1. Know Who Is Interviewing You
How the interview responds to you will determine whether or not you get the job. You should try to get enough information about who is interviewing you so you can prepare. For example, find out whether or not the person interviewing you is in human resources or is part of the department you might be part of if you get the job.
In some cases, you might not be told who will be interviewing you. If you don’t know the name of the person interviewing you or their role, don’t panic. Instead, try to learn as much about the company as possible so you can get an idea of what their values are and anticipate questions.
When it comes to interviewing, your interviewer will be trying to match your qualifications and answers to their questions to the role they’re filling, which means you’ll need to sell yourself as the right person for the job.
2. Keep Calm
A nervous candidate will make mistakes during an interview, such as making jokes at inappropriate times. On the morning of the interview, try to get rid of some of your nervous energy by getting in a quick workout or doing breathing exercises that can help you clear your mind.
When you walk into an interview, you’ll want to appear relaxed and confident. You shouldn’t slouch, but there’s no reason to sit on the edge of your chair to be uncomfortable. Make sure you’re calm enough to speak clearly and slowly enough so you are articulate and can give yourself a moment to think about how you’ll answer questions.
3. Research the Company
If you didn’t research the company instead of determining who will be interviewing you, you should take time to understand more about the company. Companies interviewing are looking to satisfy the need and fill a position. A job listing may only tell you about the skill set they’re looking for, but a way you can stand out from other candidates with similar qualifications is to demonstrate your knowledge about their company.
By researching the company, you can learn about everything they do, awards they have won, who their key decision-makers are, and get an idea of the company culture. Try to show some of your knowledge about them when you answer their questions. You can also use your research to help you describe why you’re a good fit for their company.
4. Practice Beforehand
Some interview questions will be common across all job types and industries. For example, HR professionals ask questions such as “What is your greatest weakness?” so they can get an idea about the type of person you are and how you describe yourself and others. Top candidates should be able to prepare answers for these common questions without answering them like they are reading a script.
5. Be Confident
Confidence can help you stand out from the crowd, although you should be careful you’re not coming off as arrogant. Make sure you’re open and greet the interviewer with a smile and/or handshake. Consider your posture as well. Make sure you sit up straight and don’t slouch during your interview so you can seem confident.
6. Don’t Talk Negatively About Previous Jobs
Sometimes people leave their previous jobs because they had a bad experience. While that’s okay, you shouldn’t trash your previous position. While an interviewer might want to know why you left a company, you can be honest without bad-mouthing the company. For example, you can let your interviewer know you care about company culture and collaboration if you left your previous position because of poor company culture.
Speaking ill about past experiences to interviewers makes them think twice about what you’ll say about their company behind closed doors. If you have to talk about a specific situation, try talking it through reflectively so you can show the interviewer you learned some type of lesson from a bad experience.
7. Provide Thorough Answers
Some questions may allow you to respond with “yes” or “no.” However, you should never just leave it at that. Interviews allow hiring managers to learn more about you, so always answer questions as thoroughly as possible. For example, if you are asked if you think you would be a good fit for the company, respond with your answer and then explain your reasoning behind it.
8. Ask Your Questions
An interview isn’t only about figuring out whether you’re right for the company; it should also allow you to figure out whether the company is right for you. If you have questions about the position or the company, make sure you ask them during the interview. Most interviews will end with the hiring manager asking you if you have any questions. Asking questions allows you to reflect on your answers and clarify anything that wasn’t clear to you about the company or the position. You can also prepare questions before the interview so you won’t have lingering questions afterward.
9. Note Your Achievements
Not all interviewers will ask about your achievements, so try to fit them into your answers whenever possible. Make sure anything you mention pertains to the type of job you would be doing at the company. For example, if you helped the marketing team with an expensive advertising campaign and are applying for a marketing manager position, make sure to share that information.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Compensation
Many interviewees don’t know when the appropriate time is to talk about compensation. If the salary isn’t listed on the job listing, then it’s something you should discuss during your phone interview, zoom interview, or in-person interview. Even if the company has an interview process that consists of multiple rounds, you should know what to expect in terms of compensation early on so you don’t waste the company’s time or your own. If the hiring manager doesn’t cover compensation, make sure to ask towards the end of the interview so you can be open and honest about your specifications.
This guest post was written by Matt Casadona and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent. Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.