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An interview allows you to show a potential employer your qualifications to make a solid first impression on the hiring manager. To perform effectively in an interview, you should research the company, review the job description, and practice your interviewing skills. This blog covers what to do to prepare for an interview, how to ace an interview and common questions employers may ask.
To improve your chances of a successful interview, you need to prepare before you meet with the hiring manager. First, start by outlining the topics they may choose to discuss with you. Next, identify how you can show them you are a strong candidate and document ways you can make a good impression. Below is a short guide to help you get ready for an interview:
Reassess the Job Description
Closely examine the job description to find keywords, phrases or words used regularly throughout the document to highlight skills, characteristics and abilities employers look for in ideal candidates. Then, highlight these keywords and use them when describing your expertise, background, and strengths. Finally, reflect on how your goals and qualifications align with the job description to create relevance in your answers.
The interview may include industry, role or company-specific questions and general questions commonly asked during interviews. Search for these interview questions online and practice answering them. Doing this will help with your preparation and confidence during your interview. Keep your answers natural but be careful not to sound too rehearsed when answering questions that you have previously practiced.
The hiring manager may ask behavioral questions to observe how you handle situations in a professional environment. For example, they may ask you to describe how you overcame a challenge in a prior position. To provide detailed answers, consider using the STAR Method.
The STAR Method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Practice this method by explaining the example’s context before discussing your position and goal in that circumstance. Finally, reflect on the steps you took to mitigate the challenge and the results of your initiative.
To make a solid first impression on the hiring manager, take some time a day or two before the interview to plan the outfit you will wear. You can learn what employees wear and familiarize yourself with the dress code by reviewing the company’s social media pages or website.
You can also think about the industry. For example, formal business attire is typically appropriate if you’re interviewing for a traditional business professional position at a law firm or financial corporation. You can also call the hiring manager and ask about their business dress code to learn their preferences to ensure you look suitable.
Interviewers usually expect applicants to ask questions to demonstrate they’re prepared and interested in the role. Therefore, you may want to prepare some questions and listen closely to the interviewer discussing the company to compose additional questions during the interview. For example, you can ask questions about the corporate culture, growth opportunities within the organization, or the next steps in the process.
Once the interview is over, you should follow up to increase your consideration for the job. Start by sending the hiring manager a thank you email within a few days of the interview. In your email, highlight your interest in the position, remind them why you’re an excellent fit for the role and express your gratitude for the opportunity.
If the hiring manager doesn’t respond within a week of your interview, contemplate sending another follow-up email. This email should express your continued enthusiasm for the position and interest in taking the next step in the hiring process.
Our years of experience at ALIGN in assisting candidates in finding their dream jobs, enables us to support you with all the tools you will need for success. So, give us a call to chat about your job aspirations.