Interview Success Tips

Posted: July 25, 2018 1:00:00 PM CDT

Interview Success Tips Now that you’ve perfected your resume and cover letter, it’s time to start preparing for the next stage—interviews. It is your job to convince the employer that you have the skills, knowledge, and motivation to hold the position and be effective. To help you get closer to that job offer, here are some tips from the University of Nebraska at Kearney that you should keep in mind:

Before the Interview

Use Google Alerts

Keep up with the company’s activity so you’re up-to-date on all events and headlines. This can be difficult if you are applying to multiple places. Use Google Alerts to help you out with this. It will save you a substantial amount of time and effort.

Google Alerts will email you any time a new story appears if it meets the specific terms you set up. That way, you’ll be aware of current events in the industry or with your potential employer.

Prepare Your Selling Points

Go into every interview with three to five points that make you the best candidate for the job. Make sure these are clear to the employer in the interview by stating your point and following it up with an example.

Practice!

Everyone knows to prepare for common interview questions, but try to prepare like you’re in the interview. Practice with a few friends, record yourself, or use UNK’s Big Interview site so you are forced to speak out loud. It’s easy to have a response in your head, but sometimes it isn’t verbalized as clearly as you thought it.

Rather than memorizing your responses, develop talking points and base your responses on those. This helps you to sound more authentic instead of rehearsed.

Prepare for the “What’s Your Weakness?” Question

Try not too overthink this one. It’s a question most people answer with a canned response like “I am a perfectionist.” That really isn’t what this question is asking. It’s asking what you have done to overcome your weaknesses. The best response for this is listing off one or two areas you aren’t the strongest in and following it with what you do to try and better yourself in that area.

Example: “One area I struggled in was running an efficient meeting. To improve on that, I now prepare with an agenda that is sent to all members prior to the meeting. After the meeting has concluded, I follow up with all the members to make sure we have a solid foundation for moving forward.”

Fix a Problem

Identify a problem within the company and come up with a solution. Don’t be afraid to be specific with this. You can usually find a problem based off the position they are hiring for. In most cases, they are hiring to resolve a problem they are facing. Review the job description and use your previous research of the company to solve the issue. Even if the interviewer doesn’t bring this up, it could show the company you are willing to take the initiative, and this could add value to your stock as a potential hire.

During the Interview

The Interview Begins Before it Starts

Remember, the interview starts as soon as you walk through the door. Treat everyone with the respect they deserve and make good first impressions. The three to five people you interact with before the actual interview could be a factor in whether or not you get the job.

Make a Connection

Before the questions begin, attempt to take a moment and connect with the person who is interviewing you. Talk about anything except the actual interview. This can potentially be an X-factor in landing the job.

This person may be interviewing many people for the position, so standing out and connecting with them about something other than work may make you more memorable. Just try to avoid topics that are controversial.

Mimic

Individuals respond better to others who they feel they are in “sync” with. Mimicking the interviewer’s verbal and nonverbal communication can build a sense of trust.

Try to match their tone of voice, posture, and body language. Poor body language can be a reason not to hire you, so make sure you keep eye contact, smile, and engage in active listening.

Ask Your Own Questions

This is your chance to learn more about the position and any other questions that arise from your research. Try to have a few questions prepared so when you are asked, you show that you have a high interest in the position and you have done your research. This will add to your value as a prime candidate.

Close on a Positive Note

As the interview is coming to an end, reinforce your selling points and why you feel you’d be a strong hire within the company. Be sure to ask questions, learn what the next steps are in the process, and when to expect a final decision about the position. This is your last chance to show your enthusiasm about the position and clear up any questions that you feel were left unanswered in the interview.

After the Interview

Send a Thank-You

Send an email to each person that interviewed you, thanking them for the opportunity. This is common practice, and you do not want to be the one candidate who doesn’t do this. If multiple people were in the interview, try to personalize each thank you email by referring to something you and that interviewer discussed. The best way to do this is writing down notes right after the interview about specific topics each interviewer addressed.

Don’t Appear Overeager

A quick way to remove yourself from the discussion is appearing overeager. After you send your thank you emails, DO NOT contact the employer anymore. The only time you should contact the company is if the date they said they would make a decision by has passed.

Having success in interviews takes research and practice. The more dedicated you are, the more success you’ll have. Be persistent and keep a positive attitude!

To view more interview success tips and resources, visit UNK Academic and Career Services

By: Dylan Munson

Category: eCampus, General

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