Successfully Interviewing for Your Next Great Job
You have just received the call that you were hoping for: you made the shortlist of candidates and have been selected to interview for your ideal job.
The time you have invested in polishing up your resumé and drafting a well-articulated cover letter has paid-off and you now have to focus on the next stage. It is now time to prepare for your interview with the same level of dedication and effort you put into applying for the position.
When it comes to interviewing successfully, preparation is key. Interviewers know when a candidate hasn’t prepared and there are no second chances to make a first great impression.
Stand Out with These Strategic Tips
Follow these five key recommendations – typically overlooked by many candidates – to make a strong impression and differentiate yourself from the other candidates:
- Perform a detailed review of the organization and the team. Make use of the abundance of information about the organization and the team that is readily available on LinkedIn, the company’s website and job websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed. Research, review and take note of key characteristics of the organization and the team to prepare for key interview questions such as “what do you know about the organization?” and “why did you decide to apply?” Being able to provide well-articulated and informative responses to these questions can definitely start your interview off on the best foot, demonstrating your authentic interest in the position.
- Make sure your video interview set-up looks professional. Video interviewing will most likely be a part of the interview process, so it is important that you and your surroundings look professional. How to look good on Skype interviews is an excellent video that highlights four key tricks that are definitely transferrable to any type of video interview and that you can easily use to give your video interview that next-level professional quality. One of the key areas outlined in the video is regarding sound quality, which is also a great tip for telephone interviews. Test out the quality of your video and/or audio set-up with a friend before your interview and make any adjustments needed to your background, lighting or video and audio quality.
- Use examples to boost the quality of your responses. Interviewers will use questions to get you to elaborate on how you handle workplace situations (i.e., situational questions) or to demonstrate what type of skills and abilities you have (i.e., behavioural questions). Providing examples of how you have demonstrated your skills in previous roles will help you to present your full skill set and provide the interviewer with a sense of confidence in your capabilities. The video How to use the STAR method to answer interview questions is a great resource to help you prepare the best response to these types of questions and incorporate strong examples to highlight your skills.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer. An interview is a two-way conversation, so take the time to prepare some questions to demonstrate your genuine interest in the position. Try to think of questions to engage the interviewer in a conversation rather than asking a question that can be answered in a few words. Questions to ask at the end of an interview provides further details on why this part of the interview can be critical to your success.
- Send a thank-you email to stand out. A fantastic way for you to use one last opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and candidacy for the position is with a thoughtful and personalized interview “thank-you” email. Go beyond simply thanking the interviewers for the interview. You could briefly touch on something that you learned during the interview, include a follow-up question you did not get a chance to ask during the interview, and end with a brief reminder of why you consider yourself to be an excellent candidate.
Taking the time to prepare for your interview will make you more confident during the interview itself and ensure that you use the interview to your full advantage to share your strengths and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the position.