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Pre-interview stress can cause even the most experienced job seekers to stumble in front of an interview panel. The finest interview tips may differ in their approaches, but they all aim to help you present yourself in the best light possible.
What human resource executives consider to be common-sense interview practice may not be common knowledge to job seekers. To land the job you have been eyeing, you need to improve your interview skills. Here are the 10 common-sense tips to help you ace your next interview.
Dress to Impress
To succeed in a job interview, you need to make a good first impression. To make a lasting impression, it is important to dress well and to appear polite and approachable. Interview attire varies from company to position to the interview itself. The job candidate must research the company’s dress code and arrive at the interview dressed accordingly.
Make sure your clothing is ironed and clear of pet hair. If necessary, get a haircut and have your nails cleaned as well. If you work for a design agency, you can wear more accessories; if you work for a bank, you may want to adhere to conservative shades like black, blue, or grey. You should dress in accordance with the company’s culture.
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Ace the Weakness Question
A recruiting manager doesn’t want to hear that you’re a perfectionist or that you’re a workaholic. Acknowledge a technical, real weakness that is not essential to the job description. When answering questions about your strengths and limitations as an employee, try to focus on the positive elements of your talents and capabilities.
Show the recruiting manager that you’re a good fit by answering this question. The recruiting manager is interested in knowing if you’re capable of taking on new challenges and learning new jobs in addition to having the necessary credentials.
Example: “I get anxious speaking in front of large audiences, but I enrolled myself into a public speaking course to address this. The course helped me build confidence and learn new skills”.
Let the Interviewer Guide the Interview
Even if the interviewer rambles or interrupts you, it would be the best practice not to interrupt them when they are speaking. Make sure to follow the interviewer’s instructions and let them steer the conversation. Try to keep your replies succinct but provide enough information to back up your claims. You can also ask about the firm – people are always happy to share their own experiences.
Don't Sell Yourself Short
Salary expectations questions are frequently asked, but many job seekers are unsure of how to respond. It’s important to know how to handle this question if you ever find yourself in a pay negotiating situation.
If you agreed on a rate with the recruiter, that is the rate at which the recruiter would present you to the client. For example, if the hourly wage for a role was $35, don’t tell the interview you’ll take $30, because that’s exactly what you’re getting. Make it clear that your recruiter is taking care of compensation negotiations for you and you are more interested in the job opportunity than anything else.
The prospective employer wants to see you’re enthusiastic about your profession and the position you’re going for, so bring some passion to the meeting. A solid handshake and eye contact are powerful ways to convey confidence. Even if you’re nervous, maintain a clear, confident tone throughout your speech.
Show the interviewers that you’re eager to be working at their company. Let them know you’re interested in the position and ask when they plan to make a hiring decision. And always, keep a cheerful attitude and remember to smile!
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Be Prepared for All Types of Interview Questions
Candidates often have a hard time coming up with good answers when they are in the interview chair. You’ll be able to handle this with some planning and practice. It is increasingly common for employers to use a mix of traditional and behavioral inquiries to determine whether a candidate is the right fit.
You should be prepared for the types of interview questions that will be asked of you. Being well-prepared for your interview is essential if you want to come off as competent and confident. For instance, a behavioral question asks candidates to describe a time when they employed a skill, ability, or behavior and the candidate is expected to be able to speak about the relevant experience in a clear and concise manner.
Be Aware of Prohibited Substances
In some cases, employers may decide to conduct a drug test. Make sure you’re aware of any prohibited substances in the area where you’re applying.
In case you’re taking any prescription drugs that are allowed in certain states but not in others, you should be able to justify why you’re doing so. If you’re straightforward and honest, you’ll have a far better chance of coming out of the situation successfully.
If you use drugs, you should abstain for at least one month prior to the interview. Don’t expect apple cider vinegar to help you clear a drug test. Attempting to tamper with the results is futile as the tests should be able to detect these adulterants anyway. Nowadays, companies are avoiding hiring smokers because of the greater costs associated with their health insurance.
Expect a Background Check
If you have a criminal past, be honest with the recruiter or interviewer when they inquire about it during the interview or application process. In fact, in many cases, employers are still willing to consider appointing someone with a criminal record. However, lying is considered fabricating an application and can result in rejection.
The charges will almost always come up, so prepare for that. If you have a blemish on your record, request a copy of your background check from the recruiter so you can see what’s on it. The interviewer will appreciate your upfront, self-aware approach to the situation.
What To and Not To Bring to the Interview
It’s critical to arrive for a job interview well-prepared. The interviewer will appreciate having a copy of your résumé on hand, as well as a list of references. Besides that, you could also prepare a list of questions you have for the interviewer. Bringing a laptop or tablet to an interview for a tech or web position is fine if you wish to show the recruiter examples of your work or portfolio.
What should you not bring? A cup of coffee or a can of cola or water or anything else to drink or eat is not appropriate to bring with you to a job interview. Chewing gum definitely isn’t a good idea either. You should have your mobile phone switched off and kept out of the way. Try to avoid becoming the applicant who interrupts an interview with text messages or phone calls.
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Close on a Strong and Positive Note
If you think you’d be a good fit for a job after an interview, ask about it! Tell them that you would really want the position. Send a follow-up email stating your interest in the role and inquiring about any additional documents or steps they might require.
Assuming that you and another qualified candidate are the final two contenders in the search, the interviewer may be more willing to make you an offer if they believe that you are more inclined to accept it.