Search through Google and I bet you will see thousands of articles about tips for your next interview. What you don’t see, however, is concrete tips that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates. It is safe to say we live in a digital age – so it’s time to change things up. Cultivated Culture spoke to over 25 career experts and compiled the best advice.
Here are five interview tips to keep in mind at your next big meeting.
Tip #1: Do Your Research
With information so accessible, there is no excuse for you not to do some basic research about the company you want to work for. Their website will be a great place to start. Read basic information about what they do, when they were founded and their key values. Next, see how big the company is and find out the names and positions of the higher management team. Lastly, talk to anyone who has inside knowledge about the company and find out the information they will be shocked to hear from you. If you put in the effort into becoming as familiar with the company as anyone else who already works there, you’ll be better able to show that you are a great fit not just for the job, but for the company. Cultivatedculture.com points out how preparation is critical to success, “The best interviewers know that 90% of the work is done before they ever step foot in the room.”
Tip #2: Be Genuine
I truly believe the key to success in this technology-advanced world is to always be genuine. No one can ever do “you” like you – so make sure to incorporate your personality in your work life too. It’s always harder to put on an act, so if you stay true to your colours, you have nothing to worry about! Companies are always looking for the right personality to meet their expectations, so by doing this you are also making everyone’s job easier. Just as much as you want to prove that you are a great fit for the job and the company, you want to be sure that the job and company fit your personality, too. Experts add this as a benefit because ”The only way to get a true sense of how you’ll fit in is by being yourself during the interview process.”
Tip #3: Know Your Value
Get clear on what you are bringing to the table. It isn’t just a matter of reciting your work experience, it’s a matter of what you can produce with your skills. Always position your work experience in terms of the growth that resulted from your work, for example, “I led a campaign that resulted in a 50% increase in sales.” Think of ways that you can prove that you will provide value in this role. CultivatedCulture suggests if you’re applying for a sales job, research some leads for them; if you’re applying for a position on the product team, you can ask their customers for feedback and provide solutions for user issues at the interview. You need to know your value to the company and make it plain to see for your interviewer.
Tips #4: Ask Questions Too
It takes (at least) two to interview. “An interview is not an interrogation,” says one career expert. It’s a conversation. You are also interviewing the company. Be curious, and passionate about how you can work together. Don’t hold off all your questions until the end of the interview (but save at least one for when the interviewer does ask if you have any questions). The easier and more conversational you make the interview, the better. Hiring managers are looking for people they can work with and communicate with, and if they can see that in you from the start, you’ll be one step closer to landing the job.
Tip #5: Take Your Time
Aside from being knowledgeable and genuine, the last and most important tip is to take your time. We live in such a high-paced culture that it’s easy to miss things. Slow down and prepare yourself so you can truly live in the present come interview day. Cultivatedculture.com suggests eating healthy meals and getting a good rest the 24 hours approaching the interview. Meditate right before the interview, and while you’re in there, never look at the clock! Give them your full attention, follow these tips and you are set for a smooth and successful interview.
This is by no means an exhaustive set of instructions for acing every interview, but it’s six tips that can give you the edge on other candidates. These six steps will prepare you beforehand so step into that interview with confidence. But above all, the most important tip is to be resilient and keep chasing your dream job. Know that you are determining if the company is a good fit just as much as they are determining your fit. Be clear and proud of what you bring to the table.