Looking for jobs or internships can be hard, getting an interview is harder, and acing that interview to secure the job is the hardest part of all! When you’re out in the real world looking for work, everything seems daunting and immensely overwhelming. But don’t worry; take a deep breath, relax, and keep reading to learn about eight things you can do to help you ace that interview and get the job!
1. Prepare For Questions In Advance
When you’re getting ready for an interview, it helps to be prepared for the kinds of questions you may get asked. You can usually get a solid idea of these questions just by looking at the job responsibilities and requirements. For example, if one of the needs of the position is good problem-solving skills, you can prepare to be asked about how you would solve problems in the role that you’re interviewing for.
Even writing out potential questions you may get beforehand and practicing how you would respond to them is good preparation, and it never hurts to feel overly ready for anything an interviewer might throw your way.
2. Always Be On Time
Being on time says a lot about your dedication as an employee; it shows that you’re a hard worker and that you value both your time as well as others’ time. Simply showing up slightly early can demonstrate that you’re prepared to devote yourself to the job and you don’t take that opportunity for granted.
Show up on time and you’ve already made a great first impression!
3. Be Knowledgeable About Who You’re Interviewing With
When you walk into your interview, you should already know the company’s values and what they’re looking for in an ideal employee. It’s not that difficult to spend ten or fifteen minutes researching your potential employer and what they stand for, so do yourself the favor and get to know the company you want to work for!
Remember, you’re also technically interviewing them; you should feel sure about wanting to work for a company and feel that your goals are aligned with theirs. For example, if you’re really passionate about the environment but you’re interviewing for a big corporation that contributes negatively to the environment, that might not be someone you want to work for. You should be confident about where you choose to grow your career, so make sure you’re educated on your employers!
4. Honesty Is The Best Policy
People can always tell when you’re lying or trying to talk yourself up, so just be honest and stay true to who you are. Even if you’re worried about not having enough experience or not being qualified for a certain position, don’t lie about your expertise or try to make up prior experience. Employers will know, and it’s not a good look in an interview (or on a resume).
You should stay true to yourself and remember that if a company wants to hire you, it should be for who you truly are and for the unique talents you’d bring to their team. Plus, there’s nothing worse than lying about something in an interview only to have it come back to bite you in the butt later on if you get the position.
5. Ask Questions
All of the questions during the interview don’t need to be directed at you; ask your interviewer some questions, too! Once again, you’re also kind of interviewing them to see if the job would really be a good fit for you, as well, so don’t hold back in asking your own questions.
If you’re not quite sure what to say, here are some good questions to ask in an interview:
- What does a typical day look like in this role?
- What do you look for in an ideal employee?
- What does a successful employee in the position look like to you?
- What are some of your long-term goals at this company?
Asking questions like these will also show your potential employer that you really care about the job, the interview, and your career in general. They’ll likely appreciate that you’ve taken the time to ask some questions of them, and it shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and listening actively.
6. Give Your Biggest Weakness An Upside
There’s always that dreaded question: what’s your biggest weakness? It’s a pretty standard and classic interview question, and it can be pretty hard to think of a good answer that feel honest and authentic.
To deal with this, try giving your weakness an upside; for example, if you struggle with impatience, you can explain that while you may have difficulty remaining patient in some circumstances, it also helps you to work harder and get more things done. This kind of answer is fair, true, and reframes the question while not shying away from being honest about your flaws.
7. You’re There To Solve A Problem
One issue that many people run into when interviewing for jobs is seeming too desperate; it can often feel like you’re supposed to be begging the interviewer for a job or a chance, but it should be the other way around! They’re hiring people because they need someone to fill a role at their company, and you need to remember that you are the solution to their problem!
Simply keeping this in mind and remembering that you’re the one helping them is a good way to reframe an interview, and it really helps calm your nerves and make you seem more relaxed and confident!
8. Follow Up
Many people leave an interview and never reach out afterwards. While it isn’t super common to send a follow-up email or give them a call the next day, this simple step of initiative will show them that you’re highly interested in the position and make you stand out to them even more! The fact that it’s somewhat rare should give you an advantage over possible competition.
Try sending the company your interviewed for an email a couple days later telling them about how you’re hoping to be in touch and really loved meeting with them, and I can almost guarantee that it will have an impact!