As the years go by, the professional world evolves and interviewers toughen up but it's highly unlikely that the question of how to ace a job interview and leave a lasting impression on the recruiters will ever lose its relevancy.
This is because the labour market is more competitive by the day but there are always certain qualities that make you stand out and be the ultimate employee.
After participating in several recruitment exercises each time I'm sourcing for quality candidates to join my team, I'm not only able to briefly outline the major points for a great interview but can also tell you what most employers would want to see in you.
It's not always about being very brilliant. In fact, the way you present yourself during the interview matters more. The interview is a great opportunity to sell yourself to your potential employer and in a moment, we are going to find out how.
These tips may not apply to every job as you may not need much in order to gain a job as a butler in a middle-class home but as you advance to a higher position or seek a job in a large organization, more efforts (on the interview process) are required to scale through.
You may also want to follow my financial education series on Ghavoc.com. To make things easier, I will group these interview success tips under some major subheadings.
How to make a good first impression.
Being prepared for the interview is the first step to acing it and the best way to be prepared for any interview session is through practice.
Consider practising your communication skills and professional body language beforehand. Also, your appearance matters a lot. This means you should dress for the role.
There's no point putting on a suit for a farm supervisor's role or dressing casual for a banking job.
For instance, it only makes sense to put on a clean white shirt fitted with a nice tie or a complete suit and a well-polished shoe for a corporate office position.
Dressing up professionally (and neatly) does not only show that you value the job you applied for but also show that you pay attention to details and this is a great quality that never skips the observation of recruiters.
Then, upon arriving at the interview, you should give a firm handshake to your interviewer when ushered in.
Note that you will appear more confident when you stand upright and sit straight. The easiest way to project this much-needed confidence is by maintaining a strong eye contact.
Just be relaxed and composed to avoid looking nervous. Remember to keep your focus on the interviewer at all times as this demonstrates your interest in the job and organization at large.
Finally, you should try as much as possible not to appear desperate. Yes, you probably need the job the same way you need food but you still need to have some self-worth and discipline as any sign of desperation is a major turn off.
Simply remain calm all through the interview session. Meanwhile, here's how to lay the right foundation for a great career.
How to answer the questions.
Except it's a favoured one-on-one interview, I'm sure there will be several other candidates waiting in line for the interview and if not, your interviewer probably has other things to attend to, so, why waste so much time on things you could express briefly?
Please be concise! To hit the success point in an interview, you have to learn how to convey your points in a clear sequence.
If possible, make your answers less than 85 seconds long. This does not only save your time but equally sends a positive sign of your effective communication skills which is very essential for every company's work environment.
It's very important that you don't talk too much or too little otherwise, you may talk your way out of preference.
You have to learn how to focus every single word of your answer to the question at hand. You need to have a clear perspective on the question and tackle it straight on.
If you don't understand the question, it's only logical to seek clarification from your interviewer. Please, never vacillate. But wait, are you even living your dream? Here's how to choose the right career path.
The kind of answers to give.
I know it's very tempting to mention all your skills, qualities and achievements in a bid to win over your interviewer but believe me, not all details are necessary.
Some information you brag about during an interview could ruin your chances even if it's an outstanding track record.
Each interview is unique in its own way depending on the position you applied for. Even if you won a noble prize in writing, stating it during a job interview for an engineering position is completely absurd.
Your award just doesn't relate to the job at hand and thereby proves nothing (except of course you use it as a tool to back up your principle that you are always committed to doing a great job but still….).
Keep your answers on the core relevant information and brush off any unnecessary detail. Giving superfluous information won't win you any favours. Only say what is required.
For instance, if you are asked for your contact information, produce your phone number and email address, no need to mention your residential address.
And if you are asked where you live, state the locality. You don't need to mention your street name and apartment number. Your interviewer doesn't care about any of that. Can you answer the question: what do we pay you? Well, here's the right answer.
How to appear valuable.
In as much as it's refreshing to mention all you have ever done in regards to your previous job, to project some true value for yourself and put yourself as the best candidate for the position, it's important to focus on your key accomplishments when outlining your works.
Yes, it's great that you once worked with Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung but the question is; what was your achievement there? What value did you add to the company?
When you are asked to talk about yourself during the interview, use that opportunity to sell yourself by mentioning your expertise on the role but make sure you focus on the major milestones you reached, your outstanding track record of accomplishments.
Convey your work experience and knowledge in a robust manner while mentioning the major values that you can bring to the team.
Recruiters want to be sure that you can bring something to the table. They just don't want someone who can do the work, they want someone who can do an outstanding work.
However, you should seriously avoid sounding cocky! Too much confidence breeds arrogance which is very unhealthy. As they say; 'too much of everything is bad'.
An added advantage would be to mention your connections (contacts or anything useful to the company) in the industry that will be useful to the organization (if you have them). Also, read these great tips on how to build a successful career.
How to show motivation.
Yes, it's equally very important to demonstrate your motivation for the job as appearing indifferent will be the fastest route to throwing you out of preference.
I personally love people that share my vision for the establishment. To join my team, you need to have the motivation that will help you drive the goals to success.
Most people hate their jobs, true. It's also true that many persons still apply for jobs they hate due to the high unemployment rate or the salary packages
(why not create another stream of income instead? Affiliate marketing, eCommerce, Freelance and Amazon Kindle are good options. Or can join me in setting up your own profitable subscription-based website without coding. Here's the ultimate setup blueprint).
Well, this is why you need to prove that you will love getting the job done. Employers don't want to have frowning faces in their businesses as unsatisfied staffs tend to impact work output negatively and thereby affecting product quality and delivery rate.
No businessman wants that and as such, vibrant people with lots of enthusiasm will always get the job first. So, pray tell, how do you show your motivation?
Be active throughout the interview! Show your interest in the job by researching the company, the job role and asking meaningful questions. Show how competent you are.
Appearing clueless is a no-no. If you are asked whether you have any question, make sure you have one or two authentic questions to ask.
It could be about anything as long as you don't ask about the job roles or company (this only shows that you didn't do your homework). For instance, you could ask the interviewer about his/her view on the quality of the company's products/services.
More interview success tips.
Maintaining the use of a professionally accepted communication language is very crucial as anything otherwise, portrays you as a joker or an irresponsible person and believe me, no corporate interviewer will give a positive mark on that.
Simply keep the discussion professional and avoid the use of slangs. That should be reserved for your buddies at home. And there's no exception here!
Even if you are familiar with one of your interviewers or you know someone in the company, just keep everything civil.
Remember that saying things that express your opinion on a particular religion, race, colour, tribe/culture, gender or even political party will make you look myopic and seem like a bigot which are improper for a healthy workplace.
It's a major disqualifier in most establishments. Besides, if you state your political affiliation and your interviewer happens to be a supporter of the opposing party, your interview will be over – quicker than you came in.
Don't align yourself with any sensitive subject such as these and ensure your points are unbiased. Also, it's highly unnatural to manufacture false points in hopes of impressing your interviewer.
If you lack certain knowledge on anything you are asked, please consent to it and state your willingness to learn it.
Most times, you don't need any technical know-how in order to wow your interviewers in that great job because the most important factors lie in the little things such as the way you present yourself during the job interview..
Fortunately, you have seen these tips to help you crush your next interview. Haven excelled in the interview using my above tips, I see no reason why you won't have your dream job right away. You can now join me on my journey as I launch a new entertainment company without capital