1. Practice and Prepare
Review the typical job interview questions employers ask and practice your answers. Strong answers are those that are specific but concise, drawing on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your resume. 1
Your answers should also emphasize the skills that are most important to the employer and relevant to the position. Be sure to review the job listing, make a list of the requirements, and match them to your experience.
Even the most well-prepared response will fall short if it does not answer the exact question you are being asked.
While it’s important to familiarize yourself with the best answers, it’s equally important to listen carefully during your interview in order to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are looking for.
Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready. In almost every interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Otherwise, you might come across as apathetic, which is a major turnoff for hiring managers.
2. Develop a Connection With the Interviewer
In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions.
If you’re prone to forgetting names, jot it down somewhere discreet, like in small letters at the bottom of your notepad.
Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seems to be a good fit for the company’s culture. Here’s how to get the hiring manager on your side.
3. Research the Company, and Show What You Know
Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?” If this question is not asked, you should try to demonstrate what you know about the company on your own.
You can do this by tying what you’ve learned about the company into your responses. For example, you might say:
I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well-versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.
You should be able to find out a lot of information about the company’s history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.