Masterfully Handle Any Interview

Getting a job offer after an interview is usually determined by how well you did in it. The excitement of getting a callback is often quickly diminished by the nerves associated with the fact that it could also make or break your chances of getting employed.

The real cause of this nervousness is feeling of unpreparedness, similar to not having studied for a major test. You’re afraid that you’re not going to have the answer to something and that it will ultimately cost you. The way to combat this fear is through adequate preparation. The following tips will equip you with the essentials for interviewing success:

Cover all the bases in your research. There is no area not worth familiarizing yourself with even if you feel like it won’t be an issue during the interview. Interviews want to see that you also took the time to find out when the company was founded, who founded it, what awards it may have won, etc. Many companies provide this information and if they don’t, use it as a chance to demonstrate your investigative abilities. Don’t forget to connect with the company’s social media profiles to keep yourself in the loop. Plus, you might be able to meet some connections that way.

Be ready to fire away your talking points. You might think that it’s better to come up with a response when prompted so as not to sound as if you’re reciting lines. However, there’s nothing more reassuring in an interview than walking in knowing your answer is has been practiced and smoothed out. In fact, it shows the interviewer that you put a lot of thought behind it and came readily prepared.

One reason that it’s hard to carry on a conversation in an interview is that you’re talking to someone you’ve just met. Remember that the interviewer is not there to intimidate you. They want to get to know you and relate that to how you would be as one of their employees. On that note, be sure to refer back to your resume. Don’t assume that they were able to spend the same amount of time studying it. They’ll expect you to explain its details during your chat.

Don’t overlook the expected questions. It’s easy to forget about the questions that should be a breeze to answer. Neglecting to go over them anyway could end up being what trips you up. These will be questions pertaining to why you left a certain job or what you did during the gap in between jobs. Answering them doesn’t require divulging too many specifics but they should be constructed in a way that gives the interviewer a clear understanding of how the situation played out. Careful wording is especially important as you don’t want your answers to sound like excuses.

When it comes to talking about your strengths and weaknesses, the key is to avoid selling yourself short or coming off as boasting. Humble answers show the interviewer that you didn’t develop an ego over the years and didn’t let your weaknesses hinder your competence. Mention what you do to stay at the top of your game such as the books you study, courses you attend, or organizations you are affiliated with. Got nothing? There’s no better time to start than now.

Connect the dots between you and the job. Give the interviewer reasons for why giving you the job would not only be a mutual benefit but a sensible decision. When it makes sense to hire you, why wouldn’t they then, right? Explain to them how investing in you will be money well spent. And when talks turn to compensation, don’t be afraid to speak up. If you have number in mind, be ready to justify it with support. This may take doing some research as well. A fair figure, even if it is lower than what you’ve made at previous jobs, is easier for everyone to agree upon.

Taking into account that time is money, you want to show your appreciation that the interviewer spent some of theirs getting to know you. Showing that you to took time to show them that courtesy first is the best way. The more preparation you do before the interview can help you provide the kind of answers needed to pass this test with flying colors.