Job Interviews: Killer Tactics for a Positive Experience
So, you’ve graduated or completed a vocational course. Congratulations. But now what? If your goal is to break into a specific industry, your first impulse might be to hit the job market and find something that fits the description of your professional goals. This is a good idea, and one that will lead to interviews, for which you may need a different set of job interview tips (interpersonal and the like) in order to sell yourself as best you can. It is natural to want to know how to perform well in an interview. But the fact is that interviews don’t always lead to jobs.
In fact, according to a report by Nace, the interview-to-offer ratio stood at 42.1% at the start of 2020. That means that over 57% of interviews don’t lead straight to jobs. So, the main gains of your first few goes will be “experience”. In that respect, this article will show you the best ways to secure a positive experience, regardless of the outcome of your interview. By the end of this read, you will know how to be professional in an interview, and how to attain interviews virtually.
- Getting Your Name Out There
- Quick Tips For Job Interviews
- Tactics For Virtual Job Interviews
Getting Your Name Out There
Each interview you get is an opportunity to learn and to get yourself out there. What’s more, the interviews you do will only be one part of your multi-faceted plan to build your portfolio and make opportunities. You should take a number of different strategies and networking should be one of them.
In that note, make sure that you check out the Everytalent Assessment Tool. It uses a detailed personality test to match you with the appropriate career options. When it comes to your career, nothing is more important than an individual’s goals and skills, and Everytalent is designed for that purpose.
More on exposure tactics later.
Having A Productive Approach
The best way to approach a career interview is to do so with a productive approach and try to get something out of each and every one of them. This might seem like a small gain in the short term, but there are many advantages to interviews.
Try and learn something each time. Whether that is a talking point, a turn of phrase, or a way of dressing. In fact, there are questions you can ask potential employers that are not only genuine, but also have other benefits such as showing knowledge of enthusiasm.
As they say, practice makes perfect. While interviews are fluid and one is never identical to the next, a variety of them will give you a broad idea of how they can go and the best ways to conduct yourself. What’s more, forms of conduction that work for you, and bring out the best.
Repetition of a particular process causes comfort, confidence and adeptness at that process. It is the same with interviews. Do a dozen of them, and you start to get a thorough sense of the procedure, meaning that you can approach it with aplomb.
Build Your Network
Networking is advantageous for industry careers. Not mandatory, but advantageous. The more people who know you, and can vouch for you, the easier it is to make introductions. Also, it will help you in the future if you need assistance.
Exposing yourself to the mechanics of your industry teaches you a lot, but it also shows you the ropes. And you know what you can do with ropes.
Talk To The Pros
Talking to industry professionals is indispensable. They have been around the block. Doing so is beneficial for its own sake, but also puts you in a position where you can ask anything you want (within reason, context is important) and get a small sense of what it feels like to work in your industry, which tells you a lot.
Quick Tips For Job Interviews
Overall, those are the main benefits of a productive approach. Through this, you can learn more about your industry, and figure out what you need to do next to ace your next interview. But how do you get these benefits? Regardless of what industry you want to break into, the following universal job interview tips will get you the positive reinforcement that you need.
Because let’s face it, the fear that interviews put in us can ruin the experience. The need to say the right things and present yourself the way you feel your interviewer wants to see makes us act irrationally. That is not to say that the formula has no purpose. You should follow the rules, but don’t forget to realize why you are there. You have needs just like your employers. Address these and you will develop a thick skin, from which you can fashion your enquiries.
With that said, here are some of the best job interview tips.
1: Interview Them
When you go for an interview, remember that it isn’t just an aptitude test for you as a career-seeker. It is your chance to interview your potential employer. Approach it like this, and you will find genuine ways to ask questions.
This helps a great deal with the whole, “is there anything that you’d like to ask us?” aspect of interviews. It doesn’t just show confidence and a willingness to learn, but also puts you in a more confident position, creating a genuine two-way dialogue where you can learn what you need to for the future.
2: Come in With Know-How
Typically, you should research the company, their values, and retain this information for the interview. It shows that you know something about the company, and have an interest in working with them beyond money. Ideally you will also have professional experience in your industry. But if not, genuine interest and research is better than nothing.
This tactic will reveal common ground between you and your interviewer, which is good for the purposes of networking and breaking the ice. From there, you can gain confidence and talking points to jump off of.
3: Clarify Your Selling Points
Not just for the sake of putting on a show for the interviewer, but also for yourself, make sure you know your value.
The goal of this is all-encompassing. It will keep you driving forwards, seeking growth-areas, and most of all, will ensure that you keep trying no matter what. Because searching for a job that lines up with your vocational qualifications can be tough. There is no way around that. To know your value is to build a shield that protects you from seeing things in a negative light. Because once you get the right job, the effort is rewarding beyond words.
4: Address Their Reservations
A terrific idea is to address the potential reservations of your interviewer. For instance, if you don’t have formal experience in one of the required fields , make a point of explaining why this doesn’t matter. You might be able to fill that need via other experiential points in your education.
It is good to practice this, as it is often the case with interviews. Even as time passes and you accrue more experience, you will find that there are gaps in jobs that you apply for.
5: Nail Strengths & Grow-Areas
In the same vein, prepare for the ‘strengths and growth-areas’ questions. They are a cliche, but that’s because it is one of the most commonly used interview questions. Again, it is good practice, because it is bound to come up more than once in your lifetime. Remember to base your answer to strengths on your CV in relation to the skills that the interviewer is looking for (deciphered from the job description), and your answer to ‘weaknesses’ should be phrased as a strength.
6: Always Follow Up Afterwards
Don’t go quiet once the interview is over. Take the time to digest the key points of the interview, and then send a follow-up email shortly thereafter. This not only shows that you have paid attention and have the next steps in mind, but gives the interviewer a call-to-action to follow. It means you will get a professional and useful response that you can use for future endeavors, such as detailed feedback. Also, if you don’t get the job, make sure you request said feedback. It’s a win-win. If you have areas to improve on, the feedback will tell you this. Painful at first, but beneficial in the long run. Equally, knowing what you did well reinforces your confidence and makes you feel good about the next one. Then you will know how to perform well in an interview. Oh, and don’t forget to add a thank you note to the email.
Tactics For Virtual Job Interviews
A new and innovative way to land jobs is with a remote, virtual focus. According to reports, 79% of employers are conducting video interviews post-pandemic and plan to continue this. While interview guidelines don’t change for this medium, there are certain interviewing tips that are specific to it. As a jobseeker, it is good to demonstrate them in order to make the experience as good as it can be. So, here are some more interview tips for experienced candidates in the virtual process.
1: Dress To Impress
Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up in the same manner as an in-person situation. Give a good impression. Get into the habit of dressing for the occasion. Make sure you dress from top to bottom, just in case you have to stand up.
2: Look Behind You
Keep in mind what is behind you. Is it a stack of books? Some folders? I think you will agree, either of these looks better than a messy bedroom, or the backboard of a bed. Not even bothering to get out of bed for the interview is a bad first impression.
3: Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is vital, and since in a virtual context the camera is the equivalent of the eyeline, this is where you should look to create that illusion. Attentive body language is a good habit. It creates a personable atmosphere, and is one of the key bits of interpersonal tactics espoused when determining how to come across well in an interview. In fact, it might even make the interviewer share more relevant information with you, such as details about their organization.
4: Have Your Portfolio Ready
This isn’t always necessary, but be prepared to share copies of your resume. In a virtual context, this means sharing your screen, scrolling and clicking your way through it. This gets more fluid with repeated use, both on a technological level, and in regards to your ability to memorize and describe your portfolio. Further to this, make sure you have relevant facts and figures on hand. This is one of the most successful interviewing techniques because it backs up your claims, and shows that what you are saying is more than air.
5: Test-Run Your Set-Up
Don’t leave this until the last minute. Your virtual interview skills and techniques are nothing if you don’t have a stable internet connection. Moreover, make sure your visuals are in check (if you have any) and that you can fluidly navigate the relevant platform (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet etc). The interview might not be this complex, but it is better to be prepared, especially if there is some kind of aptitude test involved.
Follow the proper interview techniques and you will have the best chance of a positive experience. The best chance. Because interviews don’t always go well, but there are always more on which you can sharpen your skills and push yourself towards your perfect career.
For more opportunities to attain, and how to attend an interview, make sure you check out Everytalent. It is designed with the purpose of matching experienced candidates with the ideal jobs.
But above all, never give up and never stop learning. The perfect match is out there. And if it isn’t in the vicinity today, it might be tomorrow. So keep tabs on developments in your industry, and you will soon find many opportunities to sharpen your skills and head towards your first ideal job