How to Ace a Job Interview – Hey, what’s up, guys? Today, we are gonna be focusing in on howto ace a job interview. I’m gonna be giving you 10 tips that you canuse to make sure that you’re on the hiring manager’s short list by the time you walkout of the room.
But before we get started.First up on our list is to do practice interviews. You actually have a lot of opportunity todo these. When I was a college student at Iowa StateUniversity, throughout my four years, every single year when the career fair would rollinto town, there would be actual recruiters that would come to the Career Center and offerup their time to do practice interviews with any student that signed up for one.
Now, these interviews weren’t real interviews,but they were real conversations with people who were hiring managers or HR people at companieswho were going to be at the career fair.
So in addition to being good practice forfuture real interviews, they were actually good networking experience with people whomight be making decisions in the future. But the main benefit of these types of interviewsis that they are great practice for the real thing, because an interview is inherentlya nerve-wracking experience.
So if you have some time to go in and do practiceinterviews where the stakes aren’t so high, you’re gonna be able to come into the realthing with a lot more confidence and a lot more polish. Tip number two is to be as friendly and engagedas you can with everyone that you interact at the company.
Now, I don’t think people are going into companiesand being downright rude to the secretary or telling people that they don’t want totalk to them, but a lot of students will go into a company, and if there’s a little bitof time to wait before the interview, they’ll just kinda sit in the waiting room and stareat their phones.
I can tell you from experience, that peoplewho aren’t the hiring manager still do observe the behavior of potential candidates, andthen they talk to those hiring managers. In a lot of companies, the hiring decisionsdon’t come down to just the people that you interview with.
A lot of the times they’re going to ask anybodywho talked to the potential candidate if they have any objections. So if you come into a company and you havea few minutes before the interview, spend some time talking to the person at the frontdesk.
Or if they’re busy, at least be really polite,greet them, ask how their day is going, and then sit down and do your waiting. Also, don’t walk into the building wearingheadphones. Just don’t. Tip number three on our list, come preparedwith questions for your interviewer.
Now, you might think that an interview isjust a situation where you’re supposed to answer the interviewer’s questions becausethey’re figuring out if you’re the best candidate for the job. But don’t forget that you’re trying to figureout if the job is right for you as well.
Additionally, coming to the interview preparedwith your own questions tells the interviewer that you are engaged, you’re interested inthe position, and that you put in a little bit of preparation.
While you might think that having no questionsmakes you seem like you know everything, and maybe that’s a good thing, what it actuallydoes is it makes the interviewer wonder if you’re apathetic about the position, and ifmaybe you’re just doing it for the money.
One question you should definitely keep inyour back pocket is, what opportunities for advancement or additional duties am I gonnahave at this company? The great thing about this kind of a questionis it tells your interviewer that you are willing to be adaptable and flexible and you’rewilling to learn new things, and that is a great quality to have in somebody that youare employing if you’re a business owner.
Related to my third tip on asking questionsduring the interview, tip number four is to research the company before you walk intothat interview room. Once again, this shows a level of preparationand dedication that a lot of other candidates aren’t going to have, and it’s gonna helpyou stand apart.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of research am I supposed to do,Thom? Well, you can do a little bit of preliminaryresearch on the history of the company and its business, what you really wanna understandwhat the culture is like, what people tend to do there, and what your intended positionusually entails.
Now, on the general position and duties side,there are tons of websites on the internet, so I recommend just Googling, what does anetwork engineer do, for example, but for the individual company, you can use siteslike Glassdoor and Vault to get reviews from actual employees and get a little bit of afeel for what the company’s culture is like.
All right, we are on to tip number five, whichis to bring a notebook and a pen to the interview with you. Doing this is yet another signal that youare dedicated and detail-oriented, because you’re able to actually take notes on thedetails of the position during the interview, but it also allows you to come prepared withsome pre-written notes about the company’s history or any questions that you might have.
You should also bring a couple of copies ofyour resume, just in case it becomes useful during the course of the conversation. And if you happen to be applying for a positionwhere examples of your work would be useful, bring those along as well. – How to Ace a Job Interview
During my last couple of years at collegebefore I became a full-time entrepreneur, what I would bring to an interview is thisleather padfolio which had some resume copies in it, it had some notebook paper and a penin it, and I also brought an iPad that I would keep inside of it which had screen shots ofmy web development work.
And a little bit of a side note here, I madesure that I had screen shots of web dev work because in case the company didn’t have wifi,I wouldn’t have been able to load the actual websites.
Tip number six, that’s seven, six. Send thank you notes or thank you emails within24 hours of your interview. Now, I say thank you notes or thank you emailsbecause in my mind, time is of the essence here, and in a lot of cases, it’s pretty difficultto get an actual, physical handwritten note to your interviewer, especially if the buildingthat you went to the interview in is far away from where you are.
So in those cases, a thank you email workspretty well. But if you happen to have the ability to givean actual handwritten thank you note, and it’s within 24 hours or maybe within 48 hoursat the very latest, then that can actually add a nice touch. It should also be noted, and yes, that wasa pun, that you shouldn’t limit your thank you notes or thank you emails just to the interviewer.
If you interacted with a secretary during your time at the building or you actually got to go tour the building or talk to somebody doing a job that you would be doing, send those people to thank you emails as well. It really goes a long way. Tip number seven on our list is to wear a well-tailored suit to your interview, assuming that you need to wear business formal attire. Now, I do have to make a slight admission here.
Ever since I bought myself a suit that actuallyfits well, unlike the one I had in college, which definitely didn’t, it fit me like atarp, I’ve leaned towards recommending an actual suit to go into interviews rather thanjust regular business formal attire. But if you don’t happen to have a suit andyou can’t afford one, you can definitely wear a button-down shirt with a nice tie and anice pair of slacks. – How to Ace a Job Interview
If you’re a girl, there are definitely dressesthat fit that business formal requirement, or you can do something like a dress skirt. But in general, you wanna make sure that youare dressed for success in the situation. Now, one exception to this recommendationis if you are specifically told not to wear a suit, or if they tell you what to wear tothe interview. – How to Ace a Job Interview
If you’re going to a company that has a reallycasual dress culture and they say, “Hey, just show up in a T-shirt and jeans, man,” don’tshow up in a suit because you’re gonna look like you won’t it into that company’s culture.
Now, in the case that you don’t quite knowhow a suit should fit or you’re looking for some additional tips on how to dress wellfor an interview, I definitely have some recommendations for you guys.
As a guy, I learned a huge amount of whatI know personally about how to dress well from my friends Aaron Mar-in-o, Alf M. andAntonio Santano over at Real Men Real Style. And I do also have to give a shout out toa guy named Sven Raphael Schneider, who has a channel called Gentleman’s Gazette, andthat is much more focused on formal business attire and how to do it correctly.
So that is also a great resource. For women, I am definitely a lot less knowledgeable,but I did find a YouTuber by the name of Elle Florence who has a lot of videos on how todress for work and interviews, so definitely check out her channel.
And if you are a woman or you know of greatresources for women, definitely leave them in the comments down below. Tip number eight is to be prepared for behavioralinterview questions. These are the kind of questions that ask youto tell a story about your previous work experience that demonstrates how you handled the situationand what you learned and improved on.
Some examples of these kind of questions include,tell me about a time when you were in a high pressure situation and how you responded. Or give me an example of a time when you didn’tmeet a goal that you had set and how you dealt with it.
Or, tell me about a time when hordes of theundead attacked your workplace, and what items from the break room you fashioned into makeshiftweapons. Okay, maybe not that one, though, Martin,make a note to ask the next person we interview that question. – [Martin] Will do. – How to Ace a Job Interview
So the best way to handle these kinds ofquestions is to look at examples of them beforehand and to think of stories from your past workinglife that would fit them. And crucially, the stories you pick shouldbe crafted in a way that demonstrates how you learned or improved in some way that’srelevant to the job.
Now, keep in mind that you don’t need a specificstory for every possible interview question that could come out, because one, that isimpossible, and two, when you have a few stories and you’ve practiced them, they’re gonna bepretty adaptable and you’re gonna be able to apply them to a wide range of differentquestions.
All right, we are on to tip number nine, whichis actually my personal favorite. View the interview for exactly what it is,a conversation between two parties who have things to exchange.
The reason this tip is on the list is becausea lot of students go into interviews feeling like they’re going into an audience with KingLouis the XIV or something, and they’re gonna be granted a job because of the mercy andbenevolence of the almighty king that’s sitting across the table from them. That’s not the case.
Remember, companies put a lot of time andeffort and money into attracting the best possible talent. That’s what they live and die by. So believe that you are the best possibleperson for the job, and let that be communicated in the interview. Don’t be arrogant or cocky, but be confident.
Finally, our last tip on the list is that15 minutes early is on time, and on time is late. Here’s the thing. You want a bit of buffer time when you walkinto the company’s doors, just in case they happen to be ready for you right now. You don’t wanna be coming in 30 seconds latebecause you got stuck in traffic.
Plus, showing up a little bit early makesa really good first impression and it gives you an opportunity to potentially networkwith the person running the front desk or some other people at the company before yougo into the interview.
So those are my top 10 tips for helping youto ace your next interview, though the interview is only half the battle.
The best way to ensure that you’re that hiringmanager’s number one pick is to do everything you can to be building skills and experiencethat set you apart from the competition.
And if you wanna learn more about why that’sso important and how you can use an experience-based mindset to eventually find work that you trulydo love, Cal Newport’s book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, is a book that you shoulddefinitely read or listen to on Audible.
I absolutely love listening to audio books. I listen to them while I’m walking to whereverI’m gonna work for the day. I listen to them while I’m cooking dinner. Audible’s app makes it such a seamless experience.
I can start listening to a book on the sameiPad that I’m using for my recipe, and then the next morning, I can pick up exactly whereI left off on my iPhone while I walk to work. Plus, the app lets me set bookmarks at anytime stamp.