The key to acing any interview is to ensure that you’ve done all that you can to prepare beforehand. Whether you’re nervous about the interview itself, or have little to no idea of how to prepare, this guide aims to help you in being the best interviewee that you can be.
Write a Stand-Out Resume & Cover Letter
Your resume and cover letter are your potential employer’s first windows into what type of candidate you are. In our previous guide on ‘How to Write a Stand Out Resume’, we detailed the different factors you need to consider if you want your resume to be noticed and picked out in a sea of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of potential recruits. This includes avoiding clichés like referring to yourself as ‘a real people person,’ ‘incredibly loyal,’ and ‘an effective problem solver.’
The main thing to consider here is that hiring managers go through countless resumes and cover letters per day. So keep yours succinct, identify and promote your unique selling points as an employee, and keep every bit of information relevant.
Instead of a cookie-cutter approach to crafting your resume, make sure that the version you submit is customized for the particular company or industry you’re applying to – this means listing only the skills and accomplishments that you’re sure will be relevant to the hiring process. Whatever you put in your resume will also lay the foundation for what you’ll discuss during the interview.
Google Your Potential Employer
Just as employers should conduct thorough background checks on potential employees, so should candidates find out everything they can about the company they want to work for. Indeed, The Balance puts conducting company research at the top of its own guide to acing an interview.
Check out what people on Glassdoor have to say about the company. Go to the company’s social media accounts, read their ‘about’ page or profile descriptions, and read up on any news articles in which the company is referenced. Doing the due research can give you a better idea of how the company projects its brand image, what you can and should expect from the company, and what topics you are likely to discuss in the interview.
Furthermore, this can also allow you to further tighten your resume based on what the company is looking for in the foreseeable future. The more you know about a company before meeting their representative face-to-face, the easier it will be for you to ask only intelligent and relevant questions that will identify you as a prime candidate. Employers also tend to give more respect to candidates who’ve done the due research, as this shows that they’re absolutely serious about securing the job.
Arrive Ready and Be Confident
On the night prior to the interview, journalist Craig McGraw advises not drinking or going out in order to look and feel alert on the day of the interview itself. McGraw also recommends keeping your posture straight while in the waiting room and your phone on silent or vibrate.
If you’ve gone this far, it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to be nervous, as that is a natural part of the process. As long as you heed all the above-mentioned advice and do what you can to be prepared, then it’s easier to remain confident when you’re face-to-face with the interviewer.
Open with a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Remember that the interview is all about you and what you can do, so don’t be afraid to shine either.
Send a Post-Interview Thank You Email
The work isn’t done once you’ve gotten past the interview. Sending out a thank you email soon after you’re done is always a good and welcome sign of professionalism. In Comeet’s post on interview thank you emails, they emphasize how this expresses your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and is also a great way of standing out from the company’s pool of potential recruits.
Unlike a physical letter, emails can be received in real-time, instantly reminding hiring managers about your credentials and why you’re a good candidate for the position.
You can increase this effect by including links to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, or sample works you discussed in the interview. Remember to keep it short and sweet, and to double-check your text before sending anything out, especially if the job at hand requires impeccable grammar.
By being prepared for the interview, even the most nervous candidates can muster enough confidence to become the best interviewee they can be. Follow the above-mentioned steps and you’ll be ready to ace any interview in any company.
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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.