11 Oct 5 Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Interview
The hiring manager at your dream job can seem like a scowling sentry barring the way to paradise. You struggle to field his questions, aiming desperately to please. What you don’t see is that he’s still there at 9 p.m. struggling through an overwhelming number of applicants. You’re not the only one who’s stressed out; he’s worrying about finding the perfect fit for his company. Sure, the interview includes the candidates who are at the top of the pack, but it’s a big choice and merits some nervous deliberation to find that ideal candidate.
Here are five things you can do to prove that you’re what the manager is looking for:
1) Overwhelm Them with a Great First Impression
The interview might seem like it begins once you’ve taken a seat at the long wooden table, but it actually starts the second you lock eyes with the hiring manager.
WAIT. I’m under pressure even earlier?
Relax. It’s nice to have an opportunity to make a good impression before you get down to business, and there are a bunch of simple things you can do to make the manager like you. For example:
- Remember your manners
- Research social media to determine how employees dress for the position you are applying for within the company, and then dress for higher position
- Be early
- Greet each person you meet with a hearty handshake, genuine kindness, and enthusiasm
- Maintain good eye contact
- Be mindful of your body language and don’t cross your arms or fidget
- Send a thank you note after your interview
2) Familiarize Yourself with the Company
- Research information about the company. Know what they’re looking for and explain how you are the perfect candidate for the position.
- Research company earnings on the internet to determine their goals and discover their direction for the future
- Use Google Alerts and keep abreast of any new stories that appear about the company and mention them in your interview to display that you are on top of their current events
- Review press releases and blogs
- Understand corporate philosophies and learn what is important to them
3) Actively interview the interviewer
Ask the right questions and be prepared with the correct answers. When you mix up the dynamics of an interview by becoming the interviewer, you show that you are professional and have great interest in being a real part of the company. You instantly become an active participant and are no longer just another person the company may be interested in hiring.
- Ask questions about the company philosophies and their work styles
- Prepare questions that are genuine while revealing information about yourself and your style
- Think aloud when answering questions so the interviewer can survey how you process problems
- As suggested by Spredfast PM Luke Fernandez, show confidence and finish your interview by asking, “Have I said or done anything during the interview that would cause you to doubt that I am the perfect candidate for the position you have open?”
4) Know how to position your CV
You can maximize your answers if you know yourself, and have an idea of what they’re looking for.
- Explain how your skills can be used to profit the company
- Acknowledge and communicate your skills with solid example of how you have handled situations in the past and how you are qualified to take over the position being offered
- Prepare anecdotes to use during your interview when appropriate. Create your stories in an organized format and be consistent. Use the following format to develop your stories.
- Situation – What was the problem you faced?
- Intervention – What did you do to fix the problem?
- Outcome – How did matters change after you got involved? Try to mention how you previously dealt with the pain points you think they might be experiencing.
5) Channel your Enthusiasm
Passion is contagious, and everyone wants to be around passionate people. Seeing truly is believing. If they see you being excited, they will be able to picture you infusing their culture with that same enthusiasm.
Have something in mind that you can get animated about. Prepare a succinct description of that interest so the manager’s eyes don’t glaze over, but give them a loaded glimpse. For example, if you are applying for a job as a developer, try and mention the game development project you’ve been doing on the side. Talk about the challenges you’ve had to figure out, and a cool feature that you’ve been toying with.