Tips to Nailing a Job Interview
Updated By Staff Writer on February 9, 2021
Imagine you’ve walked into the recruiter’s office for an initial job interview. You don’t know the other person on the side of the desk, but you sit down, knowing you’re confident in your skills to nail the interview.
Preparing for an interview doesn't have to be rocket science (unless that’s the field you’re in). The person doing the interview knows it can be a stressful situation for both parties but by doing your research and doing everything you can to prepare before you walk into the office, you’ll set yourself up for success.
So, before you head to the interview, here are five simple ways you can prepare for your next job interview.
Do Your Research
Did you know that the typical job draws 250 resumes? So when you land that interview, the manager looks at you as a better option than a vast percentage of applications. What happens next is on you.
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Spend a good amount of time researching the company you are wanting to work for. Do they have a good reputation? What kind of culture do people associate with the company? What kind of growth has the company seen?
These are just a few questions to familiarize yourself with before your interview. Obviously, if you’ve applied at the company, you already know it’s a place you’re interested in. But what makes them stand out to you will also be an answer that stands out to the recruiting manager.
Become Familiar With Your Resume
You wrote it! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a recruiter or potential employer asks you a question from the resume and you aren’t sure what they are talking about. Your resume speaks to all your accomplishments throughout your life. It’s something you should know as well as your best friend. And if you haven’t used a job-searching site for a while, make sure your resume is up to date there as well so employers and recruiters searching the site will have your latest experience and accomplishments.
Aside from being a know-it-all when it comes to your resume, make sure you print two copies and take them with you. There are a lot of employers out there who appreciate a hard copy. When you sit down and hand them that piece of paper, they will appreciate it.
Don’t Be a Robot
This part mostly assumes you’ve made it past a phone interview, though there are many bits that still apply to both in-person and phone interviews.
In a survey with 2,000 hiring managers, 33% of them said they knew within 90 seconds if they would hire somebody. Since most interviews last under an hour, that’s a quick flash to make a good first impression. Body language, appearance, and confidence speak volumes when you’re talking to an interviewer.
Be personable, it’s ok to make a joke or two and build rapport with the other person. Have a firm handshake, make eye contact, try not to fidget, and above all, be you. The recruiter on the other side of the table isn’t hiring a phony, they want someone who is honest and won’t change their personality after they are hired.
Interviewing is an art, a skill. It’s something you can master with enough practice. Athletes do it, musicians do it, so what’s stopping you from practicing an interview? Go over questions you think the recruiter may ask you. Have somebody else throw questions at you and don’t be afraid to let them add a few curve-balls in there, too. How you react to these questions can help you nail that interview.
Ask Insightful Questions in Return
At the end of every interview, the recruiter will ask something along the lines of, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Yes! You do!
This is part of the research and practice portion you worked on before the interview. Have at least two or three questions you want to ask, such as the vision for the future, upcoming projects, how the team interacts with each other, and career development. This not only shows the recruiting manager you’re serious about the position, but it will help you make an educated decision should you land the job.
Whether you’re preparing for a new job or a promotion, follow these tips and you’ll know how to nail a job interview. If you need more help regarding interviews or exploring new career paths, you can get help from Independence University's Career Services to guide you along.