Interview skills are fundamental to your professional development. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a senior role, you will have to interview with a potential employer before receiving a job offer. In this article, we discuss how to ace an interview and perform your best during this important meeting.
Research and preparation are essential before a job interview.
Turn on your stalking skills and learn as much as you can about the company and position you are applying for.
Before an interview, you want to understand the companies services, mission, goals and accomplishments. This not only demonstrates your will to be hired but also can inform your responses during the interview.
Likewise, deep dive into the role itself and who will be interviewing you. Understand their role at the company and how you will fit into their team if hired.
Pay attention to keywords written in the job description, such as required skills and experience, then focus on the responsibilities that a successful candidate will have. Consider how your qualifications and goals align with the description so you can discuss relevant examples with the hiring team.
Plan your outfit, responses and questions.
First impressions matter. Whether the interview is face to face or online via Zoom, be conscious of your body language and present yourself authentically and professionally.
As preparation for the questions potentially thrown your way, plan your answers. To do so, review a list of the most popular interview questions and focus your responses to be relevant to your experience, the organisation, the position and your skillset.
Likely questions to be asked:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Tell me about our business. What do we do and why did you apply for a job here?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
- Why should we hire you?
Get familiar with the STAR method. It is a framework to respond to answers through situation, task, action and result.
Practice on how to engage.
Although interviewers often ask more questions than they answer, most expect candidates to show their interest in the job and company by asking informed questions and engaging in the discussion.
For example, try to weave your questions in naturally, as the topics come up. (“I’ve supervised up to five people at a time. How many direct reports does this position have?”)
By breaking a job interview down into these three phases; research, planning and practice, your performance during the meeting will be informed and engaging.
Be confident, authentic and use your research to impress the interviewers and ace your interview.