Despite how uncomfortable the interview process is for some, they’re a significant part of landing your next job. Especially if you want to land a good one. While there is no perfect formula to job interviewing, there are methods for achieving optimal results.
There are obvious questions you can prepare for to land your next job. Some companies will make attempts at being clever with their interview questions to keep you on your toes. However, the core questions will always be the same. Therefore, you can be prepared for these and be as articulate as possible when answering.
1: Obvious Questions: Be Prepared
Aside from asking for your name and relevant experience for the position you’re applying for, two of the most obvious questions you can prepare for are:
- Why do you believe you’re a good fit our company?
- How would you handle a situation that’s stressful or a complicated issue?
While these are each asked the most often during an interview, they are the least often prepared for by the interviewee and can trip up their confidence. Here are some additional questions commonly asked:
- I would like to hear about an issue you’ve had at a previous job where you were unable to resolve individually. How were able to handle this situation, and what references and resources did you turn to for help?
- Which industry blogs, websites, social media sites, feeds, and magazines do you follow to stay current with developments and trends?
- Where do you see yourself in [x-amount] of years?
2: Back Up Your Facts
You have to source your facts, especially during an interview. Therefore, if you’re going to discuss any figures or facts with your interviewer, materials regarding these details must be brought along to the interview. For example, if you have spreadsheets outlining data showing examples of how you helped a former manager improve sales or secure better investments, you are proving your statements. Not only will you be proving the facts you’re stating, but you’ll also be declaring your honesty. These materials also show attention to detail, as well as organizational skills.
3: Know Which Questions to Ask
During every interview, the interviewer is going to ask you this very pointed question, “Do you have any questions for me?” Ultimately, this is where interviewees drop the ball and say, “No, thank you for seeing me.” Rather than taking the opportunity to be creative and think about this question in advance, they forget to prepare and wish they could run away. Here are some questions that give you the opportunity to stand out in the interviewer’s mind when they’re making considerations after you leave:
- How do you believe competitors would describe your company if I went to them for an interview immediately following this one?
- Can you give me a brief explanation of the goals you’ve like me to achieve within my first thirty to ninety days of employment?
- If I were to win the lottery five years into employment, what incentives do you think would entice me to stay with this company?
- What measurements of success are given to the person in the position I’m interviewing for, and what tools are provided to them for achievement?
4: The Interviewer Isn’t Always an Expert
One of the biggest things to remember about the interview process is, the interviewer is most likely less prepared than you are. They are fitting many tasks into one day, including interviews, and you’re one of a dozen faces they’ll see in the middle of meetings and conference calls. Use this fact to your advantage. Be confidence and allow for the opportunity for you to guide the conversation as they look over materials in your interview file.
However, conversely, some interviewers are experts and are multi-tasking veterans. Therefore, they will move you through the process quickly. This reality means you must be on your game.
5: Use the Powers of Negotiation
Sometimes a second or third interview is necessary before a job offer is made, and this is where salary discussions occur. These discussions are also where you have some leverage for negotiations. Be confident, but do not be too aggressive. You should keep the upper hand in the conversation by discussing key points of competitive salary with others holding the same position in the market, but do not allow the interviewer to back you into a corner. You don’t want to offend the interviewer, but the goal is to get them to bring down their guards.
The Bottom Line:
Through preparation and organization, you’ll exude confidence during your next interview. It’s important to remain relaxed, be professional and take a casual approach to gaining the upper hand.