The 5 Keys to Nailing Your Next Job Interview

With job application season upon us, many of us will (hopefully) be landing a few job interviews. However, interviews can be incredibly nerve-wracking and stressful. Here are five keys to succeeding at your next one. 

  1. 1. Be Prepared

    Preparing for an interview is the most important thing you can do to make sure you have a positive experience. First, make sure you know the responsibilities for the position you’re applying to. It’s also essential that you know the company’s mandate, key projects and values. This knowledge will allow you to answer interview questions in a way that highlights what you have to offer to their specific purpose and goals. 

     

    It’s also key that you write down some possible interview questions and craft answers to them. While interviews can vary, it’s likely that there will be questions about your skills and experience, as well as a situational question. Not only should you think about your answers, but you should practice them out loud and in front of a mirror. Do this as many times as possible. It will not only give you confidence in your answers, but it will allow you to see your body language and adjust it if needed. For example, I suffer from a serious case of resting b*tch face, so I try to be more expressive during interviews. I never would have known that this is something I need to be aware of if I hadn’t practiced in the mirror. 

  2. 2. Know Your Resume

    Review your resume before your interview. Make sure you remember what specific responsibilities and skills are included in it; employers may refer to them during your interview. 

    The more you can talk about and draw from your experience, the more successful your interview will be. Knowing your resume will also allow you to speak about specific skills or experiences that have prepared you for the particular position.

  3. 3. Fake it Till You Make It!

    For many of us, pre-interview nerves can be brutal. If you are extremely nervous in the weeks and/or days leading up to your interview, channel that energy into preparation. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be. On the day of the interview, it will be time to fake your confidence. This is easier said than done, but there are some mind tricks you can use to help yourself out. I sometimes pretend that the interview isn’t real. That is to say that I think of it as a daydream where I can be whoever I want to be. If you tell yourself you are a highly qualified and super confident candidate, you will be more likely to act that way.

  4. 4. Talk to ALL Interviewers

    Many interviews will be conducted by two or more people. It is essential that you try to look at and speak to all the interviewers during your interview. While one may come off as ‘nicer’ or more relaxed, try not to direct all your answers to them. You never know who is responsible for the final hiring decision, and if you never made eye contact with the person who is, you likely will not get the job. Giving everyone equal attention is also just and important sign of respect. 

     

    It’s also important to make eye contact throughout the interview. When we are nervous, we tend to look down or look past the person we’re talking to. It’s okay to do this occasionally throughout your interview but make an effort to bring on the eye contact! 

  5. 5. End on a Positve Note

    Even if you feel like you completely bombed your interview, try not to show it when it comes time to say your goodbyes. You might not have done as poorly as you think, so don’t place an impression in their mind that wasn’t there already. At the end of your interview, shake hands, say thank you, and own it! Last impressions can be as important as first ones.