Wondering How to Ace an Interview? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Landing your dream job can feel like a daunting task, but with the right toolset, you can ace your way through an interview and land the job of your dreams. From submitting your resume to the end of the interview cycle, there are key elements that can help you stand out from the competition. In this guide, we will explore these elements and provide tips and tricks to help you nail your next interview.
Resume Submission: The First Step to Getting an Interview
Before you can even consider acing an interview, you must first submit a great resume. Today, 98% of organizations in the United States use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to extract information from an applicant’s resume for building a digital applicant profile. Hence, having an ATS-compatible resume is the first step in landing an interview.
To craft an ATS-friendly resume, you must use specific formatting and keywords to get past the initial scan and into the recruiter’s hands. You can use a DIY Resume Guide to help you with this process. Once you have an ATS-friendly resume, you can increase your chances of landing an interview.
Acing the Interview: Tips and Tricks to Impress Interviewers
A job interview is the second step in the job application process, where applicants who meet the minimum requirements are selected to discuss the job opportunity with the employer or hiring manager. Whether the interview is conducted over the phone, in person, or via applications such as Skype, here are some tips to help you ace the interview:
1. Pursue a Job Opportunity that Aligns with Your Passion
Having enthusiasm for the job or the industry is crucial. When you talk about what you love, your passion reflects your body language, tone, and demeanor. Consider your talents, interests, and values to identify what kind of job or career aligns with your passion.
2. Study the Job Description and Qualification Requirements
To prepare for the interview, you should review the job description and qualifications required for the role, and build examples of your past and present experience that relate to the essential job functions and required qualifications. This will help you create a full picture to give examples of your skills and experience during the interview.
3. Research the Company and the Interviewer(s)
Researching the company and interviewer(s) before the interview shows that you are interested in more than just a job. This will help better verbalize how past experience, skills, and values align with the company’s mission. It is also important to determine if the company is a good fit for you.
4. Have a Positive Attitude and Be Confident
Positivity and confidence are necessary for acing an interview. Thought and attitudes lead to action, so if you operate from a positive perspective, it will reflect your confidence. Employers need to believe that you believe in yourself so that they too can believe in you.
5. Have Copies of Your Resume Used to Apply for the Job
Having extra copies of your resume during the interview will help you prepare for any extra interviewers in the room, which is common in panel or multi-person interviews. Providing extra copies shows that you are prepared and able to solve problems.
6. Plan for Behavior-Based Interview Questions
Most companies use pre-selected questions, often behavior-based questions. Having examples of problems solved and strategies used, initiatives led and contributions to teams and departments, will help ace a job interview. Always paint a picture to help employers see your skills, qualifications, and experience.
7. Make a List of Selling Points
Prioritize proactive selling points to mention during the interview. It is important to reaffirm and demonstrate your skills, qualifications, and experience as part of your selling points. Include awards, programs, and processes launched that led to cost savings, profitability, education, and other skills or experiences that make you a strong candidate.
8. Showcase Personality and Professionalism
An interview should show your balance of personality and professionalism. Companies want to make sure interviewees are a good match for company culture. Personality can be shown when discussing hobbies, community service, or extracurricular activities in answers to behavior-based questions, when describing your passion, and when discussing selling points.
9. Have Questions Ready, as Interviews Aren’t One-Sided
An interview is a two-sided process involving both potential employer and employee. Have a set of questions ready to ask, and these should include questions about team members, why the position is open, what qualifications are needed to succeed in the role, and other considerations to show that you are well-informed.
10. Follow-Up with a Thank-You Note
Sending a thank-you note after the interview is important to show gratitude and showcase selling points. Interviewers often discuss one job opening with many applicants, so a thank-you note serves as gratitude and the final chance to show personality and selling points. You can also address any concerns that came up during the interview.
Summing It Up
Acing an interview requires passion, an ATS-friendly resume, positivity and confidence, research on the company and the interviewers, planning for behavior-based interview questions, selling points, balancing personality and professionalism, questions for the interviewer(s), and a thank-you note. By following these tips and tricks, you can impress the interviewer and land the job you have always wanted.