Are you preparing for your next job interview? If so, you're in the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss how to ace your next job interview - whether it's in-person or virtual. We'll provide tips on what to do before the interview, how to prepare for it, and what to do after the interview is over. Read on to discover our top tips on how to make the best impression possible!
Before the Interview:
- Research the Company and Position: Make sure you know what the company does, its mission, values, and overall corporate culture. This will help you craft answers to questions about why you want to work for the company and how your skills align with their needs. Also be sure to research the exact job you're applying for and make sure you understand the responsibilities of the role. A great tool for doing research is looking at the “Interviews” tab on Glassdoor where you can find feedback from other candidates who went through the interview process at a particular company. For example, here is a link to the “Interviews” page for Michaels, the major retailer - but you can search the company you’re interviewing with to find this same information.
- Dress Appropriately: It's important to dress professionally for an interview, even if it's a virtual one. Make sure your clothing is neat and clean and that you present yourself in a professional manner. This will help create a good first impression, regardless of whether you're meeting in-person or on a video call.
- Prepare Answers to Common Interview Questions: Make sure you have answers to common interview questions prepared in advance. These could include questions about your strengths and weaknesses, why you want the job, and how your skills align with the position. For a list of common questions and answers you can read our detailed blog post here. We also highly recommend that you practice saying your answers out loud ahead of the interview - you can practice with a family member or in front of a mirror on your own, but this can help you feel more comfortable and confident before the actual interview.
During the Interview:
- Show Enthusiasm and Confidence: You want to show the interviewer that you are excited about the job and you are confident in your skills. If possible, try to customize your answers based on the company and role you’re interviewing for - why are you excited about working at this company and in this specific job? The interviewer wants to know that you want work in this specific job, not just any job. Speak clearly and make sure to maintain eye contact (or if it's a virtual interview, look directly into the camera).
- Ask Questions: Always have some questions prepared for the interviewer. This could be about the company, the role, or how your skills would be used in the position. Doing so will show that you are engaged and interested in working for the company.
- Some example questions that you could ask: (1) How will performance be evaluated in this role? What does “good” look like? (2) What does a typical day or week look like in this role? (3) What is the company culture like? How about the dynamics on the team I’d be joining? (4) Is there anything else I can answer for you to help you make your decision? (5) What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Take Notes: If it's an in-person interview, make sure to take notes throughout the meeting and use them to summarize key points at the end of the interview. This will help you remember the conversation and make sure you follow-up with any questions or points that may have been missed. You can also use these notes when you’re writing a thank you note after the interview - you can incorporate talking points from the conversation.
After the Interview:
- Follow Up With a Thank You Note: It's important to take the time to write a thank you note after an in-person or virtual job interview. This is a great opportunity to reiterate your qualifications and thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. This can be in email form and it only takes a few minutes, but it goes a long way.
- An example template for a thank you note: Hi [Interviewer Name], Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I enjoyed learning more about the [position], and I’m very excited by the potential to join [company name]. I look forward to hearing from you about next steps in the process, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Best, [Your Name]
- We recommend personalizing the note and adding 1 sentence about the interview (something you learned, something you’re excited about, etc).
- Follow Up With Your References: If the interview goes well, the hiring manager or recruiter might ask to speak with references. They’ll likely want to talk to a former supervisor/manager who can speak to your overall working style. Make sure that your references are aware of the job you applied for and are prepared to be contacted by the hiring manager or recruiter. You’ll want these references to respond to the recruiter or hiring manager in a timely manner.
- Stay in Touch: After your interview, stay in touch with the hiring manager or recruiter. If you don’t hear back after ~1 week, you can follow up with a brief email to check in. This will show that you are still interested in the job and may even help to keep your name at the top of their list for potential candidates.
Here is a quick 2 minute video on Interview Best Practices in case you're interested.
By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to acing your next job interview. Good luck and let us know if you have any other advice that we should consider! We’re always interested in hearing feedback so drop us a line: email@example.com!