One of the most dreaded workplace activities among working professionals is the job interview. Very accomplished candidates become nervous and uncertain of themselves during an interview. Today, I want to offer you simple advice that will show you how to ace an interview.
I often tell candidates of mine that nothing really significant happens until you are fact to face with a hiring manager. Never take a job interview lightly. Do not assume that you can “wing it” or that you work better at “going with the flow.” Here are 4 steps that I would encourage you to follow in order to ace a job interview.
How to Ace an Interview
1. Do plenty of research before your interview
The more preparation you do ahead of time the better off you will be. I often see more experienced candidates neglect this area. They mistakenly believe that they can just rely on their experience and draw from all the wealth of knowledge that they have accumulated. Do not do this. I have seen plenty of well experienced candidates choke under the pressure. Do research on the company, their organization chart, their products, and their future goals.
2. Do not underestimate the power of personal chemistry
If you want to know how to ace an interview, you cannot rely on your skill alone. Your skill must match your will in order to ace an interview. I wish I had a dollar for all of the times hiring managers have told me “they can do the job, but I am not sure if they are interested.” Hiring managers want to hire people they like and people they think like them and the work.
3. Stay personally engaged during the entire process
Some interview processes can be lengthy, you may start to lose focus. Challenge yourself to stay focused on the interviewer. Be engaged with the people you are talking to. Even if you have a winded interviewer, you need to stay focused on them. If they sense your mind is engaged elsewhere, then they will assume you are not interested.
4. The interview process is not over once you walk out the door
Do not just sit and wait for the phone to ring. That is the wrong approach. If you want to learn how to ace a job interview, then you must understand that it often starts after you have walked out of the door. Send a thank you card in the mail. If they offered you a business card, email a thank you note as well. Give them a call in a few days to let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and you are still interested in the job. If it has been awhile and you have not heard anything, try one of these follow up emails after the interview.
The truth is that interviewing is a skill. You often learn best through experience. It is no different with interviewing. Determine that with each interview you are going to better than the last one.