A job interview can be a scary event for a lot of people. Whether you’re rehearsing common interview questions for a side job or you’re hoping to get hired into your dream company, there can be a lot of pressure surrounding the interview. Nailing the interview takes more than knowing what the interviewer will ask you, though, so let’s look at some interview tips from recruiting professionals.
Do more than basic research. Find out about the people you’ll meet when you interview and when you start the job. Some hiring managers expect you to visit their LinkedIn page before you interview with them. Take a look at the company’s website to find out about any recent events or press releases, and Google them to see if they’ve been in the news recently. Make sure you research the company’s culture and values as well to make sure you’d be a good fit for the position.
Prepare to answer questions in the SAR format. SAR stands for Situation, Action, Result. When an interviewer asks you a behavioral-based question, such as how you handled an issue in the workplace previously, or a memorable accomplishment you made in a leadership role, the SAR format is a clean way to tell your story. In this format, you’ll have the beginning, middle, and end, in the form of “What was happening,” “What I did to help,” and “What the outcome was.”
Prepare for usual interview questions. Things such as “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “What are you most proud of in your career?” are likely to be covered. Many job interviewers will ask at least one unusual question that may not be on any of the interview guides online, but because an interviewer wants to know about you and your relevance to this role, most of the questions will stay the same.
Make a great first impression. Research shows that employers are highly influenced by their first impression of a candidate, which comes as no surprise as most of us are influenced by first impressions in our daily lives as well. Pay attention to how you present yourself, the small talk you create, and your answer to the infamous “Tell me about yourself” prompt. Establishing rapport with the interviewer goes a long way, so ask them what they like about the job. Again, do some research on social media and business profiles to see what they’re like before the interview.
Your interview can be the first step to a new career path, so it’s important to represent yourself genuinely. If you get totally blindsided by something in the interview, or it doesn’t go how you expect, don’t worry — you can send a thoughtful thank-you note to the interviewer and highlight a few points that didn’t get touched on when you interviewed. It won’t ensure that the job is yours, but it will ensure that you did everything you could.