Ace Your Interview: What Every Candidate Should Know

Ace Your Interview: What Every Candidate Should Know

Going on a job interview can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you’re out of practice or especially excited about the position, but if you let your nerves show, it can really get in the way of your ability to focus and present yourself well.

So, how do you beat the job interview butterflies? In the simplest sense, it’s all about demonstrating confidence in yourself and your abilities. When you step into the room with an air of self-assurance, you already have an advantage over less confident candidates.

Step 1: Dress The Part

Ask industry leaders the secret to their success and one thing you’ll hear a lot of is that you need to dress the part. While it can be hard if you’re on a budget, that means you should invest in some great interview pieces. You don’t need a lot of them, since interviewing isn’t a full-time job, but you do need a few options with appropriate choices for different professional settings. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to choose appropriate accessories. A polished leather bucket bag, simple accessories like stud earrings and a wristwatch, and nice flats will ensure you’re dressed for the job you want, rather than the one you have.

Step 2: Study Up

One common mistake that job candidates make when heading into an interview is failing to do some homework on the company. It’s important to review the job description, as well as to go over the website and other materials while you prepare. Make note of who you’ll be interviewing with, some important facts about the department and role, and prepare some questions you’d like to ask about the company. Asking questions is an important part of demonstrating your interest and engagement, but you need to have the right background information on hand in order to ask worthwhile questions.

Step 3: Rethink Your Own Answers

When being interviewed for a job, many people focus on presenting their skills in a straightforward manner, in hopes of demonstrating that they’re a good match for the job description. This is a reasonable strategy, but it’s not the best one. Just as you shouldn’t recite your qualifications in your cover letter, you also shouldn’t do it during the interview. That information is already on your resume. Instead, focus on what are sometimes termed “behavioral” questions. Think about challenging projects you’ve completed or achievements you’re proud of and how you approached those tasks. What made them a success by your own definition and what did you struggle with? You’ll also want to be prepared to field questions about hypothetical situations that might arise based on the position.

You create your own destiny, and when it comes to embarking on job interviews, the preparation you put in will be reflected in the outcome. Furthermore, as you develop greater self-confidence, you’ll find that those same skills translate to other parts of your life, allowing you to take control of any situation and prove that you’re a force to be reckoned with and respected.