When you walk into a promising interview, you probably have a lot on your mind. You want to make sure that you appear professional, that you answer your interviewer’s questions to the best of your ability, and overall, that you win them over by the end of it.
But your main goal should be to leave your interviewer amazed by how on target you are for the position – as if it was tailor-made for you.
So, how do you go about doing that?
Everything starts with preparation, and nailing an interview is no exception. Here are a few interview tips that will show the company you’re interviewing with that you’re the best fit for the position.
1. Research the company.
Since you’re applying to work for this company, it’s beneficial to learn as much about it as possible. There’s no better way to know if you’ll be a good fit for the company (and if the company will be the right fit for you) than by learning more about it. If you know all the basics before your interview, you can use your face-to-face time with your interviewer to delve in deeper and acquire more information that will help you and the employer make an educated decision about having you come on as a team member.
The more you know the company before your interview, the easier it will be to make connections between their values and yours. You’ll get an idea for the feel of the company, and you’ll be better prepared to show them how you’d fit into their company’s culture. Moreover, you could potentially get yourself in trouble if you don’t know about the company ahead of time by asking a question or making a comment that might be inappropriate given a company’s particular mission and values.
Do what you can to learn as much about the company that you’re interviewing with as possible. So much information can be found from just doing a quick Google search, which is often the best place to start. Explore the company’s website, learn about the governing officers and who makes up their board. See what you can find out about the company’s culture, and what projects they’re working on. It’s a good idea to look at their press releases as well to see what kind of company developments are happening. Are they making any big changes in the near future? It’s poor form not to spend some time getting up to date with the happenings of your potential employer.
Bonus points if you know someone in your network who has worked for the company or done business with them. Speaking with them about the company will give you even more insight into what it’s like to work there. It’s also a good idea to browse LinkedIn and review some of the profiles of people who work there to get a further idea of how they describe the work they do and their position with the company. You’ll be able to answer and ask questions more intelligently when you’re equipped with information.
2. Know your resume.
This is perhaps the most important part of preparing for an interview, and applicants sometimes overlook it. You may think, “Why do I need to review my own experience? ” It’s my experience, I lived it. But not doing so is a huge mistake.
While you have familiarity with what’s on your resume, the person interviewing you does not. You have no way of knowing what may stand out to him or her before the interview. You need to be prepared to expand on anything listed on your resume — and be able to connect each of the experiences that you have to the position you’re interviewing for.
In order to do this, take the time to break down each part of the job description and get clear on how you can meet that qualification before your interview.
For example, if part of the job description states, “strong written and verbal communication skills,” look through your resume and see where that’s demonstrated. Then take it a step further so that rather than reading a bullet from your resume during the interview, you can really expand on it and provide an example with a story. Think of a time when you had to communicate in a way that was difficult – perhaps if you had to speak to a large group of people or had to explain something to people across various levels of a company.
You want to show, not just tell the interviewer that you have the skills they are looking for.
3. Focus on the needs of the employer.
When you’re being interviewed for a potential position, it can feel a lot like everything is about you. But your best bet for landing the role is to remember to stay focused on the needs of the employer.
While you want to ask smart questions about the company and the role to determine whether or not this position would be a good fit for you, staying focused on what the employer you’re interviewing with is really looking for is one of the keys to being a star interviewee. Keep in mind that the person hiring you is looking to find out how you can add value to the company. The more easily you can discuss your own skills, experiences, strengths and weaknesses, the more evident it will to be the employer that hiring you will provide a benefit to the company.
There’s both an art and a science to interviewing. The more you prepare yourself for the interview, the better your chances are of landing your dream role. So do your homework, and show up ready to convince your potential employer that you’re truly the ideal candidate for the position.
Crystal is a career and business coach. After graduating from law school, she was working as an attorney, and for all intents and purposes, seemed incredibly successful, but she lacked fulfillment. Crystal had to discover for herself how to define success and fulfillment in order to find work that she loves. Her life’s work is helping others do the same. She helps millennials leave their uninspring jobs, find work they love, land better opportunities, and make more money. Connect with her on Twitter: @Crystal__Marsh. For more from Crystal, visit www.crystalmarchcoaching.com.
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