5 Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Interview
I sit stiffly in a chair in the reception area, trying to look calm and collected as I silently chant a list of my past work experiences, the company mandate, and my biggest weakness (what kind of a question is that anyways…?!). My hands begin to sweat as I think about the oncoming barrage of questions and calculating looks that is sure to be in store for me, and I try to wipe my palms discreetly on my freshly ironed pants. The secretary glances over just as I finish swiping them along my quads, leaving a guilty glisten on the non-absorbent fabric. Perfect. She’s probably sending an email to the interviewers right now, telling them not to waste their time on a sweating, unqualified mess like myself. I try to hide my agitation by picking up a magazine and beginning to leaf through its glossy pages. Just be cool Em, just be cool. The secretary looks up again, just in time for me to realize that I’m holding the magazine upside down. Perfect.
Does this situation sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but this is how I used to feel before pretty much every job interview I went to. It was not a pretty sight.
Fortunately, I’ve recently discovered a few awesome tips to help prepare for, feel confident about, and ace future job interviews. So if you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming interview, you’ve come to the right place! With a little extra work and determination, you can score the job of your dreams.
#1. Know the company. I know this sounds like common sense, but it’s truly a great way to impress your prospective employers in an interview. Going the extra mile and researching all possible facets of an organization will give you some great material to work with on the day of your interview. Try to work little tidbits of background info into as many responses as you can. Mentioning a company’s charity work or eco-friendly practices will let the employer know that you have really done your homework and are invested in the company.
#2. Write a list of questions you think they might ask you, and actually come up with answers for them. Then get a friend to do a pretend interview with you. Actually vocalizing your responses is much more effective than just running through them in your head, and will help you start to get comfortable talking about yourself in front of others.
#3. Know the secret behind the “Biggest Weakness” question. This question secretly has two parts. As you know, it’s an opportunity for you to be honest about your weaknesses that would pertain to the job. But more importantly, it’s an opportunity to tell them how you are working on improving in that area.
Example: “My biggest weakness is that I am not comfortable using Microsoft Excel.” Don’t stop there! Tell them how you’re going to remedy this:
“But I’ve recently started taking some Excel tutorials on YouTube, and I find they’re really helping me improve my understanding of the program.”
Let them know that you are not only self-aware, but also invested in self-improvement.
#4. Wear your favourite underwear. I know this one sounds a little crazy, but it honestly works. Feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin is a very attractive trait for employers, and it starts far before you slip your new blazer on. If you feel like a million bucks, you’ll interview like a million bucks. Trust me. Wear your best undies.
#5. Ask good questions at the end! I used to think that not asking any questions was better, because I didn’t want to seem uninformed or waste their time. Wrong! Asking one or two well thought out questions can show employers that you’ve done your homework and are serious about succeeding. Not sure which questions to ask? Here’s a list of some good ones from “8 Great Questions to Ask During a Job Interview” by Aaron Guerrero, U.S. News and World Report:
That’s all I have for now, I hope these helped! Good luck on all of your interviews, and let me know if you have any other tips!