No matter how many job interviews you have gone through in the past, and no matter how experienced and accomplished you are in your field, job interviews will always be a nerve-wracking experience. However, if you want that job, you have to get that interview and come out of it alive — and hopefully with a great new job offer. Here are some tips that will help you ace that job interview.
Show Your Excitement
That means showing up for the interview earlier than expected. That means wearing your best corporate attire and your most positive attitude. That also means coming to the interview prepared, having done your research on the company and what the job position entails. Show your excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness for the job and the company, and this will help set the tone for your entire interview.
Prepare Your Answers
Most of the questions that your interviewer will raise will come from what you have written down on your resume. Be prepared to answer questions about your job description, work experiences, leadership or management styles, workplace conflicts, and career plans for the next five years. Some questions that you should also expect are the unexpected questions, which sound like trick questions, but are just questions to assess your creativity or sense of humor. You don’t have to give the perfect answer. You just need to give them your quickest, best answer with no hesitation. This sends the message that you know your stuff and that you have an opinion on relevant matters.
Bring along your portfolio or other backup materials. Sometimes, telling your interviewer just how creative or talented you are won’t be enough. Sometimes, you have to show them and let them see for themselves. Make sure that you bring along your best work, especially if you’re interviewing for a creative position. (Having everything in hardcopy will be easier and quicker than logging on to the internet and typing your website address.)
Keep it Sweet and Positive
When your interviewer asks if you can tell them something about yourself, don’t launch into a detailed history of your childhood. Keep it short, but give them enough information so that they can paint a clear picture of you as a person. Talk about past experiences positively, including previous colleagues and bosses. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments without sounding like you’re bragging.
Ask the Right Questions
How many times have you experienced going home from a job interview and then suddenly remembering the questions you were supposed to ask, but you were already in the car, or worse, ready to turn in for the night?
If you can’t see the answers on their company website or in the job advertisement, write those questions down. When they ask if you have any questions for them, don’t forget to ask those. Don’t ask boring and common questions unless you can state them in a creative and bold way. Like: “Is there a particular skill set that you want me to master in the next 90 days?” or “If I ask your most tenured employee what makes this company the best place to work, what do you think they will say?” Not only will these questions make them pause and think about their answers, it’s a nice way to make you stand out and make sure that they remember you.