Looking for your first job out of college? Or maybe you have a few years of experience and you’re ready to switch companies? Either way, nailing the interview is crucial. With so many qualified candidates applying for each job, you’ll need every advantage to set yourself apart. I’ve been lucky enough to have been on both sides of the interview process a few times and along the way I’ve picked up a few tips to help you crush your next job interview.
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to your interview. One, this will help if you run into unexpected traffic or if you have trouble finding a parking spot. But more importantly, it shows you are serious about the job. You have to remember you are interviewing with your potential boss or co-worker and you need to show that you value and respect their time.
On the flip side, don’t show up any earlier than 15 minutes before the interview. You don’t want the interviewer to feel rushed to meet with you just because you showed up so much earlier than expected. If you do arrive more than 15 minutes early, just wait in your car and go over your notes one last time.
Scar was right, being prepared is important, especially when it comes to a job interview. Do some basic research about the company you’re interviewing with. Take a few minutes to review their website and do a check Google search to see if they have been in the new lately. This way you can intelligently discuss what the company does and have questions prepared (more on this later).
During your interview, if you are able to find you have a common connection with the interviewer or with the company, mention that as well. People having an easier time relating to and remember individuals they have something in common with.
Be Friendly to Everyone
The one thing I’ve learned from being on the hiring side is that everyone you meet can potentially be a part of the interview. I’m not just talking about the people you interview with, but also the person at the front desk or the employees you make small talk with while you’re waiting. Companies want to make sure they hire people who are genuine.
Many times after In my own experience, often times after we’d narrowed the field of candidates of candidates, we’d get feedback from anyone else in the office that may have interacted with them, but wasn’t part of the formal process. If the candidate was great in the interview, but rude to everyone else he/she probably won’t be hired.
At the end of most interviews you will be asked if you have any questions. Make sure you have some. If you’re meeting with multiple people it’s ok to ask some of the same questions to each person. Not asking questions may make you seem uninterested or unprepared, neither of which will help you get the job. These questions don’t have to be major either. Simple questions like “what do like most about working here?” or “what advice would you give to the person in this position?” are all you really need. Anything to show you’re engaged helps.
Finally, whatever you do, try to stand out in some way (a positive way of course!). This can be hard if it’s your first job, but use your skills to your advantage. Maybe you build websites as a side hustle, so you could make a micro site that lists why you are a good candidate. Or maybe you could make a mock marketing plan for a new product the company recently came out with.
You need to remember that companies interview hundreds of applicants for each job, so it can get easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you can do something memorable, at the end of a long day of interviews, it will help you stand out among similarly qualified applicants.
While there is no magic formula to getting a job, following these tips should improve your chances. What’s one interviewing tactic that has worked for you?