Applying for a new job requires a lot of work; you could spend hours writing a tailored cover letter and perfecting your CV in the hopes of finally landing your dream job. Then the phone rings, and you’re invited to meet with the hiring manager – so you’d better quickly learn how to prepare for a job interview! Let us walk you through the process with five handy job interview tips. We’ve also decided to give away our top-secret question that YOU should ask during an interview!
5 of the Best Job Interview Tips
1. Do Your Research
The best thing you can do to create a positive first impression and also boost your own confidence is complete thorough research before your interview. Look into the company you are applying to, see what their core values and vision are, and find out a bit about their history. This will give you a good overview of what’s important to them so you can tailor your interview answers accordingly.
Checking the job ad or description for what they are looking for in an applicant is also useful. Using the same language as they did to describe your skills is the easiest way to demonstrate that you are who they are looking for.
2. Practice a Powerful Introduction
One of the job interview questions that many applicants struggle with is the classic ‘tell us about yourself’. It’s so open-ended that interviewees often don’t know where to begin or how much personal vs relevant detail they should include. So, how do you introduce yourself in an interview in a way that impresses the hiring manager?
This question is actually an excellent opportunity for you to relate to the interviewers by getting just a little personal. Let them know where you grew up, and perhaps even tell a story about what initially sparked your interest in the field.
For example, a person applying to be a doctor may tell a story about when they broke their knee at five years old and went to the hospital, which was the first time they saw doctors in action. Having a kind doctor who fixed their broken leg made them decide they wanted to be one.
3. Give Structured Answers
It can be challenging to answer job interview questions well; you’ll most likely be nervous and scrambling to come up with relevant examples. Take a breath, and feel free to take some time to think before responding.
When you do answer, use the following structure, known as the STAR technique:
Situation – Describe the context for the situation
Task – Tell them your responsibility or role in the situation
Action – Detail the action you took
Result – Let them know what the outcome was
This can be applied to most job interview questions, if not all. The idea behind it is that it will make it easier for the interviewer to understand not just what you did but the context and the outcome. This can create a more detailed answer that demonstrates your thought process and abilities used in the situation.
4. Prepare Questions to Ask the Interviewer Beforehand
One the most dreaded job interview questions is often asked right at the end; ‘Do you have any questions for us?’. Here’s the best advice we can offer: always have some questions prepared!
Not having any questions can suggest you have a lack of interest in the role or company. So, even if you don’t really have any questions, come up with some.
Do this beforehand, so you’re not caught short when asked. Some good topics for questions are those that show you researched the company, such as asking how their values are enacted in the everyday work culture.
5. Ask the One Killer Question to Nail the Interview
So, what’s the one top-secret job interview tip? Here’s a hint – it’s a question that you should ask your potential employer at the end of an interview. The question we are going to share with you gives you the opportunity to directly address and allay any concerns the manager has about hiring you.
The question you must ask is: ‘Do you have any concerns about my ability to fulfil the requirements of this position?’ A difficult question to ask? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
This question is a genius move, as usually hiring managers keep their thoughts to themselves. This puts everything out on the table so that you can have the chance to convince the manager of your skills in areas where they think you could be lacking.
Likely, they just didn’t have enough information about you and you will easily be able to describe your capabilities in the area they are concerned about.
Now that you know how to prepare for a job interview, you’re ready to start applying for jobs. Check out our latest job listings to find a role in your field to apply for. Put your best foot forward, and hopefully, you will land the interview.
We hope these job interview tips have been helpful for you when preparing for your big interview. Fingers crossed you land the job!