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Are you looking at a role or a new job that’s making you nervous? You’ve done well so far. You have the interview, after all. It’s just a final hurdle to get the job. If you’re nervous, take a look at our guide to nailing that interview with these interview tips.
Learn how to answer your questions
You might think question, and answer is simple enough. You get asked a question; you pull the answer. After all, they’re asking about you, and who knows you better than you know yourself?
But you’ll be nervous. It’s only natural, and you’re being judged. It’s easy to say the wrong thing. There are answers your interviewer is expecting and if you’re going to surprise them, you’re going to want to make sure it’s a pleasant surprise.
Go through the most common interview questions and prepare your answers. Keep them short and snappy so that you remember them or give them a story behind them that is routed in reality so that you can easily pull it out.
Some interview questions might even require a story, like the question of facing a challenge and how you dealt with it. It’s quite an open question, so you can take a lot of different paths with this. But the purpose is to test your problem-solving skills and gauge how you react under pressure. Take a look at this list of “describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it” examples for some ideas on how to answer one of interview history’s most telling questions. It isn’t a simple answer like most interview questions, where there is an objective, simple answer, like “Where were you working last?” It requires you to pen a story and make yourself look good in the process.
Then there is the one that we all think we know the answer to: “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”
The right answer is “working for you”, isn’t it? Nope. Employers want to know that you have a short-term and a long-term goal you are working towards, and simply want to know that working for them is just part of the overall plan. They’re looking for ambition and action. An easy way to answer this question is to incorporate this job into your long-term plans, like using the experience here to further your career in the industry.
Study the company
It’s important that you research the company before accepting any job offer. If not to show off at the interview that you know all about them, which they will ask, but to ensure that this is a place you want to work.
For one thing, unfavorable jobs like to keep things vague in their job descriptions to entice people into jobs that are nothing like they described. Sales jobs get dressed up as marketing, for example. The sheer fact that they are staying vague implies they have a lot of attrition and are very aware that the job doesn’t attract people. Look into the company to be sure you’re working for a marketing firm rather than a telemarketing firm.
If they are a bigger company, their workplace culture will be well documented. Check sites like Glassdoor to ensure that this is a place you want to work. Read any reviews available to make sure that you aren’t likely to gain any harassment, or the more worrying, no support when problems arise. There are bad apples everywhere, but a lack of support if you find one is a company-wide issue.
And then there is the aspect of impressing your interviewer. Look up the company values and point out how they align with your own, assuming they do. Look up the key players in the organization and a brief history of the company. Also, check the news for mentions of the company. Whether it’s good or bad news, it’s good to be informed of what’s being said about the company. If it’s good, you can point it out for some bonus points, or you can walk away from the interview if the news bothers you.
Work on your confidence
There are a million tips and tricks for at least appearing confident in a job interview. Being aware of your body is one aspect to it. Make regular eye contact to show you’re listening, but don’t stare. Glance at your resume when you need to. Keep your posture good. Sit and stand up straight, but don’t close your arms. That will project that you don’t want anyone near you and appear nervous.
Talking is the biggest issue, of course. You’ve probably just sat through a monologue about what they’re looking for and can feel your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth. Taking a sip of water is no issue. Just tell yourself it’s nothing and it’ll be nothing. It’s there to help you, not so they can judge you.
One of my favorite interview tips to make things easier on the way to the interview is by cranking the tunes. This is best done in the car, since the point is to get your voice going in order to force yourself to keep calm. Soon, you’ll be a lot more relaxed with the power of Beyonce guiding you, and you’ve loosened those focal chords.