7 Tips for Crushing Your Next Job Interview

Congrats! You have been selected to interview with a company you would love to join. This is a great step, but you are not done yet. Now, it’s time to bring your A game to the interview, execute and land the job. Here are 7 actionable tips for crushing your next job interview.

1) Be prepared — First and foremost, you have to be able to show that you have or can develop the skills required for the job. Interviews will require you to think critically and potentially solve problems that require some domain knowledge. If you are interviewing for a technical role, check out “7 Tips to Ace your Next Technical Interview” by Murali Sangubhatla, former Engineering Manager at Box, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, and Cofounder of 500 Miles.

In general, companies will be interested in how you solve problems, your ability to work with a team and whether you can overcome obstacles. Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google, recommends that candidates try to anticipate the interview questions they are going to get. Doing so will help you mentally prepare to effectively answer your interviewer’s questions.

2) Know the company — You should be able to demonstrate genuine interest in the company that is interviewing you. You should know why you want to work there and be able to clearly articulate your answer. It is a good idea to learn about the company’s history, mission, size, positioning in the market and the industry/industries they operate in. For example, Uber likes their candidates to know that they are “creating a global platform where marketplaces and services for transportation, delivery, and logistics exist.”

If the company is a startup, learn about the founders and their backgrounds. Try to find and read news articles about the company. If there have been books published about the company, read a few of them. (For example: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)

3) Know the role — It is good to have a general idea of what you would actually be doing if you were hired. The company will likely have a job description which you should read multiple times. If you know people who work at the company, ask them about questions about the role you’re interviewing for. If they do not work in that role, ask to be connected to someone who does. Ask this person what it takes to be successful in their role and then think about what you have done that demonstrates those skills and traits.

4) Know your story — What makes you unique? Why should this company hire you instead of the next candidate? Have answers to these questions that incorporate significant things you have done. Amazon says that their interview questions “are behavioral-based and focused on assessing for fit.” This means you need to be able to describe the type of person you are, where your interests lie and how this has played out in your life so far.

Uber encourages their candidates to not be too vague about their past jobs and relevant experiences. For example, statements like “I am interested in bringing people together around building technology, so I started a hackathon at my school that drew 50 students in the first year” or “during my internship, I worked on the ads team and helped our clients optimize their ads with actionable data visualizations”.

GE says that they look for people who “are creative, take initiative, and love solving problems.” Think of things you have done that demonstrate these qualities such as leadership roles, specific examples of overcoming adversity, and contests you have won.

5) Dress the part — Different industries have different dress codes, so be sure you are wearing the right attire when you go in for your interview. Tech is generally casual whereas you will want to suit up for finance and consulting interviews. When you go into a company’s office for an interview, you should look like you fit right in. If anything, error on the side of being slightly overdressed.

6) Ask questions — It’s important to ask questions about the company and role you’re interviewing for. You could ask questions about how the company structures their teams or what their company culture is like. Goldman Sachs recommends that job candidates “have questions ready for the interviewer on topics such as: key changes in the industry, typical job responsibilities, training and development opportunities.” Preparing these questions will help you learn more about the company and also help you to uncover any major gaps in your qualifications for the role or understanding of the company/role.

7) Relax and execute — You’ve done your homework and thought about why you are qualified for the role. Now you are ready to crush your interview. During your interview, it’s important to be professional but not too uptight. Be confident in your ability to effectively answer the interviewer’s questions. If something trips you up, do not let that mistake affect the rest of your interview. If you execute and you’re a good fit for the role, the job will be yours. Good luck!

500 Miles

500 Miles, with 350,000 company profiles and half a million open jobs, is a data-driven job search app that cuts through the noise. Whether you are a fresh graduate, an experienced professional or a mid-career professional looking to switch careers, 500 Miles will help you discover, evaluate and land opportunities that are right for you.

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Originally published at blog.500miles.io on November 21, 2016.