How to Ensure Your Job Interview is Successful
No matter if you’re interviewing for your first college internship, trying to land that dream position fresh out of graduation, or jumping back into the job market after a long period of being off – it never hurts to refresh yourself on what exactly a successful job interview looks like from start to finish. With tips, tricks, and suggestions on how to make sure you nail every part, this blog will walk you through exactly how to put your best foot forward.
Before: Best Practices, Research, and Preparation
In an age of primarily digital communication, professionals on the job market in 2020 have an advantage in that they can do most of their legwork while sitting at the desk. As one of the most prevalent platforms through which industries can connect and share insight, LinkedIn is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to bettering yourself professionally. Make sure you’re following hashtags related to excellence in the workplace, specifically your career! Some useful suggestions include:
Once you’ve heard back after an application submission, make sure to research the company before you reply. Be prompt and professional with your response, but ensure you look at:
- Company website (explore the entire navigation bar and get a solid sense of their messaging and mission)
- All social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
- External features (awards they have won, events they have held, or partners they collaborate with in the industry)
During: Calm, Cool, and Collected
The different stages of an interview can range from email screenings, phone calls, video submissions, and Skype meetings, all the way to meeting the potential employer in-person. For each of these, it’s important to either rehearse or proofread your responses and position thoroughly. You’ve done your company-specific analysis, and you should have a sense of exactly what they’re looking for – make the most of this opportunity to prove yourself the best choice.
Ensure you do your research related to industry-specific and attitudinal questions. For a list of specific and difficult-to-rehearse interview questions, click here and ready your answers beforehand. Walk into your voice interview (whether it’s phone, video, or face-to-face) prepared to answer these with confidence, detail, and specific examples!
Always remember to close out the interview cleanly and provide your own input. While doing your preliminary research, try to formulate questions that you could ask the interviewer, from the point of view of a potential employee. During the interview itself, note down topics that come to mind, and when asked, bring them up politely and professionally. Coming forward with your own questions at the end of your interview shows engagement, commitment, and attention to detail.
After: Follow-up, Communication, and Clarity
Once you’ve nailed the final stage of the interview process, use your own judgment for when to follow up. Look at the frequency of the organization’s communication rate with you prior to the interview, and don’t let the gap between your interview and your follow-up be longer than any of the previous gaps. You want to appear committed, but not overbearing.
Ensure, upon following up, that your language is polite, professional, and non-pressuring. Although you should always hope for the best, the reality is that you currently have little holding in the eyes of this organization – remain confident, but remember that you cannot demand anything at this point in time. It’s your job right now to present yourself as the best possible candidate. With the right preparation, attitude, and presentation, you’ll have this in the bag!