Top Tips for Successful Job Interviews

One key piece of  turning your hard earned job skills into an actual career is nailing the job interview. Here are 12 tips that can be used by almost anyone and for almost any job.

  1. Learn all you can about the company from sources like your contacts, news releases, Google, LinkedIn and/or the company’s website and annual report. Get a sense as to “who” the company is and “why” it exists (look for its mission statement). 
  2. Study the job description carefully to determine the one or two most important things a person must do to be successful in this position. Make this one of the first questions you ask. This allows you to focus your comments on the real reason the interviewer is taking valuable time to meet with you. 
  3. Prepare other thoughtful questions to show your sincere interest in the company and this job. These will show your desire to truly meet the company’s needs.
  4. Prepare yourself to answer the query: “Tell me about yourself.”  Know your purpose in life (your “Why”), your strengths and competencies (your “How”) and your key accomplishments (your “What”). 
  5. Don’t forget about the metrics! Mentioning numbers and percentages in explaining your accomplishments makes you stand out among the crowd.
  6. Rehearse! Practice by looking in the mirror and answering interview questions out loud. Do as many mock interviews as you possibly can.
  7. Dress the part! Look professional. You may want to contact someone who works at the company about the dress code. Over-dress if there is any question.
  8. Don’t forget the little things — addressing the interviewer often by name, expressing thanks for the time being spent in your behalf, wearing shined shoes, etc.
  9. After responding to a question with a concise answer, ask if you have provided the information the interviewer wants to know. Start short and finish long, if requested.
  10.  Remember the importance of body language. Your posture, hand motions and facial expressions make a difference and reflect your energy, curiosity and sincere interest.
  11.  Before the interview ends, ask something like “What additional information can I provide to make your decision easier?” This should lead to the interviewer’s comment about “next steps”, without your having to ask that question directly.
  12.  Email or text a Thank You Note that day.