Congratulations! You submitted your resume and have successfully landed an interview for your dream job. It seems like you have spent your entire career up until now waiting for this moment; the long hours spent studying during university, the multiple side jobs and unpaid internships to gain experience and the many events to build your network have finally paid off.
However, the interview is only the beginning. You still need to impress the interviewers and make your case for why you deserve to be chosen for this position as opposed to all of the other candidates. You may be required to do multiple interviews, submit your portfolio or complete a set of tests in order to land this job.
Here are 7 tips to help you nail that first interview and ensure you are well on your way to land the job of your dreams!
Review the Job Description
Before you arrive for the interview, be sure to review the job description. Interviewers will be looking to see if you understand the position and if you are a good fit for the skills that are required. Ensure that you have these skills and highlight them during the interview. Be sure that you select your best skills, back them up and explain why they make you the best fit for this position.
Generally, such skills are referred to as hard skills. Hard skills are those that can be taught or are easy to quantify and often appear in your resume. However, it is just as important to highlight your soft skills in an interview. These are the skills that are not necessarily listed on your resume; they are your interpersonal and people skills.
Each job is unique and will require a different set of skills. By highlighting both in your interview, you can ensure that you back up a possible weak hard skill with a particular soft skill that will benefit the company.
Research the Company
Not only is it essential to know the position you applied for, but you also need to know the company as well. You need to make sure that the company is the right fit for you.
Research is one of the few aspects you have control over during the interview process, so use it to your advantage.
Researching the company is beneficial when it comes to answering questions or when asking your own throughout the interview. It allows you to tailor your interview examples and highlight how your expertise would be beneficial to the company. Remember, they are hiring to fill a void in their company; you need to express ways in which you can fill this void.
Know the Interviewer
Interviewers are people just like the rest of us. They have hobbies, interests and experiences. Most importantly, they hold your future in their hands.
As you sell yourself throughout the interview, you need to ensure you are connecting with the interviewer. This connection goes beyond the formal questions and extends throughout the whole interview. Your hard skills may have gotten you to this point but it is your soft skills that will carry you through.
Simply picking up on cues around the office or taking note of the interviewers’ body language can make a big difference.
Interviewing expert Michael Neece says, “The candidate who gets the offer is the one who makes the strongest emotional connection with the interviewers.”
Get off to a great start and arrive early for your interview – but not too early.
Arriving 5-10 minutes prior to your interview shows you are punctual and take this job seriously; it helps to set a precedent from the beginning. While waiting for your interview, also make sure to be on your best behaviour. Smile at the receptionist, avoid playing on your phone, sit tall and greet your interviewer with a firm handshake.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Every interview is different but you can be (almost) positive that you will be asked the standard set of questions. Prepare for these. Know your strengths and your weaknesses and try to tie them into the position, while highlighting your previous experience as discussed above.
As firms break barriers and become less conventional than in the past, they are moving towards a more conversational style for interviews. This style is much more informal and is generally used so that recruiters can get a sense of the person and how they may fit into the corporate culture of the organization. For these interviews, you can still prepare in the same way, but you will simply face less structured questions.
Take a deep breath and relax, you’ve gotten this far busy babe.
An interview is a two-sided interaction. During this time, the interviewer is deciding if you are a good fit for the company and you are also deciding if the company is a good fit for you. The only way to assess this is to ask questions. Use this time to show the knowledge you have gained from the research you did prior to the interview. This shows you are eager to learn more and have a keen interest in the position as well as the company itself.
Avoid asking surface questions and those that you would easily find the answer to online. Delve deeper, if you have done your research, you will be able to ask specifics as well as the interviewer’s opinions on such inquires. If you truly want to impress an interviewer, present something of value to them based on your research, fill the void that they are requiring in their company.
Say Thank You
So many candidates often miss this last tip.
Set yourself apart from the crowd by reaching out to your interviewer after the interview.
This step is often crucial to ensure that you make a lasting impression. Within 24 hours of your interview, send a hand written note or email to your interviewer. Be sure to express your thanks and bring up an instance that will remind them of you. Use this as your final chance to impress the interviewer. Just be sure to proofread before you hit send!
Now that you have landed the interview and know the steps to success, go out there and ace that interview busy babe! Your dream job is awaiting you!
Don’t forget to share your tips for acing an interview in the comments below.
Cover Image: Anna Jordan, Lola