No matter your current career position, you need to know how to ace a job interview like a pro.
Whether you are beginning your career in an entry-level position, or you’re vying for a senior role, you will probably have to go through an interview process.
Since a job interview allows you to showcase your qualifications, and skills, and make a good impression on the hiring team, you wouldn’t want to mess it up.
Therefore, it’s paramount for you to be at your best to be successful in the interview.
In this guide, we will be discussing how to ace a job interview, including preparation tips and the best ways to tackle job interview questions.
What Should You Do to Ace a Job Interview?
Are you already called up for an interview? You should be curious about what you should do to ace the interview.
If you want to increase your chances of a higher success rate in an interview, you need to take the time to plan and prepare before attending the interview.
Think about the likely topics you will be discussing with the hiring manager, ways to position yourself as a vital Candidate for the job, and how to make a good first impression.
Below are the steps to include in your job interview preparations.
• Research: Learn as much as you can about the role and the company.
• Planning: Carefully consider the right attire to wear and how to present yourself professionally.
• Practice: Reflect on the best ways to communicate job interview questions.
How to Ace a Job Interview
Below are ten things to keep in mind on how to ace a job interview like a pro.
1. Do your research
Just like you would want to make inquiries before embarking on any project, conduct research about the company before you attend the interview.
This is the basic step to take on how to ace a job interview since it gets you a reasonable amount of knowledge about the company, its accomplishments, vision and mission, and goals.
First, to research a company you’re interviewing for, check their official website for key information.
A company’s website is a good starting point to learn about the company’s history, culture, past and upcoming events, core values, and lots more.
Additionally, big companies tend to have an online presence, so a quick Google search with the company’s name can also give you good results.
Consider checking out the websites that talk about the company from Google SERP, and most importantly, check for reviews, employees’ reviews about the company.
Researching a company will help you quickly gain vital information about the company and you can be able to blend your experiences, qualifications, and backgrounds with the company’s interests.
2. Study the job description properly
Next, don’t briefly read the job listing and proceed to send your application. You need to properly study the job description.
Spend time going through the job description properly. The job roles and responsibilities are what you’ll be discussing mostly in the interview, so you need to know what it entails.
To demonstrate how well you fit the role, you need to know the roles and responsibilities highlighted in the job description at your fingertips.
More so, pay close attention to keywords highlighted in the job listing such as qualifications, required skills, and experiences, and focus on what makes a better candidate based on such requirements.
Considering this step on how to ace a job interview like a pro can help you tailor your experiences, qualifications, skills, and goals to align with what the company requires.
3. Practice answering interview questions
As much as a job interview entails company or job-specific interview questions, certain standard questions come up in every job interview.
These standard questions are referred to as common interview questions and they are must-ask questions during an interview.
To practice answering such interview questions, review a list of popular interview questions, and practice the best answers to each of them.
You can prepare with your friend or family member that will stand in as the interviewer. This will help you build your confidence when talking and maintain a good body position.
Keep in mind that continuous practice leads to perfection. So, keep practising interview questions and focus your responses on the role and company you’re interviewing with.
5. Be prepared
If possible, try to know the names of the interviewers so that you can properly address them during the interview.
When you don’t already know their names, you can ask the receptionist or HR department to assist with it before the interview kicks off.
Also, make additional copies of your CV or resume and a list of references for the interview.
But, why? You can never predict the number of people that will conduct the interview, so extra copies can help accommodate everyone.
Note: Extra copies of your CV or resume or other job application do the magic. It shows that you’re well organized.
6. Dress appropriately
Your dressing is the first impression which matters a lot in the interview.
What you wear to an interview can give you a big boost and also a higher chance of landing a job.
But, pause for a sec. You shouldn’t buy a new suit if you’re applying for a role in a supermarket or restaurant.
What you need in such a case is something simple, neat, and professional.
But what do you do when you have no clue of what to wear to the interview? You’ll have to do your research about the outfits that staffs wear in the company.
If you can’t find a clue on that, you can reach out to the HR department, inquiring about what you should wear for the interview.
Button-up shirts and nice plain trousers always do the magic for corporate jobs, while neat jeans and sneakers do the magic for tech jobs.
When you’re unsure of what to wear, a corporate yet simple outfit always fits well. Besides, you can always change your dressing style when you land the job.
7. Arrive at the interview on time
Another step on how to ace a job interview which is based on a good first impression is arriving at the interview on time.
Your arrival time at the interview ground gives the interview an impression of your arrival time to work you get the job.
You’re most likely to be considered a late timer in the workplace if you turn up late for an interview.
Thus, arriving early for the interview is one of the crucial steps to take on how to ace a job interview like a pro. So, don’t joke with it.
For an interview scheduled to hold at 10:00 AM, you should avail yourself by 9:45 AM.
15 minutes before the time of the interview is the perfect time to arrive for an interview.
But anything that’s way above 15 minutes, for instance, 40 minutes is considered outrageous and will make your interviewer uncomfortable.
So, you need to be sure of the location of the interview and the traffic situation to get there.
If you’re unsure of the exact location or traffic situation, you should scour the place beforehand or leave extra early so as not to be caught up in traffic.
And what if you then arrive too early? You can hand around somewhere nearby and go for the interview when it’s 15 minutes to the time
Read Also – How to Succeed in a New Job (10 Helpful Tips)
8. Be bold and confident
You need to be bold and confident, and when you’re not feeling either of both, just try to fake it.
Try to maintain good posture during the interview, smile and make direct eye contact with the interviewer.
It’s understandable to be a little nervous when you’re in an interview, the person interviewing is aware of that too, but wants you to try as much as you can to stay cool and be confident.
Keep in mind, that the way you present yourself in an interview shows how you’ll likely do when discussing with future coworkers and clients.
As much as your employer would love you to pull off a good deal with clients, they want you to do the same in the interview; convince them into believing in your capabilities.
9. Utilize the STAR answer technique
The STAR technique stands for Situation Task Action Result is a key technique that best illustrates the steps taken to handle situations in the workplace and the results gotten from them.
The technique is the best method to tackle behavioural interview questions.
In most interviews, you may be asked behavioural interview questions. First, you need to explain the context of the situation and your role or tasks in them.
Next, talk about the actions you had to take to handle the situation and the results that were achieved.
10. Be inquisitive, ask questions
Whichever way the interview goes, always keep in mind that an interview is a two-way street – your interviewer is checking to see whether you’re the best candidate for their open position, likewise you, checking if the company is the best fit for you.
At the end of every interview, you interviewer will ask you if you have any questions.
Since you have done your research about the company, you should have some questions to ask in the interview.
Additionally, take note of some of the things said by the interviewer to have more questions to ask too.
Here are some handy questions to ask in a job interview.
• What do you like about this company?
• Why do you choose to work here instead of other companies?
• How is success in this role measured?
• What’s the next step in the hiring process?
11. Follow up after the interview
So, after the interview, what next? Another vital step to take on how to ace a job interview is following up after the interview.
You should take additional steps by following up on the interview, to stand a higher chance of landing the job.
First, send a thank-you email to the employer 24 hours after the interview.
Let the email contain your gratitude for the interview and also your interest in the job.
If after a week and you’re yet to get a response from the company, consider sending another follow-up email expressing your continued interest in the position and willingness to be a part of the next hiring process.
The thought of job interviews can be intimating, but once you know how to ace a job interview like a pro, it becomes less frightening.
There are no shortcuts to being successful in an interview, except by practising and being consistent.
If your first trial fails to go as planned, don’t lose hope, keep trying until you get to become a pro at acing job interviews.