Getting the job that you always wanted requires strong interviewing skills. Interviews can be high-anxiety events, but they can also be the perfect time for you to showcase your knowledge and talents.
One of the major interview mistakes is failing to adequately prepare so that you can tell your story, aligning it to the values and needs of the employer.
In this article, our collaborator Dr. Mac Powell discusses six interviewing skills that will give you the best possible chance of landing your dream job.
Research the Employer
When you go into an interview, you should know everything you can about the company’s products and services, its customers, the companies it competes with, and its history and future plans. A Google search can tell you a lot, but you should also reach out through your network to see if you have acquaintances who work with, or for, the company.
Learn all you can about the corporate culture and how it supports employee satisfaction so that you can identify with the interviewer’s view of the company. Be prepared to connect your values and experiences to the company’s culture and mission, and if it feels from the research that it isn’t a good fit, move on
Match Your Qualifications and Talents to the Job Description
Carefully examine the description of the position you are interviewing for and match your best attributes with the requirements of the job. Prepare to point out your strengths that directly relate to the role and the added value that you can bring forward.
Discuss one or two concrete examples of past experiences or accomplishments that match the job requirements. This process will also help you identify your weaknesses and prepare you to answer questions about skills that you need to develop to handle the position.
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Plan and Prepare for What to Wear
Dress appropriately on the morning of the interview. Determine in advance what sort of clothing is appropriate and have your wardrobe set and ready to go. Don’t get caught with your favorite outfit at the cleaners when you need it.
Plan Ahead for the Things You Will Need to Bring to the Interview
Always plan to bring a portfolio or bag to a job interview. If there are things you are expected to bring, such as copies of your resume, cover letters, references, or other documents, have them organized in a folder.
No matter what you are expected to bring, if anything, always bring a pad of paper with questions you have prepared and a pen for taking notes. Employers always notice neatness and organization, and this is an easy way to stand out from people who come to interviews unprepared.
Anticipate Questions and Prepare Responses
There are specific stock questions you should expect in an interview. Recruiters typically ask you to tell them something about yourself, how you learned about the position, and how you interact with coworkers.
Think of appropriate responses and also prepare for ways to work in short and concise pitches for how you will fit in with the company and be a productive team member. Interviewers are trying to learn if you have the necessary skills for the job and whether you can interact with others naturally and responsively.
Follow Up with Your Interviewer
As apparent as this appears, most applicants never communicate with potential employers following interviews. Whether it is a quick email or a written letter, maintaining contact can keep you at the top of a recruiter’s attention when making hiring decisions.
Many employers also maintain databases of potential employees, and written acknowledgment of the interview process can make all the difference in your prospects with an employer who does not hire you immediately.