Top 12 secrets to win every job interviews
Ready to get hired? Check out our 12 secrets below along with 9 bonus tips!
The best advice we can give is to be confident and remember that you’ve made it this far for a reason. Hold your head up high, don’t trip, and remember, ‘you got this.’ Interviews are one of the few times in life where narcissism is accepted and maybe even embraced. Remember, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance but during the interview process, you want a beautiful balance of both. Side note – if you’re naturally arrogant, then disregard my previous statement: For you I say, smile and sit down – you ain’t all that!
2. Do your homework.
You’ll likely be asked difficult questions during the interview. Preparing the list of likely questions in advance will help you easily transition from question to question. Spend time researching the company. Look at its site to understand its mission statement, product offerings, and management team. A few hours spent researching before your interview can impress the hiring manager greatly. Read the company’s annual report (often posted on the site), review the employee’s LinkedIn profiles, and search the company on Google News, to see if they’ve been mentioned in the media lately. The more you know about a company, the more you’ll know how you’ll fit in to it.
4. First impressions
When meeting someone for the first time, we instantaneously make our minds about various aspects of their personality. Prepare and plan that first impression long before you walk in the door. Continue that excellent impression in the days following, and that job could be yours.
• Never arrive late.
• Use positive body language and turn on your charm right from the start.
• Switch off your mobile before you step into the room.
• Look fabulous; dress sharp and make sure you look your best.
• Start the interview with a handshake; give a nice firm press and then some up and down movement.
• Determine to establish a rapport with the interviewer right from the start.
• Always let the interviewer finish speaking before giving your response.
• Express yourself fluently with clarity and precision.
5. Tell Your Story
You must sell your product, which is yourself, to land the job. Be prepared to tell the interviewer why he should hire you. Some interviewers might not ask you directly to explain why you are the best candidate for the job. Whether you are asked, be sure to fit in a response during the conversation. Be confident and concise in explaining why you believe you should be hired and what you will do the best job possible. Include your qualifications in your sales pitch.
7. Make it about how you can help the company.
The job interview isn’t the time to tell your life story; you’re there to show that you can contribute value to the organization. Remember that the interview is really not about you—it is about the organization and how you are going to solve [a hiring manager’s] problem of filling the position with a qualified person—quickly—so be sure to talk about how you can apply what you know to their organization,”
9. Be willing to learn
As alluded to above, you should always be ready to learn during an interview. Jeannie Kahwajy, an expert on organizational behavior, performed research that demonstrates that candidates who are willing to learn can turn negative interviews around. Jeannie ran experiments involving mock interviews. A recruiter was primed to have a negative bias toward a candidate. Of the three groups of candidates, one was instructed to prove they should get the job; one was told to learn from the interaction; and the final group, the control, was given no specific instructions. She found that the recruiter’s negative bias was reinforced for the control group and the group that tried to prove they should get the job. However, ALL of the candidates who set out to learn from the interaction reversed the recruiter’s negative bias and were offered a job.
10. Do-It-Yourself Interviewing Practice
There are a number of ways to prepare for an interview at home without the help of a professional career counselor or coach or a feebased service. You can practice interviews all by yourself or recruit friends and family to assist you.
11. Ask questions
Do not leave the interview without ensuring that you know all that you want to know about the position. Once the interview is over, your chance to have important questions answered has ended. Asking questions also can show that you are interested in the job. Be specific with your questions. Ask about the company and the industry. Avoid asking personal questions of the interviewer and avoid asking questions pertaining to politics, religion and the like.
12. Follow up and send a thank-you note.
Following up after an interview can help you make a lasting impression and set you apart from the crowd. Philip Farina, CPP, a security career expert at Manta Security Management Recruiters, says: “Send both an email as well as a hard-copy thank-you note, expressing excitement, qualifications and further interest in the position. Invite the hiring manager to contact you for additional information. This is also an excellent time to send a strategic follow-up letter of interest.”
Top 9 job interview tips
1. Conduct Research on the Employer, Hiring Manager, Job Opportunity.
Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the job-seeker’s part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Information sources include the organization’s Website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and your network of contacts. Learn more about job-search job-interview researching here.
2. Review Common Interview Questions and Prepare Responses.
Another key to interview success is preparing responses to expected interview questions. First, inquire as to the type of interview to expect (which you can do by asking your contact person at the organization). Your goal is composing detailed yet concise responses, focusing on specific examples and accomplishments. A good tool for remembering your responses is to put them into story form that you can tell in the interview. No need to memorize responses (in fact, it’s best not to), but at least develop talking points.
3. Dress for Success.
Plan out a wardrobe that fits the organization and its culture, striving for the most professional appearance you can accomplish. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under — and to wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview — and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
4. Arrive on Time for the Interview — and Prepared for Success.
There is no excuse for ever arriving late for an interview — other than some sort of disaster. Strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to complete additional paperwork and allow yourself time to get settled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace. The day before the interview, pack up extra copies of your resume or CV and reference list. If you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring those along too. Finally, remember to pack several pens and a pad of paper to jot notes. Finally, as you get to the offices, shut off your cell phone.
5. Make Good First Impressions — to Everyone You Encounter.
A cardinal rule of interviewing: Be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet — from parking attendant or receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members — and your job offer could easily be derailed if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions — the ones interviewers make in the first few seconds of greeting you — can make or break an interview. Make a strong first impression by dressing well, arriving early, and when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm (neither limp and nor bone-crushing) handshake. Remember that having a positive attitude and expressing enthusiasm for the job and employer are vital in the initial stages of the interview; studies show that hiring managers make critical decisions about job applicants in the first 20 minutes of the interview.
6. Be Authentic, Upbeat, Focused, Confident, Candid, and Concise.
Once the interview starts, the key to success is the quality and delivery of your responses. Your goal should always be authenticity, responding truthfully to interview questions. At the same time, your goal is to get to the next step, so you’ll want to provide focused responses that showcase your skills, experience, and fit — with the job and the employer. Provide solid examples of solutions and accomplishments — but keep your responses short and to the point. By preparing responses to common interview questions (see #2), you’ll ideally avoid long, rambling responses that bore interviewers. Always attempt to keep your interview responses short and to the point. Finally, no matter how much an interviewer might bait you, never badmouth a previous employer, boss, or co-worker. The interview is about you — and making your case that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
7. Remember Body Language, Avoiding Bad Habits.
While the content of your interview responses is paramount, poor body language can be a distraction at best — or a reason not to hire you at worst. Effective forms of body language: smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, nodding. Detrimental forms of body language: slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with pen, fidgeting in chair, brushing back hair, touching face, chewing gum, mumbling.
8. Ask Insightful Questions.
Studies continually show that employers make a judgment about an applicant’s interest in the job by whether or not the interviewee asks questions. Thus, even if the hiring manager was thorough in his or her discussions about the job opening and what is expected, you must ask a few questions. The smart job-seeker prepares questions to ask days before the interview, adding any additional queries that might arise from the interview. For an idea of questions you could ask at the interview, see our Questions You Can Ask at the Job Interview, as well as our article, Make a Lasting Impression at Job Interviews Using Questions.
9. Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, and Postal Mail.
As you have already seen from previous tips, common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you. Writing thank-you emails and notes shortly after the interview will not get you the job offer, but doing so will certainly give you an edge over any of the other finalists who did not bother to send thank-you’s.