How do we get the most out of something? We create a plan to squeeze every ounce of value from it. This works for job interviews, too! You can maximize the benefits of the job search by strategically polishing up your interview habits. As you go through your job search, remember that even if you don’t land the job, a successful interview is one that has good rapport and leaves a lasting impression. Recruiters may think of another option you’re perfect for. Here are some tips for job seekers to get the most out of their interview!
Understand the job.
We look for new jobs in familiar areas because we understand what the day-to-day process generally looks like. But what if you’re considering a new industry? Review the job description and Google any terms that don’t look familiar to you. Make sure you have a working knowledge of the job you’re applying for. Show up prepared with a list of questions in the instance that you’re looking for a position with on-the-job training.
You don’t need to go out and buy a brand new interview outfit. But coupled with the above point, understanding the job means understanding the wardrobe. Here’s a rule of thumb: show up to the interview wearing clothing that wouldn’t obstruct your work if you were to start your new job that day. For example, if you’re applying for a factory job, something simple and clean that’s easy to move around in. Again – you do not have to go out and buy a new wardrobe.
Get comfortable talking about yourself.
From your background, to your accomplishments to your strengths and weaknesses, start getting comfortable talking about yourself. This especially goes for shy and quiet people. If the question, “tell me about yourself/your strengths/your weakness” raises your anxiety, this is a very important point for you.
You’re probably anxious and working on “keeping it together” in the middle of an interview, instead of focusing on the question at hand. You might forget important details in your answer that could have won you the job. So, to get comfortable talking about yourself, try practicing with a friend, mentor, or family member.
Relate your experiences to the company and the job.
Sometimes the only change in your career is the company (same job title, same industry). But if you’re switching roles or industries, it might feel like you don’t have enough experience in the field to win the job. But somewhere along the line as you applied for the job and got the interview, you connected the dots from your current set of skills to the ones required in the new job listing. If you haven’t held the exact same job in the past, make a list for yourself before the interview of how your skills transfer to this new position.
Be honest about skills that you do not have.
Sure, we all want to be the most qualified candidate for the job. But sometimes, when shifting industries or career paths, our skillsets fall short. The interview is not the time to “fake it til you make it.” In the instance where you lack a skill listed in the job description, do NOT fake it in the interview. This is an opportunity to demonstrate honesty and initiative all in one to your interviewer.
1. Start by doing a quick Google search and familiarizing yourself with the new term.
2. Create a list of questions for your interviewer asking for more information, info on training, and expectations.