Job Interview Tips
What are the top 10 job interview tips ?
Job Interview Tip 1: Success is 80% preparation - Be prepared
This first and most important tip may surprise you because it starts way before the interview and has several aspects to it.
In effect, a big part in succeeding in your interview is achieved before the interview itself. A good preparation will be key to your success. All the details count; starting for the clothing you will wear which should be appropriate for the job, to your attitude, the visualization of your success. To demonstrate your interest in the company, you should conduct some research (via the internet) and questions you will ask. You should also know how to answer the most common questions, magnifying your strengths and minimizing the relevance of your weaknesses in succeeding in the job.
Job Interview Tip 2: First (minute) impression is everything
The second element of the top 10 job interview tips may seem obvious but is critical.
Managers generally have a job candidate sized up within minutes of the start of an interview, according to survey results.
- You will only get one opportunity to make a positive first impression, take advantage of it. The following elements are key to achieve this: smile, firm handshake, enthusiasm, confidence, look the other person in the eyes, dress appropriately (we will come back later with top tips to dress appropriately for job interview)
- Greet the secretary and be courteous (she may have to give her opinion about the different candidates).
Job Interview Tip 3: Establish a good rapport with the interviewer
- The third piece of the job interview tips should not surprise you: People hire people they can get along with.
This includes knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet. The interviewer is trying to see if you are fit for the job and also fit for the company. He/she may be your next boss, and also want to know if he/she can get along with you
- Watch the body language and signs (either good or bad) and adjust accordingly. You may need to elaborate more on some answers and be briefer on others. This is particularly true when answering open questions such as: tell me more about yourself.
- What you do speaks so loudly what you say I can't hear!. This is especially true during a job interview. Use your behavior to your advantage during the interview. Judges 7:5 relates the story of Gideon, when God teaches him how to select the 300 men for the battle. these guys didn't know the way they drank water was actually part of the selection process. It showed something about them that was a critical skill for the job. This is called behavioral job interview that we will cover in another section of the site. (In consequence, be alert to your own body language and also the one of the interviewer because it is revealing things about you)
- Don’t argue with the interviewer. Don’t engage in expert debates. We will look more into how to go around such difficult times and how not to argue even though you know the other person is wrong. The key is to identify which part this will play in the evaluation of your candidature.
- Keep your emotions under control, even when asked illegal questions. We will be covering specifically this topic later.
- Be honest but positive in answering tough questions such as: what are your defaults? There may be some weak areas in your candidature; you may not have enough experience, enough education. You will need to convince the interviewer that you can make up for these weak areas. Give example on how you succeeded in the past in similar situations but don't deny the existence of these weak areas.
Job Interview Tip 4: Ask the good questions
- The fourth of the top 10 job interview tips will demonstrate your preparation and interest in the company. This is when you will make the best use of all the information you gathered about the company before the job interview.
- Enquire about the resources that will be available to you if you get hired to succeed in the job.
- Ask for clarifications on the job description. (cf Moses: if the Israelites ask me who sent me, what should I answer them?)
Job Interview Tip 5: Use wisdom to answer unasked questions
- Most job interview tips overlook this critical one which can make all the difference between a good and a great job interview. Your interviewer may be lacking experience or may just have forgotten. If you feel some strong areas in favor of your candidature have not been addressed, feel free to bring it up. Usually, you'll get the opportunity when the person asks you if you have something else to ask. You will be helping the person make a more qualified decision and he/she will be graceful to you for it.
Job Interview Tip 6: Make a summary at the end restating why you are the best candidate
- Not the least of the job interview tips, this piece gives you the opportunity to close with style.
A good interviewer will give you the opportunity at the end to summarize your strengths in relation to the job. So, be prepared for it. This is also the opportunity to demonstrate your active listening skills, to show your attention to the key points the interviewer thinks are necessary to succeed in the job.
Job Interview Tip 7: Ask about the next steps on the hiring process
- The seventh job interview tip is not critical but should not be ignored.You need to know when you can expect a decision, if there would be some more interviews to come
Job Interview Tip 8: Send a thank you letter as a follow up (no later than 1 day after the interview)
- This is also a golden opportunity to answer some unasked questions and restate your interest in the position and why you are the best candidate
Job Interview Tip 9: Use open questions to your advantage
– Questions such as "Tell me more about yourself", "Tell me about your past experiences". Salesmen know it very well, don't describe features but benefits. You are the product during the job interview. One of the top tips is to always relate what you are saying to how it will benefit the company. Don't ever assume anything. Make it easy for your interviewer to identify the best fit areas.
– "Do you have anything else to add?" is an open invitation to summarize your strengths in relation to the job. Don’t miss it.
Job Interview Tip 10: Get ready for the next steps
- The last element of the top 10 job interview tips may seem obvious, but the interview was not an end in itself. It may lead to another one with a different emphasis. Be ready to take some tests. It could happen also that the interviewer calls you back to clarify certain points. This is all good signs, so be prepared for it. You may also need to advise some of your referrals that they may get a call for the interviewer.
- Be ready also to suggest a salary range if you get asked. On this point, the opinions diverge if this point should be brought up during the job interview itself.
In conclusion: Even though not an exact science, the top 10 job interview tips described above should get you closer to your goal. Depending on the situation, some of the tips may not apply.