Interviews are intimidating. Especially now when the labor market is less favorable and more competitive. Hiring in many sectors has slowed down with only the best of the best candidates being offered coveted positions. In order to stand out from the crowd, job hunters must be creative and spend more time preparing for their interviews. I hope this blog will be a tool you use to prepare for that big interview you have coming up. So here are 4 steps to ace your next interview.
Don’t Be Humble
The first advice I’d give to anyone who is preparing for a big interview is to not be humble. Especially if you’re a woman or a person of color. Confidently share your achievements with your interviewer in a way that communicates you are the best candidate for this position. The point of the interview, from the job hunter’s perspective, is to sell yourself in a way that allows the interviewer to see that you’d be a valuable asset to their team. So, even though you want to mention team efforts and such, never undervalue your contributions to a successful project. Even if you think your contributions were small. Being confident and self-assured is one of the first steps to ace your next interview.
Ask Engaging Questions
To be a candidate the interviewer will remember means you’ll have to do something memorable during the interview. The easiest way to do this, especially for entry level positions, is to ask engaging questions. Instead of asking “what are traits someone must possess to be successful in this position?” perhaps you can ask “what are programs in place to encourage the growth and development of your top performers?” If you don’t already see the difference between these two questions, I’ll explain.
Firstly, the first question is a very common question interviewees ask their interviewers. Asking this question in your interview will make you invisible as most other job hunters have probably asked this question too. Secondly, the second question is more unique. It’s easy to rattle off a bunch of general qualities of a successful person. And to be honest, these traits are quite generic. The second question, however, will force the interviewer to really think of programs that they have in place to support their employees. They may even be impressed that you’re already showing interest in developing additional skills and knowledge to add value to their team.
It can be tempting to pretend to be someone you’re not to land a job. But imagine spending 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month and 1,920 hours a year pretending to be someone else. If you do this, you could sabotage your own career growth. You may just land the job but now you are forced to be in a role that is not a good fit for you. If you hate working with spreadsheets and looking at numbers all day, then a job as a data analyst would not be a good fit for you.
Approach interviews with enough confidence to be yourself. You have a lot to offer and can have a very successful career. The latter, however, largely depends on your work environment and how well you connect with your managers and colleagues. So do yourself a big favor the next time you go to an interview. Show up as your true authentic self and show them why they would be lucky to have you on their team.
Find A Personal Connection
The best way to create a lasting impression is to connect with someone on a personal level. It’s easy to believe that interviews should be held in the most formal format but that’s not always the most effective way to ensure that you get the job. While you should always remain professional, it will go a long way if you find something you have in common with your interviewer. It could be an alma mater, having children or having the same hobbies. Because you and your interviewer establish that you have things in common, you’ll be able to build a rapport with them. This makes it easier for the interviewer to envision you in the role you’re applying for and even make them think you’d be a good personality fit for their team. Finding a personal connection with your interviewer is one of the most essential steps to ace your next interview.
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