In today’s economy and market conditions, the mere act of finding a job has become more difficult compared to what it was like five or so years ago.
Not only do job openings require a lot of qualifications and experience just to be considered, but you’ll also have to worry about the competition as there surely are other applicants from various educational and professional backgrounds.
In the event that you are invited to a job interview after submitting your application, it would be in your best interest not only to nail the interview the first time around but to also leave a lasting impression that will make you stand out from the other candidates.
So here are some tips on how to nail your next job interview:
1) Dress to impress
While this goes without saying, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to wear the proper attire during your job interview. This not only shows the hiring manager or interviewer that you can conform to the dress code of the company if one exists, but it also shows that you are taking this opportunity to work for them by putting in the extra effort to look presentable even if this interaction is brief.
2) Don’t arrive on time, arrive AHEAD of time
There is nothing wrong with arriving five minutes early before your interview as it shows that you are being punctual to your appointments and can be dependable to go to work on time. However, there is nothing more jarring than having to travel or go on the commute for hours only for you to immediately face the interview while you’re already partially mentally and physically exhausted.
As a result, arriving early for an interview – at least fifteen minutes ahead of time – would be in your best interest as not only can you rest up a bit but you can also practice your answers mentally while waiting for your turn.
On top of that, you won’t have to worry about being late or having to call the interviewer that you’re going to be late because of a sudden traffic jam.
3) Don’t skip the small talk
In relation to the tip above about arriving ahead of time, chances are, when you arrive at the office of the company that you are applying for, the secretary or receptionist that will accommodate you will strike up a conversation to pass the time while waiting for the interviewer to call you for your turn.
Alternatively, even the interviewer or hiring manager might strike up a conversation themselves or bring up a question that doesn’t seem relevant to the job. Take full advantage of this by engaging in a conversation with them.
Not only will this calm your nerves, but this will also give them the impression of how you will act or behave during the break if they do decide to hire you, making you an ideal candidate to work with if they discover that you are someone that they’d love to interact with on a daily basis.
4) Back up your selling points with anecdotes
Part of every job interview is having to prove and highlight your ‘selling points’ to the interviewer. Although you can list down a lot of your qualities as to why you are a good employee such as being responsible, doing so without a situation or anecdote to prove that you are responsible would make it look like you are just trying to make yourself look better without evidence of it.
Even if it’s just a minor anecdote like you had to call your manager to ensure that something written on an invoice is correct due to the bad handwriting of a co-worker in your previous job, this would be better than just saying ‘I am responsible and do my job well’.
5) Do NOT trash talk your previous job directly
If your interview is going well, there is a good chance that the interviewer may suddenly ask you “What was the worst part about your last job?”.
Unprepared jobseekers may misunderstand this as a chance to get pity from the interviewer by being honest and saying how bad their previous job was but this is nothing more than a pitfall to lower your guard so that they can see what your personality, behavior, and sense of loyalty is like.
When hit with this type of question, answer in the most professional, if not vague way, to describe what was the worst part of your previous employment. Instead of saying ‘No one in that company knows how to cooperate with each other and I hated every single moment of it’’, try saying ‘There were times where our goals didn’t seem to align together, and it did cause a bit of difficulty when meeting deadlines but we always manage to iron things out to make it work’.
6) Expect a surprise assessment/aptitude test at the end of the interview
Even after performing the rudimentary stuff in tackling a job interview such as researching the company and its history as well as planning to send a ‘thank you letter’ once the interview is done, there is a good chance that you will suddenly be asked by the hiring manager to take their company-specific assessment test.
These assessment test, depending on what industry or trade the company is in, maybe a mechanical, personality, or psychometric test of sorts to further determine if you truly are suitable for the vacant position.
If you regularly practice your trade, then this part of the interview process should be a walk in the park. However, if you’re not familiar with these sort of tests or if it’s been a while since you’ve practiced or reviewed the subject matter, then it might be a good idea to utilize websites that provide study materials for these specific aptitude and assessment tests.
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