Preparing for Your Interview | Job Interview Tips

Having an interview can be exciting and overwhelming and is one of the most important steps in you moving forward with your next opportunity. When it comes to having an interview, virtual or in-person, or a combination of both, you need to put your best foot forward. The impression you make can mean the difference between you getting the job or not. We are going to review some job interview tips to help you prepare for your next interview.

Interviews Today

In today’s world, interviews are much different than they were in the past. There are fewer in-person interviews and many more virtual. The pandemic has changed the way that people hire and are hired.

Even after the pandemic, 41% of 1,140 hiring leaders said they plan to use a combination of in-person and virtual interviews, according to a study. The research found that 23% of respondents plan to move solely to virtual interviewing. 54% also said that virtual interviews resulted in a speedier recruitment process, and 41% say it helps them identify the best candidates.

Virtual interviews allow more flexible schedules for the interviewer and the interviewee and help to open up the candidate pool. Around 50% of interviews in the U.S. are taking place outside of typical work hours.

Job Interview Tips

Regardless of the type of interview you have, you should be prepared. Let’s review some job interview tips to help you excel in your next interview.

Preparing for the Interview

  • Practice Using Nonverbal Communications
    • These skills consists of confidence, making eye contact, and even the initial handshake (if in-person). Practice with friends, family, or even in front of your mirror.
  • Do Your Research
    • Before your interview, study the job description carefully, particularly the requirements, and know how your previous experience can relate to the requirements.
    • Your research should also include gaining a full understanding as to what the company does, where they are located, who works there, and what their culture is and how they are viewed.
  • Rehearse the Standard Job Interview Questions
  • Dress the Part
    • Even if your interview is virtual, it’s important that you remain professional and wear the right clothing.
    • Depending on the company’s culture, picking out the correct clothing to wear for your interview is essential. Do research prior to your interview regarding their dress policy. You can also ask at the time of scheduling the interview what clothing is acceptable.
  • Prepare Your Space
    • If your interview is virtual, ensure you are in a location that is presentable and professional and allows you privacy. Find an area where you will not be interrupted.
    • It is also important to test your computer and equipment prior to the interview to make sure everything works as it should. You don’t want to be late for your interview or have to reschedule because technology is not working. This can make you look unprepared.

During the Interview

  • Listening is Key
    • From the moment your interview begins, all the information is valuable. Listening is a key communication skill that is necessary to make your interview successful. Pay attention to even the smallest of things so you can reference back to them, if needed.
  • Do Not Ramble and Provide Too Much Information
    • Telling the interviewer too much can be a mistake. Try to limit your responses by only relating your skills from past experience that are in line for the job you are interviewing for.
  • Use Appropriate Language
    • Use professional language throughout the entire interview. Do not use slang terms. Avoid certain topics, including: age, race, religion, and/or politics. Be sure to speak clearly so you are not misunderstood and you display the confidence you practiced as you prepared.
  • Don’t be Overconfident
    • There is a fine line between being confident and being overconfident. This is the difference between being professional and arrogant. Being overconfident is a bad trait to have and can cause your interview to not go well.
    • Answering questions honestly is a requirement, but do not be negative about a current or former employer or co-worker. This is one of the biggest mistakes job candidates make.
  • Answer Questions with Structure
    • When the interviewer asks you questions regarding past experiences, make sure you answer them with the skills you have gathered along a structured format. Your answers to these key questions are important to prove you are right for the role.
      • As an example:  You are asked, “Tell us about a time where you and a co-worker had a conflict in the workplace and how did you resolve the issue?” You would start off by saying, “Great question. My co-worker and I had a conflict during…”
  • Ask Questions and Make Sure They are the Right Questions
    • Be prepared to ask questions about things you learned during the interview or questions you prepared prior to the interview. By doing this, it shows the interviewer you are interested in the position. The best questions come from listening to what you’ve been told and then wanting to expand your knowledge.
    • Don’t ask questions about background checks, drug tests, raises, holidays, vacations, etc. Asking about background checks and drug tests can make it look like you have something to hide. Prematurely asking questions about benefits, raises, etc. makes you look interested only in time off, not the actual job and whether or not it is a good fit for you.

When it comes to having an interview, always remember the 4 C’s: cool, calm, confident, and collected. By following these job interview tips you should be able to turn an interview into a new job.

Mackinnon & Partners can help you find the right opportunity. We are the strategic partner of choice for our clients and candidates. We offer a seamless recruiting experience to ensure the right match first time every time. Get in touch with us today.

Jack Miller

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