Now all you have to do is to ace the interview. Check out the most complete guide to job interview tips below — and when we say complete, we mean it. Follow them, and you are off to more celebrations soon!
The Most Effective Job Interview Tips
Our job interview tips are divided into two categories. One is general tips, which you can apply for every type of interview. The other is specific ones, in which you should take note of the type of interview you’d be in.
General Job Interview Tips
No matter what type of interview you’ll be undertaking, there are standard job interview tips you need to follow. Here are the most important ones:
Before the Interview
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1. Get to know the format of the interview
For initial interviews, hiring managers usually opt for a somewhat informal one. The laid-back, often unstructured interview allows them to assess your interpersonal skills, your wit, and your ability to cope with a crisis. This method is free-flowing and does not follow a strict arrangement.
Other interviewers usually go for either a behavioral approach or do a case or competency-based interview.
With behavioral interviews, the questioner will ask you about past work experiences to predict your future actions. With competency-based and case interviews, you will be given scenarios and will be asked how you’ll handle them. All three approaches are so common it is almost routine.
2. Prepare your answers to interview questions
To ace behavioral, competency-based, and case interviews, you simply need to draft an answer beforehand.
Prepare to clinch the behavioral approach by recalling past issues that you have encountered and were able to solve. This way, you can prove that you have the skill to overcome them. If you are applying for your first job, prepare to discuss a school or a life challenge that you have bested instead.
Among the first job interview tips that we can impart is not just mental but also psychological preparation. Practice putting yourself in the zone even before you enter the interview room.
To pass a case interview, anticipate possible situations that you might confront playing the position you are applying for. Research on the best solution for these issues to effectively demonstrate you are ready for the job position.
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3. Prepare for technical interviews, too
There are also less common interview strategies that employers and hiring managers use to assess applicants besides unstructured approaches. They are used for roles that require technicalities like Information Technology and Engineering jobs.
If you still have time, add a quick scan of data and concepts and master them for common questions.
4. Research about the business
Job interviews are not just done to assess your fit in the role but also your match to the company.
Research about the business. Take note of the company values, vision, and mission, and note which of yours is compatible with theirs. You can tailor-fit your answers like you are the missing piece to their puzzle.
During the Interview
1. Prepare the things you need
Dress in a comfortable and professional outfit. Unless specified, be in business casual. Turn your phone off. Bring only what you need in a handy bag so you can move unrestricted. Your resume with reference details, cover letter, portfolio, pen, and paper should be enough.
2. Establish a connection
At the onset, prompt the interviewer to call you by your first name. It is the single, most effective, and fastest way of establishing a connection.
3. Match the aura of the interviewer
If your interviewer gives you light topics, answer with a matching mood. Add some humor to your responses if appropriate. Practice positive positioning to keep your conversation pleasant and memorable.
4. Answer interviewer questions in a proper manner
Respond precisely and concisely. Avoid being vague, especially when describing yourself — your qualities and your plans for the future.
Pace your words also adequately. Speak clearly in a well-modulated voice so the interviewer can hear and understand you. Use gestures to express yourself more naturally.
After the Interview
1. Ask questions
Most interviewers will ask if applicants have any questions for them — don’t miss this opportunity to stand out.
Exhibit your eagerness by asking questions with motivational hints like “How would succeeding in this role impact the company?”, “How will my performance be measured?” “Should I get the job?” and “What are the key things that I should focus on during the first few weeks?”
Ask also for the specifics of the application process. Solicit precise information by asking if there will be a second interview, when you’ll be hearing an update, how your references will be contacted, etc.
Lastly, assess how you did and work on improving for your next round of interviews.
2. Address post-interview concerns
Request for the hiring manager’s contact details or how you can contact them should you need to speak to them.
Also, don’t forget to give your references a heads-up so they can accommodate your interviewer.
Specific Job Interview Tips According to Type
Employers and hiring managers not only use different techniques in interviewing. How job interviews go also depends on the platform and the methods recruiters make use of.
Here are more job interview tips to surely get that job according to distinct channels and types of interviews.
The in-person interview is the most common of all types of job interviews. It is also called the traditional interview because it has been practiced by most hiring managers for the longest time.
This type of interview entails the applicant to be face-to-face with the interviewer, usually at the company site. In-person interviews typically take 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
Because the in-person Interview is pre-scheduled, it is crucial that you are ready at the location at least 15 minutes before the appointment. Aside from showing you are punctual, this will give you enough time to take your bathroom break, shake the jitters away and get comfortable in the office setting. Get in tune with the workplace vibes. Whether it is casual or formal, act accordingly.
When offered, shake the interviewer’s hand firmly and maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Pick up on nonverbal cues and listen actively. Maintain professionalism. Thank the interviewer and conclude with a promising end like “See you soon.”
The working interview is a type of interview that does not only involve a conversation but a demonstration as well. Rather than asking you how you’d go about working, the interviewer will ask you to act it out.
Suppose you were applying for a position as a Customer Service Associate. In that case, you will be requested to speak as you would to an angry customer. It is like a test run of your skills doing the actual job, so choose your best script that’s certified to deescalate an issue.
Embody work ethics and the company virtues. Be time-conscious as well. Efficiency is all about performing 100% while conserving resources like time.
The video interview is a rising trend because of the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Job interviews done remotely by video definitely pose some limitations, but you can succeed if you know how to do it right.
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Like video interviews, phone interviews have been a norm as well.
Job interviews by phone are usually done at the initial phase of an application preceding a full interview. So while it is vital to impress the interviewer, leave a few tricks up your sleeve.
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Contrary to popular belief, the role of recruiters is not to be antagonistic but to help. Strategize. Before ending the phone interview, don’t hesitate to ask what you can prepare for the following interview or phase of the application process to get a head start.
The puzzle interview is one of the hardest among all types of interviews. It entails riddle-like kinds of questions that are practically unanswerable.
This unorthodox sort of interview aims to measure your critical thinking and coping skills. Thus, how you solve the problem is the point, not the answer itself.
Here is an example: “How would you weigh a 10-wheeler truck?”
To win the puzzle interview (even if there was absolutely no way you’d know), explain the methodology of how you’ll weigh a 10-wheeler truck.
For instance, break down the parts of the truck to get an estimate. Say, “First, I would try to find out how a typical wheel weighs. I would then determine how much metal makes up the body, leather for the seats, and other accessories and finally multiply it with their estimated weight per volume.
This example sufficiently demonstrates your mental map, which consequently shows you are logical, systematic, and don’t back out from seemingly impossible problems.
Reinforce the impression you made by leaving the interviewer with an “It was an exciting interview, and I hope you talk to you again soon.”
The group interview is typically what companies mass hiring use. It saves them time by screening several applicants simultaneously, then allot more time on the in-depth full interview that will come after.
So how do you stand out with four other applicants at the same interview?
The greatest of all job interview tips is to be confident. Initiate. Being in a group is an opportunity to flaunt your leadership and interpersonal skills. You and the mobilization you facilitate will be noticed when the recruiter comes in. Stay engaging throughout the interview. Involve all the other applicants and avoid overpowering.
The panel interview is a type of interview where you will be conversing with more than one interviewer. The panel may include the recruiter, managers from different departments, the employer, or the business owner.
It sounds overwhelming. But if you think about it, it’s a chance for you to communicate directly to top management without risking the application process sifting away your assets. A panel interview allows you to represent yourself wholly.
Answer as you would any other interview. Speak to all of the panel by making eye contact with each one.
Typically, a questioner will ask a question relevant to their department or their role in the company. Make sure to answer the question to respond to their specific needs and then connect them with the other offices. This way, you can demonstrate your sensibility to unique requisites and your ability to visualize how a part impacts the whole.
The lunch interview is perhaps the most informal among all types of job interviews. As the name implies, you will be meeting your interviewer over a meal. The recruiter will opt for this type of interview to see how you behave outside a workplace setting.
Prepare by researching about the restaurant or cafe. Familiarize the traffic in the area and plan your transportation to avoid coming in late. The setting will most likely be distracting, so if the table isn’t set yet, you can come earlier than scheduled and choose a spot that will offer some privacy.
More job interview tips include knowing the menu and planning to get a meal and drink that is light and easy. You absolutely do not want to be gnawing or gulping while interviewing. Stay poised and keep your focus. Observe table manners. Be polite to the service. The interviewer who invited you will usually pay for the meal.
Do not forget to thank the recruiter. Unless otherwise requested, wait for your interviewer to leave first or exit together.
Career Fair Interview
The career fair interview is coined after how fast the interviews are and how it puts the applicants on the spot. This type of interview will only give you less than 15 minutes to dazzle the interviewer.
Because it is time-pressured, the interviewer will be firing you questions. To maximize the opportunity, answer in short and compact answers. Be careful of responding prematurely when the interviewer is still explaining. Be eager but allow for some silence before speaking. Articulate your words properly at an adequate speed.
The career fair interview is also common with companies that are hiring for an open role vacancy. Remember to inquire what job positions they are looking to be filled and if you will be considered for all. If yes, bank on your soft skills, flexibility, and ability to learn new skills.
Which of these job interview tips are helpful for you?
This guide may seem a lot to digest, but with concentration, conviction, and positivity — you WILL achieve it.
That spot is for you. Believe it!