn how you define something like “pressure at work”—a concept different people might interpret differently.

Do not give up!

A bad interview can leave you feeling frustrated and upset. Take some time (whether it's 10 minutes or an hour) to reflect on the experience, but don't dwell on it for too long. It's easy to spiral and become convinced that the interview went even worse than it actually did. Remember, this is only one opportunity, and there will be many more. Take a deep breath, learn from your mistakes, and move on to the next opportunity.

Review common interview questions

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions an interviewer would be asking you in your job interview? Search the internet for the most common interview questions and prepare your answers to those questions. Make sure you don't have canned responses. You may not be asked exactly these questions in exactly these words, but if you have answers in mind for them, you’ll be prepared for just about anything the interviewer throws your way.

Understanding the STAR method

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing. Think of a situation similar to what the interviewer is asking you about that had successful results. Describe the task you were responsible for in that situation and how did you act on it. Share what the result of the situation was and how you specifically contributed to that outcome.

Smile and stay calm

Human resources professionals have emphasized the importance of body language during your interview, and your smile is your primary form of body language. In today’s job market, employers don’t just look for qualifications anymore; they look for a personality and a level of energy that matches their workplace environment.

Smiling during your interview shows that you are:

  • Relaxed

  • Positive

  • Energetic

  • Warm and friendly

  • Smile when you talk. Look confident, make eye contact, and speak clearly and succinctly

Keep a happy medium

Don’t ramble. Questions like, “Tell me about yourself” aren’t an opening for you to talk about your childhood. Keep your responses on focus; discuss only that which is relevant to the job and company you’re applying for. At the same time, make sure you say enough. Be concise, but don’t be too short with information. Talking too little is as bad as talking too much.

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