Job Interview Success Tips

Facing a job interview can make even the most confident job seeker nervous. With a little direction from Adecco and our thorough interview prep kit, get ready to face your next interview with the confidence required to impress the employer and land the job!

Young professional on job interview: how to prepare for a job interview

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or fifty-first, an interview is a stressful experience. Ready to ace that interview and land your dream job? For more on how to prepare for a job interview, Adecco has you covered with our complete prep kit to help you improve your interview skills, build your confidence and wow that potential employer.

1. Prepare yourself

The best interview techniques involve a little bit of homework. From understanding their corporate values and being aware of the latest news about the company to identifying how your skills and experience can enhance the organization, pre-interview research is essential to nailing the interview. This exercise will help you identify why you are the perfect fit, while providing you with the supporting examples to prove it during your interview.

Research the company

Young woman working on desktop pc at desk

There is comfort in knowledge, so when preparing for your job interview take the time to research the company. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the organization and the industry they are operating in.

Use the following sources for research:

  • Online search engines and the company website
  • Trade journals
  • Annual reports
  • Friends and colleagues.

Through your research, familiarize yourself with the company’s products and services, business news, social media, corporate culture and competition. This will help you provide answers during your interview that are directed specifically towards their business.

Do your homework on yourself

With a thorough understanding of the business and brand, it is now time to put yourself under the microscope. Researching yourself prior to an interview is a beneficial practice to help you prepare interview answers while also giving you the opportunity to manage your digital presence to ensure your best foot is always forward.

Consult your resume

Re-familiarize yourself with your resume. Review positions, responsibilities, accomplishments and dates. While you’re reviewing, think critically about what your resume says about you; anticipate interview questions surrounding your skills, experience, education and achievements. Consider your strengths and weaknesses as listed in the skills section as well as the skills and experience you may have gained through older positions not listed on your resume. Lastly, ensure that you can explain any gaps in employment.

Google yourself

Search your full name, phone number and email address (past and present!). Remove any information or content that you don’t want your future employer to see. And don’t forget to check the image results as well as web page results. Check your privacy settings on your social media platforms. Run a clean sweep to remove any controversial content from your feed that may negatively represent you.

2. Nail your phone interview

Young man having a phone interview: how to answer phone interview questions

You may find that your first contact with the company is through a telephone interview. Although the experience may seem more casual than an in-person interview, there are still some things to keep in mind when preparing to answer phone interview questions.

Keep in mind:

  • Find the right location where you get optimal cell phone service and won’t be distracted by other people or miscellaneous sounds.
  • Dress to impress, even if you won’t be seen. Dressing professionally can help you feel professional and speak with confidence in your phone interview.
  • Keep your resume handy for specific examples of skills and job responsibilities when answering interview questions.
  • Speak clearly and enthusiastically when you answer questions to show your interest in the position.
  • Don’t forget to prepare and ask your own questions, including position requirements and next steps in the hiring process.
  • Send a thank you note after the interview to the hiring manager to thank them for their time and consideration.

Once you’ve aced your phone interview, you’re ready to face the in-person interview.

3. Perfect your Answers

You may be familiar with these common interview questions

  • What do you look for in a job?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What is your biggest weakness?

But can you confidently answer them in front of an interview panel?

Don’t let interview questions catch you off guard. Your interview preparation should include shaping the perfect answers to highlight your skills and wow your potential employer.

Learn to nail your answers

Although it’s a useful reference, try not to use your resume as a crutch when answering interview questions. Your potential employer already knows what you’ve included in your resume, so try to diversify your answers with additional skills and concrete examples of your experience to provide fresh content for your interviewer.

In need of direction? Use the following tips to successfully answer interview questions:

  • Keep the job description and requirements in mind to target your skills and experience to what the company is looking for.
  • Brag a little! After all, this is often your one shot to make the best impression on the hiring manager. Emphasize your accomplishments to come out on top.
  • Don’t get caught in a lie. Be honest about your experiences and skills.
  • Use concrete examples from past work experiences that highlight your skills and abilities.
  • Answer behavioural questions by utilizing the STAR method.

Prepare questions of your own

Think of asking questions in the interview as a mandatory component of the process. Not only does it show your interest in the position and their organization, it will help you determine if the position is the best fit for you. Remember, the best interviews resemble conversations. Create a conversation with your potential employer by asking good interview questions of your own!

Here are a few of our favourite questions to ask in an interview:

  • What do people like most about working here?
  • What qualities do some of your top performing colleagues share?
  • Who are your competitors and how does your company compare?
  • Tell me about a typical day.

When it comes to discussing compensation in the interview, approach the topic conservatively. Treat it on a case-by-case basis by taking cues from your interviewer on whether pay is an appropriate topic in this conversation.

Body talk

Keep in mind that during your interview you will be judged by more than your interview answers. Your body language says a lot about your interest in the position and respect for the interviewers and organization as a whole. From your handshake to posture and eye contact, it all matters. For effective body language tricks to help you ace your next interview, click here!

4. Practice makes perfect

Once you’ve worked out your answers, it’s time to practice. Just as an actor rehearses their lines, practicing your interview will help you perfect your interview questions and answers and gain confidence when it’s show time.

A few tips for practicing your interview questions:

  1. Pick the right partner – Although all practice is helpful when preparing for your interview, try to select a partner in the same field or industry if possible. This will ensure the feedback and questions are coming from experience and will more accurately represent the questions and opinions of your interviewer.
  2. Provide a list of interview questions – Prepare for you practice interview by creating a list of common interview questions for your partner to ask. Gather questions you may have faced in past interviews, as well as familiar favourites you may come across online.
  3. Let your partner improvise – You aren’t going to know all the questions for your interview, so make sure to practice thinking on your feet. Ask your partner to throw in a couple improvised questions to practice constructing the perfect response on the spot.
  4. Welcome feedback – It’s never easy to receive feedback, even if it’s constructive. But when practicing for an interview, embracing constructive feedback can help you land that dream job. Ask your practice buddy to be honest, apply their comments and then try again.

With lots of practice, you will walk into your interview feeling knowledgeable and confident!

5. Dress to impress

A first impression is a lasting impression. Your interview look should reflect the image you want to portray and mimic the company culture. When in doubt, “dress up” instead of down, take a conservative approach and put your trust in darker coloured clothing.

6. Send your thanks

The interview may be complete, but your work is not over yet. Proper post interview etiquette can help you stand out from the crowd and bring you one step closer to the job of your dreams!

Send a thank you note

Thank the hiring managers for their time and consideration with a thank-you note after the interview. Specify the job you applied for, reiterate your strengths for the position and thank the employer for their time. Keep it short and concise and drop it in the mail to truly impress.

Follow up

Don’t let weeks go by without hearing back from the hiring manager. Wait an appropriate amount of time and then pick up the phone to follow up. This will highlight your interest in the role and help you obtain a final answer quicker.

Keep applying to jobs

Waiting on a positive hiring decision from one employer can lead to wasted time and missed opportunities. With the job interview behind you, keep active in your job search and apply to any jobs you feel are a good fit.

A few additional job interview tips:

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Show genuine enthusiasm towards the company and position.
  • Refrain from one word answers such as “yes” or “no” and provide clear and specific examples.
  • Don’t talk poorly about current or previous employers.
  • Always ask questions.
  • Mind your manners.

For job advice that includes interview preparation, turn to the experts at Adecco, who have been connecting top candidates with some of the best employers worldwide for 46 years. Ready to take the plunge? Register with Adecco today!

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