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How to Ace Your Job Interview

Instructor: Melissa Primmer
You really want that job and just got word that you've been granted an interview. Now what? Get ready to ace that interview and get the job you want with our tips below.

Strategies for Acing Your Job Interview

Do Your Research

The people interviewing you want to know that you 'get' what their company is about. They also want to make sure you understand the job duties you'll be expected to undertake.

  • Study their website and learn more about their company philosophies and practices. Explore some of the projects they've completed and get familiar with the backgrounds of key people at the company.
  • Seek out interviews or articles written by company members to get a feel for the environment.
  • If their online presence is limited, consider spending a few minutes on the phone trying to get more info from someone at the company.
  • Review the job ad thoroughly and make sure you understand your potential tasks. If something is unclear, make a note and ask about it at the interview. This will help your interviewers see that you're serious about the position.
  • Learn how to answer common interview questions, communicate your skills clearly and effectively and make a good first impression with Study.com's brief How to Prepare for a Job Interview course.

Practice Your Interviewing Skills

Read through the job description and look at some of the job requirements. Consider how you could showcase your skills in those areas and develop some questions you think you might be asked. Then find a friend or family member who would be willing to ask you these questions in a mock interview.

You'll likely also be asked some general questions during your interview. Before your interview, practice how you'd respond to the following:

  • What are your strengths?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What do you have that your competitors don't?
  • Give an example of one of your accomplishments at your last job.
  • Why should you be our top candidate for the job?
  • Explain how you manage stress.

Study.com offers a business communication course with lessons on communicating in groups and delivering presentations that can help you improve your interviewing techniques.

Come Prepared

Bring copies of your resume. You don't want to look bad if someone has forgotten their copy and asks you for one.

Include results from your research in your responses. Show them that you're aware of their mission statement or public perception by including these ideas in your answers.

Watch video lessons that can help you prepare for an interview. Study.com's course on applying soft skills in the workplace has chapters on positive feedback, interpersonal interactions and critical thinking that might come in handy during your interview.

Stay Relaxed

This could be the most important day of your career, but being uptight or tense isn't going to help you. Stay calm by:

  • Practicing breathing exercises in your car
  • Remembering to smile
  • Making small talk before the interview
  • Arriving early

Be Friendly

Keep in mind that everyone in the company, from the receptionist who met you at the door to the president whom you passed in the hall, can play a role in the final hiring decision. Stay friendly and be pleasant to everyone you meet, even if you are stressed or nervous. Same goes in the interview. Even when tough questions are asked, keeping a pleasant attitude and showing interest in your interviewers can go a long way.

Ask Questions

Asking questions about the company and the job show interviewers that you're interested and ready to get started. Some common questions you could ask include:

  • What is the future of this position?
  • Is travel involved?
  • Why are you hiring for this position?
  • What do you like about this company?
  • What personality traits will best fit this position?

Follow Up

Once the interview ends, make sure you consider these tips to help you land that dream job:

  • Thank your interviewers on your way out.
  • Follow up with a formal thank-you note.
  • Reach out in the weeks following to check the status.
  • Glance through our Tools & Tips for Career Success chapter for ideas on how to respond to a job offer and manage your career.

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