1. Know thyself
Know your strengths and skills. Strengths are personal traits and can be described as your unique qualities. Examples are diligent, dependable, flexible and punctual.
Skills are knowledge based and are typically acquired from education and experience. Examples include computer skills, language skills, technical skills and interpersonal skills.
Download the Advanced Resources' Interviewing Cheat Sheet to help you prepare your thoughts.
2. Do your homework
Research the company. What is the company’s mission or purpose of the organization? What are its principal services or products? Besides the company website, do some internet research on major competitors, news, or revenue information.
Research the position. What are the major responsibilities? Make note of the qualifications and required skills to help you match your skills to its requirements. Research the typical earnings, career advancement and employment outlook.
Research your interviewer. Google them and use LinkedIn to look for ways to make personal connections to help you stand out. Look for awards and accomplishments that you can congratulate them on.
3. Master the phone interview
The phone interview is often the first of two or three (or more!) interviews that could take place in person. There are two types of phone interviews - The phone screen, usually done by someone in HR, and the phone interview, which is done by the hiring manager.
Give yourself the best chance of acing the phone interview by finding a quiet place, listening carefully to the interviewer, and enunciating clearly. Dressing up for the interview helps you get in the mindset to take this interview seriously. Standing up during the phone interview will help give you more energy. Of course, prepare for the interview as well, and have your resume in front of your for reference.
4. Best foot forward
Remember that nerves are normal. The interviewer has been in your shoes before!
Dress for success. Aim for a conservative suit or outfit, depending on the company culture and keep accessories to a minimum. Check out our Pinterest boards for ideas.
5. Be prepared to ASK
Remember that the interview is a two-way street. You should come prepared to ask the interviewer questions about the workplace, your role, and your team. Avoid questions about pay, benefits, or background checks. End your list of questions with asking about the next step in the hiring process.
6. Prepare to answer
Interviews can be stressful, but preparing answers can help alleviate some of this stress. Be prepared to answer questions about what's on your resume, behavioral-based questions, and general interviewing questions.
Be prepared to answer questions like "Tell me about yourself," "Tell me about a situation when your priorities quickly changed or shifted," and "How do you organize and plan for major projects?" Give examples of how you've succeeded in each of these situations.
For ways to tackle tough interview questions, check out our tips from a recruiter.
7. Be a STAR
The STAR method can help you provide specific and detailed answers to behavioral-based questions. Keep your responses between 1 and 3 minutes.
Situation - Open with a brief description of the situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, and how).
Task - Explain the task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraints (deadlines, costs, other issues).
Action - Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.).
How you present yourself is key to a successful interview. Have a strong hand shake. Keep great posture. Actively listen. Maintain eye contact. Avoid negative talk and non-words, like "um." Shy away from talking too much (remember to keep your responses to under three minutes).
9. Ask for the job!
You can take one of seven approaches to asking for the job: direct approach, feedback, next steps, objections, ranking, fit, or the 1-10 approach. Examples include
10. Follow up
Ask about the next steps before you leave the interivew. Get your thank you note in lightning speed. Ask if you can connect on LinkedIn (and then do it!). If things drag out, check in periodically.
Now you're ready to ace your interview!
These tips came from the Advanced Resources webinar, "Ace the Interview, Land the Job!" For even more job seeker tips, sign up for one of our future webinars, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.