How to Get Hired: 9 Steps to the Perfect Job Interview
Whatever your reason, if you’re interviewing for a job, you want to land the job. And that means preparing to do your absolute best. Interviews can be tough. If you want to stand a chance of landing the job, you have to be well-versed on the industry and company, and command a deep understanding of the value you’re bringing to the table for your potential new employer.
- Research the Company.
Did you know that 47 percent of hiring managers have eliminated candidates after an interview because they had little to no knowledge of the company? Nearly half of professionals are going into interviews without having a well-formed understanding of the company and what they do. Take the time to do your homework on the company’s website, blog, social channels, Glassdoor, and Wikipedia, and be sure to check out their competitors and make a mental list of what differentiates them.
- Find Out Who You’re Interviewing With and Research Them, Too.
With 43 percent of hiring managers reporting that cultural fit is the single most influential factor in determining which candidate gets the job, how you come across in your interview is a big deal. Based on your research and email conversations ahead of time, be sure you have as clear an idea as possible of how well you’re going to relate with the people you’re interviewing with, and prepare accordingly.
- Prepare Creative, Insightful Questions and Craft Your Personal Story.
Sure, some of the standard questions like, “Where do you see the company in five years?” can be useful in some cases, but make sure that the act of asking them doesn’t compromise your own credibility. Depending upon your potential role in the company, the person interviewing you likely doesn’t want to hear you asking about what the day-to-day activities will be–they want to hire an expert in your field, so act like one. Be sure to refresh your memory on your most relevant recent experience and craft an engaging story that effectively communicates your employment journey. Focus on how your experience will benefit your potential new employer.
Here’s an insightful statistic: Over 33 percent of hiring managers say they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they’ll make a job offer to the candidate. That makes your interview prep even more important.
- Dress for the Job.
Should I wear a suit or play it more casual? The real answer is, it depends on the job you’re interviewing for. If you’re not dressed for the job you want, you’re not doing yourself any favors. A whopping 70 percent of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated candidates after an interview because they were too fashionable or trendy. Don’t be afraid to ask how you should dress ahead of your interview.
- Use Confident Posture.
Some 33 percent of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated candidates after an interview because of bad posture. As you’re waiting in the lobby, standing, and walking around the office, be mindful of how your posture looks to the people around you. Are you slouching, or confidently arching your back? Take a launch stance while standing, and keep your back arched while sitting down for conversation.
- Ask When to Expect a Decision and With Whom to Follow-Up.
If you’re interviewing with multiple people, be sure to ask the hiring manager (or last person you interview with) when you can expect to hear back on next steps. There’s nothing worse than leaving an interview feeling left in the dark about when the company is looking to make a final decision. If you’re paying close attention, how they respond will also tell you a lot about how they felt the interview went.
- If You Want the Job, Say So!
Don’t allow there to be any ambiguity about whether or not you actually want the job. If, by the end of your interview, you’re still feeling excited about the opportunity and want to move forward with the company, you need to say it! Never leave anything up to chance with the interview process.
- Send a Follow-Up Thank You Email.
Before you go to bed on the date you had your interviews, be sure to send a brief, personalized thank you email to everyone you met with earlier in the day. Make sure to mention a small personal detail, mutual interest, or topic point you discussed with each person, and it’ll solidify your great impression in their minds. Bonus points for sending a handwritten card, which has become a much-appreciated lost courtesy.
- Follow-Up If You Don’t Hear Back Soon (One Week).
If you don’t hear back within four or five business days of your interview, it’s completely acceptable to follow-up with either the person who’s been your point of contact throughout the interview process or the hiring manager for the position. Keep the follow-up very short and seek to provide value, rather than coming across as pushy or as trying to nudge them toward making a decision.
Will this be the year you land your dream job?
Originally published on Inc