If you want to have a successful job interview, it is absolutely essential to look and act professionally. Sounds simple and like something you have heard more than 100 times before? Unfortunately, even the most skilled ones can make simple mistakes without even realising them.
We suggest you take the necessary time to prepare in order to not stress and repeat these most common mistakes and tips before your next job interview.
How to have a successful job interview?
1. Research not only the company but also yourself.
Many times, when preparing for another interview we dig deep about the company we have applied for. We learn their current activities, goals, sustainable commitments, the team, culture etc. We try to grasp as much information as possible to then successfully impress the interviewer with the research we have done.
Without a doubt, this is an essential and very necessary part of your preparation process. However, many forget that not only it is important to learn about the company you are about to commit 80% of your daytime, but also to learn about yourself.
Before your next interview, try to ask yourself the following questions and answer with utmost honesty.
• Why are YOU interested in this company?
• What will make YOU happy working with this team?
• What are YOU looking for when taking on that particular experience?
• How can YOU contribute to the team and the company’s development?
The key to a successful interview is, in the first place, making sure that the job is something you really want to do. Only then shall you focus on making sure that you are exactly what the company wants.
2. Show your energy, engage in the conversation and make the interviewer feel your drive (smile even when talking on the phone, stand up, tell a story that makes you proud of yourself)
Another crucial part many fail to prepare and demonstrate is their energy and drive. We focus so much on the information we would like to share and impress with, that we tend to leave out of focus the way we present it. We mumble the “necessary” points, crumbling the worlds and forgetting to smile.
Energy and motivation is the first thing recruiter or a hiring manager you are speaking to will pay their attention to.
True that professional qualifications are required. However, poorly presenting the valuable points of your experience and your qualifications may look to the interviewer like you have low energy and lack drive. These could be the real deal-breakers even when you check all the other points.
On the other hand, while you might be missing some specific tech skills or certifications but show a tremendous drive to take on a new role, the hiring manager will definitely think twice and will be more likely to give you the opportunity.
Do not forget that even on the phone, the person on the other side can see and feel your smile and attitude.
3. Be honest and strategic. Identify the concrete reason for a move – a new challenge, discover a new area, more responsibility
In the end, it is about you. If you decide to lie in the interview about your reasoning for a change or move to a new location, you will be the one suffering the consequences when getting that job.
Being honest with the recruiter often helps to discover whether the opportunity is truly suitable for you and find the best match.
4. Mirror the hiring manager – observe and imitate, don’t save the questions until the end to make a more genuine connection, proves you are interested in the position
To make sure that you are in line with the recruiter or the hiring manager, try to mirror his/her way of talking, modelling the questions and responses.
It is truly the best way to gain an understanding of the person you are talking to and share your thoughts and feelings.
Also, if you manage to structure your questions and answers like those of the hiring manager, he/she will be more likely to better perceive the information you are sharing and focus on the strengths you are highlighting.
Moreover, we are often being told to wait until the end of the conversation/interview to ask our questions. Nevertheless, asking small follow-up questions during the interview itself many times helps to prove your true interest and drive the conversation into a truly successful job interview.
5. Pay attention to the answers to understand what he/she is looking for, model your responses the same way
It is not only important to ask the right questions to the recruiter to show your interest, but also accurately understand his/her responses.
The answer itself might not be exactly what you are looking for but can give you a great hint on what the other person is searching for. Listen closely, pay attention to the sentences’ structure and that extra information that the hiring manager is giving you. It may be a crucial part to differentiate you from the other candidates if used wisely.
6. Prepare for behavioural questions
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Behavioural questions are indeed the recruiter’s favourites as they help to find out your most important personality features and professional behaviour tendencies. They may seem quite easy to answer at first glance. Nevertheless, if answered unprofessionally and without any preparation may truly destroy the recruiter’s/ hiring manager’s impression of you.
With that being said, we really recommend researching the most common behavioural questions and practising to give you the best answer. Ideally writing it down.
Today you may find all sorts of behavioural questions online with the corresponding “correct/acceptable” answers. Give it a try! (Do not forget to focus on credible resources only.)
7. Do not talk about the benefits too early
Compensation is important and there is no doubt about it. But asking about it in your first interview may show you in the wrong light. Even if you attempt to ask about the salary and benefits at the very end of your first interview, it may seem like this information is the only you truly care about.
It is also true that if there is no match between your expectations and the company’s budget for the position of interest, neither the hiring manager nor you would like to waste time, getting through the recruitment process to then find it out.
What we suggest doing instead is market research. Nowadays there are plenty of resources online, where you can find if not exact, then at least a very closely approximated salary and benefits the particular company offers for the job.
Don’t forget that you will be able to provide more and the right insight about yourself when you feel more comfortable in the interview. If you are aware of these mistakes and the solutions, there will be no surprises that can distract you in the interview.
Are you ready to nail your job interview now? Let us know.