5 Tips on How to Ace that Interview
Being in the HR Profession, I do have quite a few insights on interview and resume skills. Today, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to ace that interview for the job you've been dreaming of.
1. Research the Company and be PREPARED
You should also do a little research on the company prior to your interview. Now, I'm not saying learn everything about the company, from their annual revenues to where your recruiter graduated college from. Just read up on the company on their website. Most websites will have an "about" page to talk about when the company was founded, why it was founded, and a general summary of the purpose of business. You should have an idea of what the exact business is. For example, healthcare have many "divisions." For an example, does the company provide healthcare to the uninsured community? Or maybe it's a Senior Living Community geared towards baby boomers? Researching and being knowledgeable about the basics of the company will make you seem like you really want to be a part of the company and will be very impressive. Just think about it, do you want to interview for a job, in which you have no idea what kind of business they do? Also, this will make you appear prepared. Having known what the company about will also cut down time for the recruiter having to explain the company to you, and will give you more time to talk about yourself or more time for you to ask questions. Another aspect of being prepared is always bring a copy of your resume - just in case. Their printer may have broken down, or they ran out of ink. Or you may be interviewing with more than 1 person, and your extra copy can go to that person.
2. Dress the Part
Dressing professional and looking like you were made for the job is also a good first impression. If you haven't already, check out my blog post on some ideas on how to dress for the office! Always look put together for an interview because if you were the recruiter, would you want to interview someone who looked like they just rolled out of bed? Not only does that leave a bad impression, they'll think you're not fit for the role. Dressing the part is also a responsibility aspect and just having respect for the company you want to work for.
3. Be On Time
For me, the motto "on time means late" really applies. I always say to arrive about 15 minutes before your interview time. This gives the company time on the back end to review your resume one last time before meeting you. There can also be things that can go wrong for you a lot of the time - like finding parking, or finding the building that can make you run late. This 15 minutes will give you some leeway, and to also give you time to calm your nerves or prep yourself.
4. Ask Productive Questions
Recruiters will usually ask you "Do you have any questions for me?" And most people will say no....I will say that's a big mistake. You should always take the opportunity to learn more about the job or the company. A simple question like "what is the employee culture like?" can tell you a lot about your potential team culture or company culture. Now, I can write a whole blog post about good questions to ask...But here are my top 3 questions.
(1.) "What is my team structure/dynamic like?" This will give you an idea of how you team organization will be. How many people with the same job title, how many people above you, and can give you an idea of opportunities for growth/promotions.
(2.) "What do you think is the best aspect of this position?" This will give you an idea of what they think is the best "feature" of the job is. Whether it's opportunity to learn and train, or to be able to supervise others, or bring your ideas to the table and have it be accepted.
(3.) "What do you look for in a candidate for this position?" This will give you an idea of what they think a perfect candidate for the job is. Whether it be being flexible to work various hours, or a go-getter...What they say can tell you their opinion of a good candidate and if you think you'll meet their expectations.
5. Don't be Nervous
Now this one might be hard. Having an opportunity at your dream job will undoubtedly give you nerves! But just think - they were impressed by your resume/application enough to call you in. They picked you out of hundreds or even thousands of resumes submitted. They already like you. Now you just have to impress them when you meet with them. I always say - "fake it till you make it." Even if you're nervous, put those nerves away, and pretend like you're not. If you're nervous, that would mean you might stutter, say the wrong thing (or even lie about your credential in the spur of the moment). It's okay to take a moment to think about what your answer is before speaking, it's always better to have a quality answer over something made up or that was said in the spur of the moment. And of course this goes to say - don't lie! Your lies about what your experience is or what you can do will be discovered, and then that will leave a bad impression on the employer and most likely disqualify you for the job. Always, always, always be truthful. Instead of saying "No, I don't know how to do that," you can say "Unfortunately, I don't have experience with that, but I am willing to learn." This will also give the employer a view of you that you are willing to learn to be a part of the team, and make up for what you are lacking.
I hope these tips will help you if you have an interview coming up. If you have any personal stories or questions, email me or visit my instagram page! I'll do my best to give you some advice. My biggest tip would be: don't be afraid to dream big, apply to that dream job, and ace that interview! :)