So, what can you do to stand out in the crowd? Understanding the difference between an average interview and a great interview can help you narrow the gap.
When delving back into the job market, preparation is key to getting a step up. What will you offer that other candidates can’t? How will you answer certain questions? What soft skills do you bring with you? Let’s take a look at 11 tips that can help you not only have a great interview but give you a good chance at landing the job.
Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job: 11 Tips to Get an Edge Up on the Competition
1. Ask relevant questions. When you’re in the process of being interviewed, there usually comes a point where they’ll ask if you have any questions about the position you’re applying for. Saying no isn’t a great way to close the interview. Instead, ask the right questions which show you take the process seriously and want the job. This back-and-forth engagement is not only important, but also allows you a chance to show your value to their company in the answers you give. Of course, always come prepared having researched the company, position, and what the competition may be like.
Here’s a list of nine questions to ask during your interview. You don’t have to ask a lot of questions but having a couple in mind is a smart move.
- What type of work culture and values does the company hold?
- Is there opportunity for growth?
- What will my day to day responsibilities be?
- What challenges do you feel come with this position?
- Do you think I’m right for this role?
- How does this position fit into the company’s overall plan?
- What do you like best about working for this company?
- What benefits come with working here?
- How does the company measure success with their employees?
2. Know your value and demonstrate that value. It’s not enough to simply go into the interview with confidence. Remember, there’s a lot of competition. This is about communicating your value and letting the hiring manager know that you’re the right candidate for the position they’re trying to fill. If you’re a great fit, you’re going to benefit their team in reaching their business goals. It’s important to stand out amongst a sea of candidates. You do that by communicating your value, plain and simple. Leave no question in their mind that you’re the right person for the job.
4. Demonstrate problem solving skills. Problem solving skills is an important asset you can bring to the company you’re applying to. Being able to show that you have this soft skill adds value and shows you are able to work through issues as they arise. How do you do this? You can use one of two methods to easily show this skill. Let’s look at two acronyms that can help you recognize the best way to demonstrate you’re a strong problem solver.
- STAR: Specific, Task, Action, Result. In this instance, you’ll discuss a specific situation (not generalized), what task needed to be accomplished, what action you took, and the final result which shows the outcome and success of how you handled things at the time.
- PAR: Problem, Action, Results. This is another easy to remember acronym which shows you how to position your answers. You speak about a problem that occurred, the action in which you took, and the final results from taking that action.
- Note: they both do a similar thing. You’re pinpointing a circumstance, you demonstrate you were able to handle the situation as it came about, and that with your problem- solving skills, you delivered a solution that had a positive outcome. This positions you as the hero of the story, but also shows them you are capable of tackling problems with a solid thought process.
5. Show them you want the job by asking for it. This is not a plea of desperation. Rather, it’s showing you’re genuinely interested in the position and working for their company. Tell them that you’d love the opportunity to work with them, and don’t leave a question in their mind that you actually want the position if it’s offered to you.
Nothing says lack of interest more than a lukewarm response. In essence, it’s the same as asking somebody how you look, and they say “fine,” when what you really wanted to know was that you look okay for whatever situation you’re about to attend. Think about a bride on her wedding day, walking down the aisle, and asking her partner how she looks. Fine. Show genuine interest—don’t fake it.