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7 Tips to Nail Your Next Interview

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Rock your next interview.

You know that you have the qualifications and the determination to be an excellent candidate for a job opening, but no matter how perfect your resume, the interview process can feel stressful. You want to make sure you impress the hiring manager and show off your skills, but nerves can derail your confidence. The best way to tackle those nerves head-on? Make sure you’re prepared for anything that might come up in an interview. Here are seven strategies to prepare you for interviews.

1. Dress the part.

No matter the position you’re applying for, make sure you dress for success. Most people determine their first impression of you within 7 seconds of meeting - and some research says that they’ve made a decision about who you are within a tenth of a second. That’s not much time, so what you wear to your interview needs to do a lot of work. Make sure you present the best version of yourself and show the person you’re interviewing with that you take the opportunity seriously! Dress appropriately for your industry, make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free and don’t forget to hold back on strong fragrances for the interview. Some people are allergic to perfumes so don’t risk causing a reaction.

Besides helping you make a solid first impression, dressing well, and in a way that reflects some of your personality, can give you a boost of confidence.

2. Know your stuff.

No matter what industry you’re hoping to work in, going to an interview and knowing nothing about the position you’re applying for is wasting the interviewer’s time, as well as yours. Even if you’re applying for a job that is just meant to pay the bills, you should have read the job description carefully, including what’s expected in the role, what you should have experience in, and what part you’d play on the team as a whole. If you want the job, you should act like it, and understanding what the role involves is a big deal.

You should also know about the company. It’s just as important as knowing what position you’re applying for. You may be asked why you want to work there, what drew you to the company, or what you like about the company. Doing your homework beforehand will show the interviewer that you’re a serious candidate and want this job.

3. Know what makes you stand out.

You’re not the only one who applied for the position and it’s unlikely that you’re the only candidate being interviewed. The hiring manager may have spoken with a handful of applicants before you and, if they were serious about the opportunity, they prepared just as much. So what makes you different? What puts you ahead of the pack? Interviewers are used to the generic, not-quite-honest answers applicants tend to give, so avoid trying to sound good and sound like yourself. Honestly, think about what makes you who you are. Do you have an incredible knack for organization? Are you amazing at making people feel calm in stressful situations? That talent could be the difference between you getting hired and the company going with a different candidate.

4. Be able to describe why you’re a good fit.

What makes you the right person for the job over someone else? Is it your experience? Your education? Your personality? You should be able to clearly explain why your skills make you the best candidate.

5. Learn to answer commonly-asked interview questions.

There are some common interview questions that you know to expect no matter what type of job you’re applying for. Some of those are tougher to answer than others, so take some time to consider your answers before the interview. Have a solid, honest answer ready for each of the following.

  1. What’s your greatest strength?
  2. What’s your greatest weakness?
  3. Can you describe a time you had to deal with an angry customer or client?
  4. How have you resolved problems on the job in the past?
  5. What would you like us to know about you?
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
  7. Why are you leaving your current job?
  8. Why do you want this job?

The interviewer will know if you’re just saying what you think they want to hear if you’re not honest with your answers. After all, how many times have they probably heard an applicant describe their biggest weakness as “being a perfectionist who doesn’t know when to stop working so hard?” Frame your weakness as something fixable, but don’t try and make it an opportunity to brag.

6. Ask thoughtful questions.

Many people assume that not having any questions at the end of the interview makes you look confident and smart. You don’t need to know anything else, right? Wrong. By not asking questions, it seems like you are uninterested. You don’t need to ask a million questions, but having a few good ones ready can be helpful. Some questions you can ask include

  • What’s the company culture like?
  • What’s a normal day or week like in this specific role?
  • Are there opportunities for career growth in this role?

7. Practice, prepare, and stay positive.

If you’re worried that your interview skills are on the weaker side, the best way to get stronger is through practice. Prepare all of the necessary information, make sure you know what the company is about, decide how you’ll answer some tough questions, and then sit down in front of a mirror — or, even better, with a friend — and have a mock interview. A little bit of practice can help ease your mind and have you feeling relaxed and confident. Make sure to also keep a positive attitude in mind. If you go into the interview thinking that you’re going to do terribly, you’ve set yourself up to fail. A positive attitude can help you stay upbeat and keep calm.

H4: Add new skills to your resume.

Whether you’re looking to further your career or just develop new skills, adding a certificate or diploma can help you prepare to stand out to potential employers. ICS Canada’s flexible, online courses can be done around your work schedule, wherever you are. To get started, talk with an Admissions Specialist today at 1.888.427.2400.

Categories: Career Planning

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