• Danielle McGuinness

How to Ace that Job Interview!

Updated: Sep 7, 2018

So it is the big day! You fought hard for this - now to convert the job interview to a job offer, here are my tips for success -

Do your research!

You need to be prepared for the question - "Why do you want to work here?" - gather as much information about the organization and the hiring managers as you can - good resources - LinkedIn and Glassdoor - learn as much as you can about the company's past performance and future plans - ask yourself "how can I add value?". The more information you have the more confident and comfortable you will be.

(Insider's tip - send LI requests to your interviewer before the meeting)

Use Your Connections to Get the Inside Scoop!

If you know someone who works at the organization or who can put you in touch with a current or former employee, you’ll be able to gather information that can give you an advantage over the other applicants.

Check out LinkedIn to see if you have contacts at the company you can use to get insider information. Use your alumni network.

(Insider's tip - don't let fear hold you back - use every tool available to you!)

Take the Time to Practice!

If you want to get better at something - do more of it! Have some fun - practice interviews with a friend or family member, and ask for their feedback. You can also record or videotape your responses so you can review your answers and check your body language.

(Insider's tip - you don't have to memorize answers, but having a general idea of what you're going to say will stave those nerves!)

Learn Behavioral Interviewing Techniques

It is a safe bet that your interview will include behavior based questions - the idea being that past performance indicates future performance.

The best way to prepare is to make a list of your skills, values, and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses. For each item on the list, consider a time when you displayed that quality.

(Insider's tip - make sure your answers are related to the job for which you are interviewing!)

Prepare for Different Types of Interviews

It is important to know what type of interview you will have, so you can effectively prepare.

Phone and Video Interviews

Make sure you have a quiet place to interview and the necessary technology. Make sure you won't be interrupted! Treat phone and video interviews as you would an in-person interview that is - do your research and prep!

(Insider's tip - do a trial run to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day!)

Out of the Office Interviews

Interviews (especially second or third meetings) might take place in a cafe or a restaurant - you will want to review polite dining tips before you go. Get to the restaurant a few minutes early, and expect the hiring manager to pick up the check. Check online to get a sense of appropriate attire to wear. You may also be able to review the menu to get ideas on what to order.

Interviewing over a cup of coffee is much less formal, even though it can be a stepping stone to a formal in-office interview.

(Insider's tip - review the menu before you go - have an idea on what you want to order - not the lobster!!)

Group Interviews

Ugh - the dreaded panel interview - practice your listening skills, body language and remember to cast your gaze equally to all members of the panel.

(Insider's tip - don't hesitate to seek clarity on the type of interview and questioning you should expect on the day!)

Dress for Success

You will want to decide what to wear before the interview day. What you wear is a big part of that all important first impression. It is always a good idea to dress just a little bit more professionally than the dress code requires. Your goal is to make the best impression possible.

(Insider's tip - if going straight from your super casual office to the interview pack a jacket or even a complete change of clothes and stop en route - a cafe or even your gym's change room - don't let casual Friday ruin your chances of success!)

How to Handle the Day of the Interview

Be on time - but no more than 5 minutes early! Wait outside the building or in the foyer if necessary. Now is the time to practice your deep breathing - be in the moment, now is not the time to let doubts start to creep in.

(Insider's tip - check out the location before the big day - do a dry run if you feel that will help with nerves!)

Interview Etiquette

I once had a candidate lose a job opportunity as they were not friendly to potential co-workers in the lift lobby - use every opportunity to engage in a friendly and positive manner to EVERYONE you meet. Shake hands, look people in the eye, be your authentic fabulous and friendly self!

(Insider's tip - the hiring manager may ask the receptionist for their impressions of you!)

What to bring

Do bring a copy of your resume and references and work samples, bring a list of questions to ask the interviewer/panel. You can never look too prepared.

Don't bring coffee, this is a no chew gum zone and please turn off your phone!!! (many embarrassing stories of phones buzzing and ringing mid interviews).

(Insider's tip - do not sit in reception looking at your phone - it might help nerves but it is not a good look!)

Remember - this is your opportunity to ask as much about the company as you want to - you need to know that this is a place you want to invest your time and skills - go get it!


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