Whether you’re applying for a part-time position or looking to advance your career, make sure to take some time to read the tips below on how to rock an interview and sincerely impress recruiters and managers to consider you for the position you’re applying for. We’ve even got some expert advice for you below!
1: Do your research
This is probably the most important step when being interviewed. It’s almost a certainty that the interviewer will ask you “Why do you want to work here?” or “What do you know about our company?” Come prepared! Research the company itself online and on their company website to get as much information as possible.
Try to research these 5 things:
– When the company first opened
– What they stand for and what they are trying to accomplish (values and mission)
– The growth potential at said company
– Some positive and competitive stats compared to other companies (if applicable)
– Any major changes within the company over the last 5 years.
I know that it seems like you’re doing a research essay, but this will certainly gain you some brownie points when the question comes up. If it doesn’t, make sure you put this information in some of your answers as it will let them know how serious you are about working for them.
*Side note: Research your interviewer on LinkedIn if you know the name. This is a great ice breaker and your interviewer will most definitely like the fact that you’re so dedicated!
2: Prep for it
Seriously, make cue cards or jot down some questions on a sheet and ask someone to practice with you. This will ensure that you have an answer ready whenever a question is asked and you’ll be much more confident in your answers when they come. You will also be able to determine how many times you use fill-in works like “um”, “like” and “yeah”. (PS: “Yeah” is not an answer.)
Here are some questions/topic we always prep for:
– Tell me about yourself
– Name 3 qualities and 3 faults about yourself (Think long and hard about this one, because you don’t want your faults to impact there decision, but “I’m not sure” or “I don’t have any” is also not an appropriate answer)
– Why did you leave your previous job?
– What’s your 5 year plan? (Try and make sure that you include the job you’re interviewing for in your answer even though it may not be the case)
– Tell me about a professional accomplishment.
– Tell me about a time you had a conflict/problem at work and what you did to remedy the situation.
– What do you know about the company?
3. Dress the part
Dress appropriately. Leave the sweatpants, Lululemon, short shorts, mini-skirts and cleavage at home. Ensure that you are wearing something nice, comfortable and business professional. This is the absolute first thing anyone will see. (posture and body language definitely comes to a close second.) I’m not saying that if you are applying to the new position as a school janitor to show up in a suit and tie. For that I’d probably select dark jeans and a button up shirt. (Not too much, but just enough to make an impression) For a corporate job, my go-to outfit is a knee-length black dress, a coloured cardigan and some pearls. I also tend to stick with flat shoes to be more comfortable. (I’ve heard that flats can trigger people’s minds to instinctively think you’re flexible and reliable, ready for any obstacle – I also can barely walk in heels, so it works out)
Secondly, hygiene is very important. Shower before, brush your hair and teeth and don’t put too much perfume/cologne (some people are allergic) Oh! Don’t forget deodorant!
4: Ask questions
9 out of 10 times, recruiters will ask “Do you have any questions for us?” Please, for the love of whomever, prepare at least one! It doesn’t have to be a complex, but it shows that you, as a potential employee, have initiative and aren’t afraid to show it.
Here are some great questions to ask a recruiter:
– In your opinion, what makes this team or company strive?
– What impact have the recent changes had on the company?
– What are the phases for growth potential?
Expert Recruiter Insider
We’ve asked a few questions to expert recruiter Daniel to get the inside scoop for us. So here it is!
Q: Is there a general process for an interview?
A: There are different types of interviews. Nowadays, the most common kind is Behavioral based interviews. Behavioral type of questions force candidates to stay honest as they are asked to share professional experiences. As an interviewer, one must probe accordingly to determine how candidate’s past behaviors may influence future behaviors.
Q: What is your favorite question to ask in an interview?
A: One of my favorite questions is “there’s always room for improvement, what are some of your own current skills you have challenges with and what are you doing to improve?”. I believe this question allows an interviewer to find out many important things about a candidate such as overconfidence.
Q:If you could describe your perfect candidate, during the interview they would be…
A:I don’t expect perfection on a candidate. I think a good interviewer should get rid of any biases while interviewing. Having expectations before the interview can distract you from identifying the important competencies you need them to have. Ideally though, a good candidate will show interest in the company as well as express how the company will benefit from them and not how the company may help them.
Q: What is the most memorable question you’ve been asked by a potential employee?
A: I’ve interviewed many smart and talented candidates in the past. Perhaps a good question that comes to mind was when a candidate asked me if i liked my current job and what was it about my new job that was better than my last job.
Q: What is the worst response you’ve been given to a question in an interview?
A: I’ve had one too many of those as well, [hahaha]. How about? “2 weeks in August (the job was scheduled to start in early July), 1 week in October and December all month as I’m going away on an already booked trip.” The questions was “Are there any requests for accommodations for your schedule for the next 6 months?”. Granted I asked for it, i just never expected the candidate to be so unavailable.
Q: Can you recognize when someone is nervous? Does this normally influence the outcome?
A: Always! however, a good interviewer must create a good environment conducive to a successful interview. Ice breakers, explain the process of interview at beginning, even ask candidate to relax and be as friendly as possible. Being nervous alone should not influence the decision unless the candidate was unable to display any good skills at all.
Q:How do you normally determine who gets the job if two candidates have the same experience?
A: If two candidates have the same skills, then it comes down to the assets. What assets do the candidates bring to the table and assess carefully which asset is more important.
Q: What advice could you give for someone who is being interviewed for their first “big” job?
A: The first advice I give is always show interest in the company. Do research about the company, research your interviewers if possible by looking in LinkedIn, get familiar with the job description of the job you’re seeking before the interview. Be friendly and confident but not arrogant. Always have one or two questions for your interviewer at the end. Finally, convey why you would be a valuable asset to the company and how the company would benefit from you.