Ace a Tough Interview
If you are like most people throughout the world, you fear public speaking as much as you fear dying. According to Psychology Today, most surveys on fear show that people would rather face a deadly situation than speak in front of a group (no matter its size). And what’s worse than simply speaking in front of a group? A job interview. Job interviews take everything you hate and fear about public speaking and add extra layers of tension; not only do you need to worry about acing the interview itself, but you need to worry about the outcome and how it will impact your financial future and long-term happiness. So if there is one thing you are allowed to fear in life, a job interview is definitely it.
Here at Resume.com, we know that it can be a challenge to ace a tough interview if you aren’t prepared. Luckily for you, with a bit of preparation you can earn your dream job and make the most of what would normally be a stressful or intimidating process. Want to know how to make the most of your next tough interview? Here are a few of the best-kept tips and secrets.
Tip 1: Background Preparation
The classic Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” doesn’t just work for scouts, it works for job interviews as well. Being prepared for a job interview is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to relieve stress and present yourself effectively. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for an interview:
- Learn everything you can about the company you are interested in working for. You should know when they were founded, who started the company, approximately how many employees they have, any recent achievements or awards they have, and the general direction they are taking the company (such as international expansions, green or environmental initiatives, or anything else that is relevant).
- Research the people who will be interviewing you. If you want to know what to expect during an interview, the best way to do so is to learn about the people you will be speaking with. Check their social media profiles, look at their company bios, and find any other information you can.
- Study your (future) position so you know everything there is to know about it. Even if you are applying for dozens of jobs at a time, it’s important to spend a bit of time learning what you will do when you get the job. You should go into an interview knowing and understanding everything there is to know about the position that doesn’t require on-the-job training.
Tip 2: Mock Interviews
If you really want to get through a tough interview, have a friend create the toughest interview possible. Practicing your interview will not only help you practice your answers and responses, but it will help you come up with answers to questions you didn’t expect.
You can have anyone help you with a mock interview, but it’s best if you get help from outside of your immediate family. Your parents and significant other are probably going to be very supportive of your potential new job. While that’s great emotionally, it’s not good for actual practice. You need help from someone who can give you more objective feedback and honest criticism. If your close family members can do so, that’s great. If not, ask a friend or colleague for help.
The interview process should simulate a real interview as closely as possible. If you don’t know what type of questions to ask, check out more of the resources we have available on our website where you can find lists of common and unusual questions. If you don’t feel comfortable with your initial answers, keep practicing until you do. By the end of the process, your friend should be so excited about your answers that they would want to hire you for the job.
Tip 3: Dress Professionally and Comfortably
You probably already know that it’s important to dress professionally for an interview. It’s best if men wear suits and ties and women wear appropriate skirts or suits. Some unique jobs require different clothing options, but the majority of jobs require professional business attire for the interview.
While business attire is important, you also shouldn’t forget to dress comfortably. No, this doesn’t mean you should wear your pajamas or sweats. Rather, wear clothes you are familiar with and feel physically and emotionally comfortable in. If you have never worn a suit or skirt, you might be uncomfortable and constantly feel the need to adjust it. Wear clothes that give you confidence, not the itches.
Tip 4: Don’t Worry about Pausing
Hiring managers and HR representatives will often ask common questions including how you heard about the job and why you would be a good fit for the position. But they will also ask tough questions you might not have gone over (even during practice). If you get a tough question, don’t worry about pausing before you answer. Umms, hmms, and wells are conversational filler. Instead of putting your mouth into idle, take a moment to gather your thoughts before your speak. A delayed but well-planned response is infinitely better than a string of likes and umms.
Tip 5: Be Happy
A new job, a better future, and a lifetime of success are all things you should be happy about. All of those things come as a result of a great interview. So if you want to have a great interview, smile! Happiness is not only contagious, it will make you seem much more endearing and hirable.
Ready for Anything
No matter what position you are applying for and no matter how much education and experience you have, it’s possible to get a great job as long as you ace the interview. Keep these tips in mind the next time you prepare for a challenging interview process. As long as you follow them closely, you are sure to have the best interview of your life.