How to Ace Your Next Interview
3 tips that will move you ahead
As a recruiter, I sift through a tremendous amount of resumes every day. About a quarter of those applicants will actually move forward to the next stage, which for us is a phone interview. If you are one of the lucky ones to more forward in the process, be sure to impress. Here are 3 tips to ace your next interview.
1. Do your research! It’s the key component in making a strong impression during your interview.
All too often candidates put the majority of their work into applying to jobs — tons of them. Some even say finding a job is a full-time job in itself. Applying is only the beginning. It is a lot of work, but that work doesn’t stop once the first interview is scheduled.
It’s always surprising to me how that same effort isn’t applied throughout the entire process. Once a candidate lands an interview, it’s like they think, “I did the work, I got an interview! Now let me wow them with my story and my experience.” This is a common mistake and a short-sighted point of view. Sure, recruiters and hiring managers want to be wowed by you and your background. We also want to know that you did your research: Do you know what the company does? What sets our products and services apart?
2. Have a high-level overview of the company along with the position and its function.
I get excited about a candidate’s potential after reviewing their resume. I schedule the phone interview with high expectations that this is the one. Within the first 5 minutes of the call I can tell if they did their research, or only reviewed the job description. This is the difference between a good candidate and an EXCELLENT one! We have high standards here — if a candidate didn’t do any research they have failed the interview, no matter how qualified they might be. If they have no idea what we do, how can they possibly know they are a fit? How can they know if they can make an impact here, and be successful in the role?
Test yourself: can you give a quick 3-minute overview on what the company does? It’s a different take on an elevator pitch — practice it and do so aloud.
There have been a handful of times where people have taken the extra steps to go out of their way to find a mutual connection to make an introduction to me or someone else in the company. I admire this, and it often leads to a preliminary phone call. This is a great time to shine. You’ve been endorsed for the job, your character has been validated, and someone is recommending you! Make sure you don’t disservice your contact, research the company and be that excellent candidate.
3. Show your enthusiasm for the company itself, not just how you believe you are a fit for the role.
Impress the interviewer with your knowledge and understanding of the company. Show how passionate you are about their product or business model. The more you know and understand, the more impressive and impactful you will be in your interview.
As you advance in the interview process, so should your research. With each round of interviews dig deeper. Are there articles or blog posts you could reference? Has there been a recent product launch? Have you looked on LinkedIn to find out more about people you will be interviewing with?
Knowledge is power, and with it you will be more prepared to take your interview skills to the next level. If you do the research, if you understand what the company does, and if you demonstrate your enthusiasm towards their mission, you will be sure to ace your next interview.