“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky
You require to put lots of hard work to achieve the interview success to get hired for the dream job.
During the job interview, it is your responsibility to convince the hiring manager that you have skills, experiences, and personality for the job you have applied and you are the most suited candidate to solve the problem. The best way to get closer to get an offer from the recruiter is to show your passion and convince them that you fit the organization’s culture and job description.
In my own experience of 18 years of working for leading organizations, hiring several hundred people, I have learned that you need to consider every interview as your opportunity to create a positive impression and present a perfectly balanced view of your candidature in front of the prospective employer. These 15 interview success tips will teach you how to present your better self, answer interview questions and convince the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job.
1. Come prepared for the interview
Just imagine how wonderful it feels when you influence and convince someone whom you meet as a smart, thoughtful, and generous of spirit. And up your ante further by asking all the right questions.
The quality of conversation during the job interviews and the success rate soar after you change the way you’re preparing for them.
The best thing you can do ahead of a job interview is to prepare:
- Visit the employer’s website and read about their vision, product, services, and people.
- Read the job description carefully to discover the skills, attitudes and specific abilities that the employer want.
- Visualize the questions you are most likely to be asked during the interview and practice them speaking out loud.
- Come up with the questions you wish to ask related to the company, culture, timing, career prospect, etc.
- Know that this is just a process and always maintain a positive outlook.
2. Arrive early for the interview
On your interview day, plan your travel to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can sit, relax, take a few deep breaths, calm your mind, bump into a candidate who went for the interview before you to get some insights from him. Because you have time at your side, you can do the following to prepare better:
- Be courteous to every staff you interact at the interview venue.
- Sit back, relax and take a deep breath for few minutes to clam your mind.
- Visualise interview questions and frame your responses.
- Emphasise on one big thing that will act as a decisive factor for interviewers to not ignore you.
- Use the washroom to check your cloth, clean your fresh, comb your hair, etc. so that you look presentable.
- Sit in a good posture keeping your chin back and down so that your neck is aligned with the spine.
- Keep your mobile phone on silent and non-vibration mode. Also, keep it in the bag.
- Check your folder for the resume, documents, and credentials you may need to show to the interviewer.
3. Frame questions you’re most likely to be asked
The interviewer’s focus revolves around finding that you know your strengths, your method of work, and your values and then knowing how you can apply these to achieve the result they aim to achieve if they hire you.
However, most of us get overwhelmed thinking about not knowing the answers. Do these to ace your interview with confidence.
Review your resume to frame questions and their answers related to your education, experience, accomplishments, goals, and expectations.
- Frame doubt resolving questions to resolve possible concerns or doubts about judgment, veracity, behaviour, and achievements.
- Behavioural questions aimed to test whether you have encountered challenges and how you handled them.
- The interviewer may direct hypothetical questions to test how you’d handle on-the-job challenges.
- Technical and functional questions to test your skills and abilities to get the job done.
- Case studies to test whether you can comprehend a complex set of facts, create a framework for analysing them, and arrive at logical and useful conclusions.
4. Dress to impress for interview success
An attractive appearance increases self-esteem and opens the door for opportunity faster. Appropriate dressing leads to the first impression to create an edge over the others. Follow these rules for selecting the right attire for your interview:
- Research on the Internet and social media to determine the dressing style that employees of the company follow and accordingly decide suitable interview outfit.
- Choose your clothing based on your body shape, colour preference, face shape, and grooming.
- Give top consideration for appropriateness and comfort.
- Along with clothing take appropriate care of your hair, footwear, body odour, makeup, bag, belt, and jewellery as well.
- Ensure that clothes are clean and pressed.
5. Sit straight, look confident and speak with clarity
Body language is closely related to posture. Sitting up straight will make you happier, more confident and less risk-averse. When you sit straight, maintain firm posture during the interview, maintain good eye contact; you leave a lasting impression.
- Greet everyone present in the interview room.
- If there are three chairs on your side and the interviewer doesn’t guide you about where to sit, choose the middle chair.
- Keep your bag at the appropriate location and keep your folder on the table in front of you or on your lap.
- To look interested and engaged is to look at different parts of interviewer’s face rather than just drilling into the interviewer’s eyes.
- Use hand gestures, nod your head occasionally, lean in whenever you are answering, and show up yourself as fully engaged during the interview.
- Never cross your arms or legs, don’t tap your feet, and don’t touch your body parts too frequently.
6. Play magic with eye contact
There is a saying, ‘Eyes are the windows to the soul.’ It means, mostly, people can see through someone else using eye contact properly in seven seconds.
- Communication mistakes sometimes lead to out of context, words may be misheard, body language can send a misleading message but, our eyes show emotion, build connections and indicate interest.
- Maintain appropriate eye contact without staring. Avoid looking down as it shows that you lack the confidence.
- You can look at eyes for 4-5 seconds and slowly glance to the side and then go back to establish eye contact again.
- Communication happens with your eyes while you’re listening just as much as when you’re talking.
- When you’re listening and maintaining eye contact, you should smile, open your face and look interested.
- Practice eye contact as it can take some efforts before you master the skill.
7. Take time to frame your answer and respond thoughtfully
It matters what you say when you respond, how thoughtfully you answer interview questions, the details you provide, and even the non-verbal cues you give are all together become a decisive factor for the interviewer to consider you for the post. Here are tips for you to consider while answering:
- Your answer should have substance. You should structure your answer based on Situation, Answer, Result structure.
- Take time to reflect and structure your answer rather than trying to answer it an instant like a rapid-fire question.
- Give yourself plenty of time to reflect and structure your response, and do your best to stay calm.
- Respond to interview questions giving examples of how you handled related situations.
- Not sure about the question interviewer asked? It’s fine to ask for clarification.
8. Exchange pleasantries for icebreaking in the beginning
“If we hire you and everything goes well, what do you think will get you excited to come to work each day and make you feel celebrated on your first anniversary in your job?”
I remember this question came on my way in one of the interviews and I consider it among the best icebreaking question I have ever been asked.
While most candidates pass icebreaker questions as idle small talk, intelligent candidates use it to set the tone for the interview and draw significant attention of the interviewer to rule the conversation.
- Research on the internet for finding out icebreaker questions and filter out the most relevant ones that you are most likely to be asked.
- Practice and learn how to answer these questions with strong narrative and stories.
- Try asking some of these questions to people you know and implement the good ones in your answer.
- Be honest with your answer. Never answer these questions based on vague facts and stories.
9. Research about the company, interviewer and industry trends
It is important to come for the interview with a good baseline of knowledge about the interviewer, company, industry and the future trends impacting the industry. The base research will prepare you to know all a before you set foot in their office.
- Visit the company website to learn about their vision, management, product, and services.
- Visit their social media page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to know about their brand positioning and communication strategy.
- Research on Google about the articles, blogs, press releases, management interviews, and customer reviews about the company.
- You can also visit Glassdoor to know about their interview questions and people feedback about the company and its culture.
10. Follow up using a non-annoying way after the interview
You have nailed the interview like a pro. You felt that the employer was super interested in your candidature and you’ve found the kind of company you want to work with. So, what do you do now?
- Ask about the next step before you leave the interview.
- Send a thank you email, appreciating interviewer for the warmth, hospitality and engaging conversation during the interview.
- Connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn and you can also subtly like/comment on their post to put your name on their radar.
- If things don’t work and you are dropped out, don’t lose your heart. Stay in touch by periodically checking out their social media posts, time to time like the post and also sharing useful posts which you think will be meaningful to them.
11. Use power pose to increase your endorphins to improve confidence
Endorphin produces a sense of ecstasy which makes you feel amazing. During the interview, we all feel a bit nervous due to the fear of unknown. The best way to keep interview nerves at bay is to increase the level of endorphins — it will help you increase your confidence. Do these simple things to look confident during the interview and otherwise too:
- Walk with the power pose keeping your body firm so that your brain pumps out endorphins to cope.
- Research suggests when you eat your favorite food it produces pleasure which makes your brain release endorphins to elevate your mood.
- Eat chocolate when you are about to approach the interview venue. Cocoa in chocolate contains mood-boosting substances which give your body an endorphin boost.
- Your brain will produce even more endorphin when you listen to your favorite music and better if you sing along while listening to it.
- Use these tips a few days prior to your onsite interview, it will do your mind and body both a lot of good.
12. Some imaginative thinking to visualise why you want the job and how it will help you accomplish your career goals
During an interview, the recruiter would be curious to know:
- What specific qualities you have to deliver exceptional results?
- How you fit in beautifully with the company culture and be a great addition to the team?
- Which of the specific skills and experiences make you stand out from the crowd?
Your response to the questions should combine your experiences, your experience in handling a win or handling challenges, technical skills, awards and key accomplishments to convince the interviewer that hiring you will make him look smart and make his life easy.
13. Practice, practice, and practice your interview skills
Mock interview resembles a typical interview environment in which you prepare yourself practicing questions you are most likely to be asked during the interview.
You can take help from your friends, mentors or someone you know in the industry. You can also give a mock interview using the MockRabbit app which frames questions based on your resume, you can speak your answer in front of your mobile and know the accuracy of your answer in an instant.
You must practice your interview before the actual interview to strike a better success rate. It will help you reduce stress and anxiety, boost your confidence, provide constructive feedback in a stress-free environment and can help you rehearse to strengthen your preparation.
14. Close the interview session on a positive note
Leave your job interview venue by making the best possible impression by saying goodbye to the interviewer and close the meeting in a way that you leave the venue delivering a profound impact on the interviewer.
You may ask for the next step in the interviewing process.
Write a thank you note to the hiring manager once you reach home.
You can follow the recruiter on social media including liking/commenting on their post if you resonate with it.