The 3 Essential Tips for the Perfect Interview

The 3 Essential Tips for the Perfect Interview

Interviews are awkward. They combine the discomfort of meeting someone new with the awkwardness of trying to sell something (namely, yourself). But as with any other aspect of the job search, you can come out shining with the right preparation. What follows are tips on how to nail your next interview.

1. Do your homework

An easy way to impress an interviewer is by doing research on the company and industry. And an easy way to stumble out of the gate is to fail to do so. Spend some time reading up on the company that’s interviewing you. Almost every company will have information on their mission, works, history, and more on their website. Also, read up on the recent news they’ve made. The easiest way to do that is to go to Google News and search for the company.
Finally, do some researcher on the actual interviewer. He or she most likely gave you the job title he or she posses, so make sure you know what his or her role in that type of company typically is. In addition, if you have even the slightest doubt as to how his or her name is pronounced, call up the company and ask a secretary how it is pronounced.

2. Prepare to answer broad questions about yourself

Here is how you should answer the following questions you will likely be asked.

  • “Can you tell me about yourself?” – You will likely here this right off the bat. Summarize in a minute or two what your education/work history looks like and why you’re applying for this job. No answer her is really incorrect, so don’t stress it, but keep the answer focused on you getting the job.
  • “Why do you want this job?” – While tempting, don’t make a joke about how you need the money. Now would be a good time to use the previous research you’ve done. Talk about what the company does and why that interests you, and why the specific position you’re there for interests you. Don’t lie here, if you’re not interested in the job, why are you there?
  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” – Don’t be bashful about what you see as your strengths. You’re here to sell yourself, so don’t shy away. Pick a few strengths you know you show. Do you work well independently or in a team? Do you learn new skills quickly? Do you have good communication skills, oral or written? Also, you should name a weakness (but call it an “area you’re looking to improve”) other than that you work “too hard”. Do you tend to not fight hard enough for your own ideas? Or do you instead, have a tendency to ignore aid from other people you’re working with? Don’t be hard on yourself, but mention a negative trait, and that you’re looking to improve.

3. Create a good first impression

You must be there on time. You must be dressed appropriately (suit for office jobs) and well-groomed. You must be polite and well-mannered to everyone you meet. Try to use positive body language as much as you can; shake hands firmly, make eye contact, stand up straight, etc. Just by the way you carry yourself, you can convince the interviewer you’re someone who can interact strongly with others and that you’re comfortable with taking the position seriously.