Job interviews can be a major stumbling block for many people. This is your big opportunity to sell your skills to a potential employer and this can be scary in itself. Not sure how best to present yourself in job interviews so that you have the best chance to be hired? Here are some tips to ace a job interview.
3 Tips To Ace A Job Interview
Practice your answers to some of the questions that may come up in the interview. There are certain questions that are extremely likely to be asked, including:
“Tell me about yourself” – This can be an extremely daunting question but think of it as a good opportunity to market yourself. Talk about your skills and achievements and how these make you a valuable employee. You obviously impressed enough in your application to be invited for an interview so use it as a chance to detail why you should be hired.
“What are your strengths?” – Play up the skills that are best suited to the job in question and how you have developed them in your career. Don’t forget about transferable skills – they are just as valuable to employers.
“What are your weaknesses?” – It might seem as though there is no way to answer this question without damaging your case but there are ways to get around this. You can choose a situation that you have been able to turn around. For example, you may not be as competent as you would like in a particular area but if you have been making an effort to get more training to improve your skills, your initiative may be seen as a big positive.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” – Vague answers rarely cut it here. You should have gained a good insight into potential career paths within the company so you can use that to inform your answer. It is fine to be ambitious but try not to go overboard. Confidence can be a plus but be careful that you do not come across as though the role would merely be a stepping-stone en route to a ‘better’ career path.
“Why do you want to work here?” – If you have done your research, you should be up to speed on how they work and their values, aims and products. Use this knowledge to demonstrate that you are on the same wavelength. Match your skills and interests to the company as far as possible.
“What would a previous employer say about you?” – Highlight a few of your best skills and add something that reflects your personality.
Dress To Impress
Like it or not, you are going to be judged on how you present yourself and how you look is a crucial part of this. First impressions are vital. It goes without saying that you should dress smartly for the occasion. If in doubt, it is usually better to be overdressed rather than risk looking too casual.
In most interviews, you will be given the chance to pose questions to your interviewer. Many job seekers do not do this but not doing so can be an opportunity missed. In not being afraid to ask questions, it shows that you are keen on working with them and if nothing else, it will give you a much better insight into what to expect if you get the job. If everything has not already been covered during the course of the interview, some questions to ask can include:
- What would my main responsibilities be?
- What does a typical day look like?
- How will you judge my success?
- What can I expect from you in terms of support and professional development?
- What is the best thing about working at your company?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What is the company mission statement?
- Do you have any plans to expand?
Resist the urge to ask about pay or employee benefits at this stage as you risk coming across as self-serving. Things are different if you receive a definite job offer by the end of the interview but this is not too common.