How to Ace Any Interview
The thrill of finally getting a response wears off, and you suddenly realize something - you’ve got an interview tomorrow. The panic sets in, the anxiety begins to take over, and you almost wish you’d never applied in the first place. We’ve all been there.
Luckily, there’s a simple, three step process that can help you ace any interview, no matter how important it is. Disclaimer: nothing is guaranteed.
Step 1: Prepare
Nothing is worse than being asked a question you don’t have an answer for. If you want to avoid a stifling case of the nerves, do your homework before you ever set foot in the interview. First off, do a little research on the company. It’ll make you look good, and maybe even throw up some red flags before you accept an offer. Plus, interviewers love a candidate who seems genuinely interested in the work they would be doing. The best way to show interest is to have at least some clue as to what you are applying for.
Second, study up! If there’s any chance the interview could take a technical turn, review anything you think might come up. Whether it’s coding syntax or business terms, know your stuff; especially if you are interviewing for a technical position. You’ll be nervous enough as it is. No reason to compound it by fumbling through a technical discussion.
Finally and maybe most importantly) figure out where you’re going before ten minutes prior to the interview! Getting lost, missing a bus, or hitting traffic is just going to stress you out and maybe even make you miss the interview altogether. Plan your route ahead of time so you can spend the hour leading up to the interview calming down rather than freaking out.
Step 2: Sell Yourself, not your resume
You’ve made it this far; obviously, they’ve seen your resume (and apparently liked it enough to call you in for an interview.) So, don’t waste their time repeating to them what they already know. Instead, use the valuable facetime to sell the aspects of you that can’t be written on paper - your energy, smile, and a firm handshake are what interviewers really want to see. Having a great resume can only get you so far, and it’s important that you figure out what about you makes you stand out. You wouldn’t buy a product that markets itself in a bleak, boring way; don’t market yourself that way either.
A good trick to use is to focus on one or two things you feel you can display in a short interview. Maybe you have a great sense of humor - don’t be afraid to throw a few jokes in every now and then! Charisma goes a long way in an interview, and it’s an easy way to stand out; most people are too nervous to even consider being friendly in the first place. Whatever you choose, have a plan of how you intend to show the interviewer that side of you. Don’t force it - but don’t let the interview control you, either. If you’ve got something you want to say, go for it! Highlighting your own achievements and skills are the name of the game.
Step 3: Remember-You’re interviewing them, too
This one is my personal favorite, and it always keeps me calm in any interview. Despite the fact that it may seem like the interviewer has all the power, remember why they called you in the first place: they want you! Don’t put yourself in the mindset of being powerless. An interview is as much a time for them to get to know you as it is for you to get to know them. There’s thousands of places to work in this world, and you have the power to choose where you end up. If a company doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, don’t be afraid to politely decline the offer. And always be sure to ask questions when given the chance. It shows interest, and it also gives you an opportunity to learn more about what the job actually entails. While it might seem like the perfect opportunity at first, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing once hired before you actually start. Nothing is worse than getting to your first day only to realize you aren’t looking forward to the second.
So there you have it! Three simple steps to help you ace any interview. Keep these in mind and you’re sure to get the job. Probably. (I make no promises, so don’t sue me if this doesn’t work for you.) Happy hunting!