Want to supercharge your interview skills and land your dream job? Check out Michael Gardon’s Exclusive Interview Guide to learn how to prepare for, and nail, your interview.
Job interviews are scary, but a few job interview tips can help out. Does it help you to know that the person interviewing you is also a bit nervous about the whole situation? Most hiring managers don’t hire people often, and they are concerned about getting the right person for the job. So, take a deep breath and learn how to rock the job interview. Here’s what you need to know.
If you are searching for a new job, we recommend ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is free and easy to use. You can also upload your resume to ZipRecruiter’s resume database so that recruiters can find you!
Preparation Before The Job Interview
You’ve already passed the biggest hurdle–getting the interview. This means that the recruiter finds you capable of doing the job. They want to see if you are a good fit for the company and the daily tasks. Preparing for a job interview helps you show your best self to the hiring team.
Review the job description
Take a close look at the job posting and note your strengths and weaknesses. Plan to talk about the things you are best at and prepare your answers for questions about areas that aren’t your strong points.
If you need more help, check out our guide on talking about your weaknesses in a job interview.
Review your resume
Yes, it’s your career history, but it’s been years since you’ve done some of that stuff. Anything on the resume is fair game in a job interview, so refresh your memory!
If you need to polish your resume, consider working with a resume writing service for extra help!
Review the company website
This is the bare minimum of researching the company. Make sure you look at their mission statement. Check out their product lines. Think of three questions you want to ask about the company.
Google the company
Look at any recent news articles. Read the reviews at Glassdoor or Yelp. Learn what you can about the company so that you can speak intelligently about it. Plus, keep in mind that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. You must look at the good and the bad.
Look at frequently asked interview questions
Review common interview questions like “where do you see yourself in five years” and “what are your greatest strengths and weakness” are terrible questions, but they are likely to show up! Practice your answers to these questions.
Practice getting to the location.
If you’ve never been there before, take a practice run to know where to park, what the tricky turns are, and plan how long it takes to get there.
If your interview is over the phone, check out our phone interview tips.
During The Job Interview
If you’ve prepared, this should be a bit easier than you expected. Here’s what you can do to make sure your answers shine through.
Speak slowly and clearly
Join The Break Community
Don’t worry about getting everything out rapidly. There’s plenty of time to get your answer out.
If you don’t understand something, ask!
If you don’t know what the interviewer means, ask for clarification. It’s fine! It’s also okay to say, “Let me think,” before answering.
Yes, they should judge you on your skills, but if you show up for an interview at a law firm wearing a tank top and short shorts, you won’t get the job. The best tip is to dress one step up from what the employees wear–up to a formal suit. So, if everyone at the company wears flip-flops and shorts, you can wear a nice t-shirt and jeans. But if everyone wears nice t-shirts and jeans, you should wear business casual clothes.
Use the STAR method for answering questions
The STAR method works well for behavioral questions. For every “Tell me about a time…” question, you give a
- Situation: which job and which position you were in at the time.
- Task: what were you trying to accomplish.
- Action: what did you, specifically, do that affected the outcome.
- Result: what happened because of your actions.
Focus on your wins
You’re in the interview because your resume was good enough! So, don’t worry about appearing pompous. Sell yourself! You can do this.
Ask good questions
You’re interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. So, ask questions like, “What makes the difference between people who are good at this job and people who are great?” “How does your company’s mission statement affect daily life?” And “Can you describe your management style?”
For more examples, check out our guide to the best questions to ask in an interview.
After The Job Interview
Whew! The hard part is done! After the interview, they will usually tell you the next steps. Sometimes this will be a short project or a timeline of events.
Send A Thank You
The only thing you really need to do is send quick thank you notes to the people who interviewed you.
Yes, this is an old-fashioned thing, and they should thank you for taking your time to come in, but some hiring managers really emphasize the thank you note. So write a short note thanking them.
If you don’t hear from them in a week, send a follow-up email to the recruiter or the hiring manager. Keep in mind that hiring can be a slow process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are five things to not do in a job interview?
- Be late
- Talk over people
- Complain about your previous employer
- Look at/play with your phone
- Come unprepared
What to say at the beginning of an interview?
“Hi, I’m [name], and I’m so pleased to be here to learn more about [company] and [position.” Don’t overthink it! You’ve introduced yourself thousands of times.
How do you end an interview?
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about ending the interview! The interviewer will indicate it is time to leave. You can say, “It was so nice to meet you. I hope things work out and we can work together,” or whatever you feel is appropriate for the situation.
How do you introduce yourself professionally?
When an interviewer asks, “tell me about yourself,” they don’t want to know about your family. They want to know about your professional self. Keep things professional!
The Bottom Line
Once you’ve followed these job interview tips, you’ll be ready to knock it out of the park. Start looking for jobs on ZipRecruiter and prepare for interviews.