How to Ace a Job Interview
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How to Ace a Job Interview

With practice and a great first impression, job seekers can nab the perfect job.

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three women sitting beside table
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Young professionals applying for jobs may face a few challenges amid a fluctuating job market. Although hiring remains high following the pandemic, economic uncertainty has many companies tightening their grip on staffing.

Even e-commerce giant Amazon announced in mid-November that the company intended to lay off nearly 10,000 employees between now and throughout 2023 — a common trend among tech companies in recent months.

While the situation seems dire, job seekers shouldn't feel discouraged. With practice and a great first impression, they can nab the perfect job. Here are eight tips to help you ace a job interview.

1. Research the Company

Preparation should always start with researching the company. The formula for a successful job interview begins with knowing the company's mission and vision statements, accomplishments, culture and recent announcements.

It also helps to look up the interviewer's LinkedIn account to learn more about them.

Researching the company can help you contextualize your answers to potential questions about your background and skills.

2. Create a List of Talking Points

Every job posting typically receives about 118 applications — yet, only 20% of applicants get invited to interview. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll want to stand out among the others.

Reread the job requirements and jot down talking points for the interview — this might include achievements, special projects and skills. Employers greatly value the ability to learn quickly, actively listen and provide exemplary service.

Interviews may last only 30 minutes, so you'll want to highlight only the most important bullet points. Other times, interviews might run for over an hour, or they'll ask you to return for another round.

3. Print a Copy of Your Resume

Keep a copy of your resume and cover letter in a portfolio for the interviewer. It'll also benefit you to have an extra copy for self-reference.

Although the hiring manager will likely come to the interview with the essential documents and information, you'll demonstrate your attention to detail and preparedness by keeping a spare.

4. Ensure a Strong Wireless Connection

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, industries leaned into video conferencing to stay connected. Services like Zoom provided conferencing setups for conducting team meetings, maintaining client communications and even virtual medical appointments.

Approximately 82% of employers adopted virtual interviews for job applicants during COVID-19 — about 61% plan to combine video and in-person interviews, while 22% will transition to fully remote interviewing in the future.

You must always ensure a strong internet connection for a scheduled virtual interview. Additionally, it's in your best interest to troubleshoot microphone and speaker systems, background settings and positioning in advance.

5. Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

Most interview questions will pertain to job-specific topics — however, interviewers often ask common questions to get to know applicants better.

It's impossible to know what questions they'll ask you but having a few answers prepared is a good idea. Common questions for job interviews usually include the following:

  • What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • 6. Prepare Smart Questions to Ask the Interviewer

    Likewise, you'll make a great impression if you come prepared with questions for the interviewer. The most insightful the questions, the better shot you have at acing the job interview, for example:

    • What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 90 days?
    • What skills are the team missing that you want the applicant to fulfill?
    • How will my responsibilities change over six months, one year and longer?
    • What's your favorite part about working here?

    Asking the hiring manager questions demonstrates your interest and allows you to determine if you and the company are a good fit.

    7. Dress the Part

    Many companies have eased their dress code to accommodate remote work and a younger, more smart-casual workforce. However, you should still dress professionally for your interview.

    Look for employee photos on the company website, peruse Google images for pictures of the office and consider the industry to determine how formally you should dress.

    If interviewing virtually, count your background as part of your attire — the hiring manager will look for a clutter-free, professional setup.

    8. Follow Up With an Email

    You can increase your chances of getting hired by following up with a thank-you email.

    Your message doesn't have to be lengthy — simply reiterate your interest and express gratitude for meeting with them.

    Unless they gave you a hiring timeline, sending another email after a week of no response is acceptable.

    Ace a Job Interview the Smart Way

    The hiring process can be exhausting and emotionally draining. However, you can impress the interviewer by being prepared and enthusiastic about the role.

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    This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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