If you’re looking to make a job move and progress your career, it’s important to give yourself the best possible chance of acing the job interview. After all, this is your chance to show the company why you’re the best candidate for the role.
In this blog, we’ll give you some key tips on how to do just that. We’ll start by discussing how research can help you form a connection with the interviewer and understand what the company is looking for in a candidate. Then we’ll move on to giving advice on how to answer common interview questions and sell yourself effectively.
Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to stand out from the competition!
Research your interviewers in advance
More often than not, you’ll be in a position of knowing who your interviewers are in advance of your job interview. This gives you the opportunity to do some research on them prior to meeting in person.
Look them up on LinkedIn, read their bio on the company website and try to find any common ground that you can mention during the interview. This will help you form a bond with them, making the interview feel more like a conversation. It’s also likely to make a lasting impression, which helps when interviewers are reflecting back on the candidates they met and which of them they’re going to progress through to the next round.
What might be areas of common ground? Perhaps you went to the same college as your interviewer. Perhaps you can see they hire a lot of people who studied the course you studied. Maybe there’s something about their background or outside interests that would be a good icebreaker topic of conversation.
A little research here goes a long way in creating a strong impression – but lots of candidates overlook doing this. So don’t be one of them.
Research the company
Alongside researching your interviewers, it’s also a good idea to research the company thoroughly before your job interview because you want to go into the interview feeling prepared. It’s amazing how much better candidates perform when they go to an interview with the feeling of confidence that comes from having done your research.
Read up on the company’s website, any recent news developments – and try to track down some of the conversations that staff have been having on LinkedIn. By doing this, you’ll find you’re able to ask more informed questions about the company – plus you will avoid being caught out if your interviewer asks what you think about the company and their recent news. In essence, you’ll show the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the position and have done your homework.
Be prepared to answer common interview questions
One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to anticipate the sorts of questions you might be asked. While there’s no way to predict exactly what will come up, there are certain questions that tend to crop up time and again.
Some common examples include:
Why are you interested in this role?
There are a few different ways you can answer this question, depending on what you want to highlight about yourself.
For example, you could discuss your interest in the company’s mission or values, or how the role aligns with your long-term career goals. Alternatively, you could emphasize your qualifications and explain why you would be a good fit for the position.
Ultimately, the best way to answer this question is to be honest and genuine – let your interviewer know what about the role has piqued your interest and why you think you would excel in it.
What can you bring to the company?
With this question, you may need to tailor your answer to each company you’re interviewing with. However, in general, a good answer should highlight your skills and strengths, and explain how you can help the company achieve its goals.
For example, you might say that you’re an excellent problem solver, or that you have strong communication skills. You could also describe specific projects or initiatives that you’ve spearheaded in the past and explain how your skills would be put to good use at the company you’re interviewing with.
Make sure to tailor your answer to each interviewer and each job position. The key is to be specific about why you are interested in the role and how you can contribute to the company’s success
The bottom line is that you should be clear about what you can offer the company, and back it up with specific examples from .
What do you know about our products/services?
When interviewers ask this question, they are looking to see if you have taken the time to do your research on their company and its products or services. Partly this is a way of seeing how diligent you are and how thorough you’ve been in preparing for your interview; and partly it’s an opportunity to gauge your interest in their business and what it sells.
Your answer should start with a brief overview of what the company does and then focus on how your skills and experience align with what you believe the company is looking to achieve. You should also mention any relevant research you have done on the company’s products or services.
Why do you want to work for us?
There are a few different ways you can answer this question. First, you could emphasize how the company’s mission aligns with your personal values. For example, if you’re passionate about environmental sustainability, you might say that you want to work for a company that is making a positive impact on the planet.
You could also highlight how the company’s products or services have helped you in the past and how you believe they can continue to help others. For example, if you’ve had great experiences using a certain software or app from the company, you could talk about how excited you are to help contribute to its success.
Lastly, you could simply express your interest in the specific role or team you’re applying for and the calibre of the people you’ll be learning from and working with.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer/colleague/situation.
It can be tough to answer behavioral interview questions like “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer / colleague / situation.” However, by taking the time to prepare ahead of your interview, you can craft a strong answer that will be more likely to impress.
First, try to think of a specific situation you could talk about in your interview. Then, think about the steps you took to successfully resolve the situation. Next, tailor your answer so that it highlights your skills and abilities. Finally, practice telling your story out loud so that it sounds natural and confident. By following these tips, you’ll be able to confidently answer any question about dealing with difficult situations like these!
Hopefully the above example questions and answers help you in thinking about your job interview preparation. Depending on the sector you are targeting, there may be other questions you might expect to face. So do your homework accordingly.
By preparing answers to these sorts of questions, you achieve two things. Firstly, you boost your confidence ahead of the interview – which is all important! Secondly, you make it more likely your answers will flow during the interview and the key points you want to convey in the interview will be made and will land strongly.
It can give you a real competitive edge in your job interviews if you can find a way to ‘sell yourself’ in a confident and convincing manner. This is all about knowing your achievements and relevant facts and figures that will help you explain why you’re the best candidate for the job.
When interviewers ask questions like “Tell me about yourself,” they are looking for more than just a brief overview of your professional history. They want to know what makes you unique and why you would be an asset to their company. Facts, figures, achievements and brand names you’ve worked with or sold to, all help to bolster your credibility as a candidate.
One word of warning though. Try to avoid sounding too rehearsed or boastful in your delivery, as this could come across as insincere. Instead, focus on conveying your excitement for the opportunity and why your past achievements give you confidence that you’d be a success in the role.
We hope that our tips will help you feel more confident and prepared when attending your next job interviews. Remember to always do your research on both the company and the individuals who’ll be interviewing you; familiarize yourself with and try to loosely prepare some answers; and most importantly of all – figure out in advance how you are going to sell yourself!