Most people could use a little help when it comes to interviews. Whether they make you nervous, you feel unprepared, or your track record shows that you don’t progress to the next stage after an interview, there are a ton of ways we can all improve our interview skills and gain confidence for the next time.
Here are three stellar interview tips for job seekers that’ll help you progress to the next level.
1. Understand the Purpose of a Phone Interview
Many people don’t understand the purpose of phone interviews and thus don’t know how to prepare for them and perform well. Phone interviews quickly weed out ineligible candidates before having all the qualified ones come in for an in-person interview. It saves time for both parties. But they also have certain drawbacks: for example, interviewees cannot use visual cues to demonstrate their engagement, nor can they present their work or portfolio. There’s also the issue of sound quality that can affect how your interview goes. In order to do well at a phone interview, it’s important to understand the purposes, benefits,and drawbacks.
The average phone interview is between 10-20 minutes. The interviewers are usually looking to ask key questions that will quickly weed out candidates who are completely unsuited to the position, or who are looking for a considerably different compensation package than what’s being offered.
For your next phone interview, make sure to set yourself up in a quiet, echo-free environment. Have your notes, the job description, and your resume in front of you. Make sure you’re not chewing gum, drinking, or eating. Be prepared to give clear, concise answers,and try to enunciate well so the interviewer can hear you.Keep answers brief, but make sure to include all the information crucial to providing a complete answer. This takes a lot of prep and planning, so make sure you look up common interview questions and have responses prepared.
2. Research, Research, Research
…And research some more!
Look up the company, peruse their website, find out about your interviewers (LinkedIn is your friend!) and learn about the industry as much as possible BEFORE going in for the interview. This will really impress the interviewers, who will see your passion and engagement. They will recognize that you want to do well and that you’re willing to take the time and effort to get to know about the company because you want to work there. After all, employers want employees who align with their strategic vision, core values, and mission.
Make sure to include your findings in your answers and responses, to ask intelligent questions based on what you found (e.g. “I saw on your website that you’re involved in charity work. What type of work do you do? Can employees get involved?”), and to indicate what about the company you liked and why you want to work there (e.g. “I saw on your site that your companyis investing more research in robotics, and I think that really sets you apart from your competitor, Company X”). You’ll be sure to appear informed and intelligent.
3. Dress Up, Smile, Walk Confidently
Sometimes, the best antidote to how you’re feeling–nervous, anxious, or worried–is to act the exact opposite way. In fact, research shows that power posing before an interview makes you much more hireable. A key interview tip is to come prepared by being dressedprofessionally, smiling, and exuding confidence even if you don’t feel it inside. The interviewer need not know that. When you concentrate your efforts on engaging with them and making them feel that you care, want the job, and are listening, they’ll be impressed.