Do you have a job interview coming up? Whether you are an interview pro or just starting out, take a look at these 9 tips and tricks to help you succeed during your next interview.
Your experience and skills listed on your resume were just the start of the interview process. While these get your foot in the door, you also need to show interest in the company and the hiring manager. It’s important to research the industry, the background of the person who is interviewing you, and the company as well. If you don’t, surveys suggest that 47% of hiring managers will count it against you. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, blogs, etc.
If you are preparing for a virtual interview, it is important that you are familiar with the platform being used (ex: Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, etc.). Make sure that your software is downloaded ahead of the interview time. Try running a practice video call with a friend or family member to check that there is no lag time, and there are no audio problems.
It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and how you look in the video. Check your lighting, height of your webcam, and the sound quality in the room. If there are any possibilities of distractions, it increases the chances of you giving a poor impression. Make sure that you are in a quiet area, that your background in the video is plain, and that you are free from any distractions.
When attending an interview, it is said that 33% of hiring managers know whether they are going to hire someone in the first 90 seconds of meeting them. They will be looking at your body language, your handshake, whether you are smiling (or not), if you were on your phone in the waiting area, and more. You only get one first impression and it’s important to make it count! Be aware of your posture, give the interviewer a good handshake, and engage in pleasant conversation right off the bat.
38% of hiring managers will cross you off their list of potential candidates if you do not have confidence. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, why should they? It’s important to be friendly, make eye contact, move with intention, and lastly, use “open” postures (shoulders open and hand gestures) rather than “closed” postures (crossed arms and slumping).
If you are listing specific design experience or technology skills on your resume, be prepared to talk about them. You will need to be able to explain every detail on your resume and explain how it benefited your previous company. Same with your portfolio - if you are showcasing your work, be prepared to discuss each project in detail.
Part of interviewing is knowing that your hiring manager might throw you some curveballs. They want to see what your technical skill sets are, how you work with others, and how you process job responsibilities. If they throw you a curveball question while trying to find this out – it is alright to pause. It is better to take a minute and answer a question well, than to instantly blurt out an answer you will regret later.
When asked why you are leaving your current organization, it can be easy to speak negatively about your employer. The interviewer is not interested in your laundry list of complaints. Not to mention, it might give a bad impression. If you are willing to speak negatively about your past company, why wouldn’t you do the same to them? Instead, take what currently makes you unhappy, and reverse it as something positive you are looking for in your next role.
A common mistake at the end of an interview is someone enthusiastically responding “No”! when asked if they have any questions. It’s important to take the opportunity to gain some real insight into the organization. Having questions about the company, your interviewer, or the location of the organization also shows a genuine interest in the position.
It’s also important to always ask “What reservations do you have on my ability to complete this position?” or “What reservations do you have about me joining your team?”. This will give you a final opportunity to answer any last-minute questions or concerns the hiring manager might have and allow you to clear up any misunderstandings.