Life after graduation is full of responsibilities, like taxes, groceries and full-time jobs, but also full of opportunities. To capture these opportunities, you need to be prepared, and the best way to do that is to make sure you give the best job interviews possible. Here are a few job interview tips to help:
Write a Top-Notch Resume
First step: get your resume into shape. Make sure you fill it with your valuable work experience and qualifications. Your goal is to showcase the most successful and productive version of yourself possible.
Volunteer work, certifications, awards, and other accomplishments can all have a place on your resume. Many people like to build from resume templates you can find online, but if you use a resume template, just be sure you’ve thoroughly checked the verbiage to make sure it doesn’t sound scripted.
Your resume should show off your unique talents and skill set, as well as any numbers or figures that back up your work.
Do the Research
One of the most important job interview tips is doing research beforehand. You want to be knowledgeable about both the job and the employer when you are being interviewed. Look at the company website to learn about company history, accomplishments, and other information. Also, take some time to read recent news about the company.
When you know what the company is looking for, you’ll be able to easily answer questions about how you will fit into the work environment.
Know the Common Questions
Many interviewers ask the same, basic questions to better understand their candidates. While some may ask curveball questions, as well, you’ll be a step ahead if you come prepared with answers to common questions.
Examples include “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” Even though these sound like very basic questions, it’s important to give a thoughtful answer. Take your time thinking through responses prior to the interview. Indeed has a fantastic list of 125 such questions to ensure you are never at a loss for words.
Don’t stress about knowing all the answers; just practice the ones you think are most important. Then, if they ask you something unexpected, you’ll have a few ideas to pull from.
Once your research is done, it’s time to practice. Ask a friend, parent, sibling or roommate to run through interview questions with you. Focus on answering smoothly and confidently.
In a similar vein, treat any job interview you go to as practice. If you don’t get the job, you’ve still gained valuable interview experience.
One job interview tip some people don’t think about is to prepare your own questions.
A job interview isn’t just an opportunity for a prospective employer to learn about you. It’s also a chance for you to learn about them. Ask questions you really want answers to, not just questions you think will impress the interviewer. Honest questions demonstrate interest and can help you decide whether you’d like to work for the company.
Ideally, you should prepare your questions in advance. That way, you’ll be ready when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” If you’re at a loss for words, questions about corporate culture and growth opportunities are always good options.
Dress the Part
When dressing for a job interview, you should think about the first impression you’d like to make on your potential employer. If you aren’t sure about an outfit, err on the side of caution. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. When in doubt, it’s hard to go wrong with simple, business-professional clothing.
Of course, this is by no means an all-purpose interview cheat code. Different employers will expect their employees to wear different things. An interview at a bank will require far more formal dress than an interview at quick-service restaurant.
Again, though, err on the side of caution. You likely won’t be passed over for a job because you were too well dressed. To top it all off, research has shown that dressing up can significantly boost your confidence.
After the interview, consider sending a thank-you email to the hiring manager. Express your gratitude for the interview and impress upon them your interest in the position. Be enthusiastic. You’ve got one more chance to make a positive impression.
If you get the job, congratulations. That’s fantastic. If you don’t, don’t stress. You’ve done the best you could do, and you’ve gained valuable interview experience to boot. Sometimes it takes time to find the perfect job. With your interview experience, you’ll be all the more likely to get it. If you’re looking for a job in the medical field, check out this article on common resume mistakes for medical professionals.
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