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When interview day arrives, most of us feel pretty nervous. We want to do well and impress the hiring managers so that we can get a job offer. But how exactly do you prepare for an interview? How much time should I spend preparing beforehand? Are there any questions I should ask or be prepared to answer on the day of the interview? How early should I arrive?
But you know what, you are in the interview stage, which many job seekers do have the opportunity even to get, so be grateful, but most importantly, be proud of yourself for being here.
You did the hard part: apply and get your resume seen and be invited for an interview so the company can see what a great candidate you are and why you should be hired.
For many, the interview process can be long, unpredictable, and nerve-wracking. That is why I decided to put some of my best hacks to help you nail the job interview and get hired. BECAUSE YOU DESERVE A JOB YOU LOVE!
In this blog post, we will discuss 5 hacks that will help you do better in your interview!
Hack #01: Be prepared for common interview questions.
One thing that all interviews have in common is that they will be asking a series of generic questions. The reason why employers do this is to have a better metric to compare candidates. They ask the same questions and evaluate the candidacy by the answers the job seeker gives.
This gives you an advantage over other candidates who wing it, although these interviewers use the same old questions, they all have reasons to ask these, and most are looking for specific answers.
You can read more about those questions on the 15 Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions, there you will be able to prepare ahead of time for your job interview, BUT you will also learn the reason behind why those questions are asked.
Not knowing how to answer these questions could leave the wrong impression. They might hurt you more than you think and can cost you your job. So be sure to read that blog post to ensure you understand and can answer those questions confidently.
Hack #02: Do your homework on the interviewers! Research, research, research.
Researching each of the interviewers will give you a better foot of what unique questions to ask the person interviewing you, and they love when people learn about their background also.
The easiest way to do this is to go to LinkedIn and look them up. Pay close attention to their career path, progression, and trajectory throughout companies and roles. See if they post or engage with content on LinkedIn, if they do have them see your name, engage with them as well.
You also need to research the company, what they do, who their clients are, if they have been in the news lately, and what type of voice they use for marketing, values, and mission.
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you better appeal to them because you will know how they make money, what language they use and what they value the most.
Candidates who are prepared with this type of research tend to move on to the following rounds of the interview process.
Hack #03: Practice your interview skills
Check this awesome tool from Google to prepare: Interview Warmup
I have personally found that practicing interview skills with friends is the best way to prepare for an interview and learn what you may need more work on (speaking, answering questions confidently, giving results-oriented examples, etc.).
Here are some rapid-fire tips on how to prepare and things to look out for to make you appear more professional and confident (hey we are all faking it over here)
– Speak in a conversational tone instead of a monotone when speaking about your experience or knowledge.
-Try to keep eye contact as best you can, those who engage with eye contact are perceived as trustworthy and more confident.
– Make sure you talk about specific results that your experience has led to and tie those results to the job description.
– Practice interview skills with friends and family members who can provide reliable feedback on what they liked or didn’t like so much when talking to them.
The hiring manager will assess your presentation skills, eye contact, and how articulate you are. They also might have a certain way they want you to answer interview questions, so it is best to research what they’re looking for on their website or in the job description before the interview, so don’t be caught off guard.
Hack #04: Show up on time, smile, and bring a copy of your resume!
OK! That is three hacks in one, but why not?
Keeping a smile throughout the interview will not only make you feel more confident, but interviewers will also like you more and think of you as a friendlier person.
I know it sounds weird, but a huge part of doing well in interviews is having the person who is interviewing you LIKE YOU!!! It sounds unfair, but that is how humans operate.
- Be on time
I mean 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled interview, because if you are on time, you are late!
10-15 minutes is a good range because it gives you time to relax and catch your breath from taking the subway, or walking there. The person receiving you might give you water or offer to place you at the location of the interview.
That is helpful because you can familiarize yourself with the space.
Anything earlier than that could be annoying, because the interviewer might feel obligated to entertain you.
- Bring a copy of your resume
Yes, they already have it, yes they probably printed it out, but I have always brought one with me and the interviewer has always appreciated it.
All you are doing is stacking the odds in your favor by doing subtle things that are going to leave a positive impression on the interviewer.
This can also be helpful for you to refer back to certain questions that come up during your job interview.
Hack #05: Google Sheet and Job Description Hack
This one’s my favorite and probably the juiciest one. I am sure you probably have not heard of this hack anywhere else.
This hack has helped me land four job offers in the span of four weeks.
- Go to the job description (I recommend you save a copy for yourself since the job might be taken down before a decision is made about the candidate selected)
- Take a look at the responsibilities and qualifications and paste them into a google sheet
- Make three columns on that sheet (one labeled “responsibilities”, another “questions”, and lastly “answers”
- On the “questions” column create behavioral questions around the responsibilities. For example: “tell me about a time when you had to deal with a demanding co-worker, how did you handle that situation, and what was the outcome?”
- Answer with a relevant example of your past experience and link it directly to the job description
And voila, you have got yourself the best cheat sheet you can imagine. You prepare yourself for potential curve balls and ensure you can answer anything related to the job you are interviewing for.
And those are some of the top hacks I can share with you that will for sure help you do well in your interview.
I hope these hacks help you excel in your interview. Good luck!
Be sure to share your hacks, questions and comments about this topic or careers in general below.