4 tips to help you nail a job interview

The interview is arguably the most challenging — and essential — aspect of any job search. But it’s not just an obstacle that you have to overcome. It’s an opportunity to learn about the company, figure out if you are interested in the position and convince the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job.

If you tend to feel anxious about interviews, remind yourself that you already outperformed numerous job candidates to get to this point. The hiring manager liked your resume, cover letter, telephone manner and online profile so much that she is willing to take time out of her day for an in-person meeting.

Here are some tips to help you persuade the boss that you’re the top candidate for the job.

Do your homework: If you don’t know anything about the company, it’s difficult to show the hiring manager that you will play a pivotal role in its success. Before the interview, find out about the organization’s products and services. Learn about the leadership team. Try to pin down the responsibilities of the position. And come up with a few ways that you can use your unique background and experience to accomplish business objectives.

Ask intelligent questions: Once you understand the company’s goals and priorities, prepare a few pertinent, thoughtful questions that you can ask during the interview. Most hiring managers will end the interview by saying, “What questions do you have for me?” Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your communication talents, work ethic and genuine interest in the position.

Here are three sample questions that can be adapted to your situation: “What are the most crucial tasks that the person in this role will need to address right away?” “In the past, I have tracked the return on investment of my projects to determine the financial impact of my work. How does XYZ Corporation measure performance?” “What are the most important skills necessary to score high marks in this position?”

Present intriguing examples: All job interviews are loaded with questions. Tough ones. Easy ones. The key is to use every question as a chance to prove that you have what it takes to succeed and thrive as a member of the company. Wishy-washy answers won’t earn any points, so be very specific. When a new question is posed, listen carefully and take a moment to construct a response that clearly and concisely highlights your strengths and achievements.

Let’s say that the interviewer asks about your problem-solving skills. Instead of claiming that you’re a whiz at finding solutions in complicated circumstances, tell her about the time you turned around a faltering software development project within two weeks of the deadline. Explain that you met with the team and quickly isolated the cause of the problem; the group didn’t have the equipment needed to complete the job. Immediately after you identified the primary issue, you secured the required resources and resolved the situation.

Remain positive: Every job hunter has made mistakes during their careers. When discussing errors or bad choices, focus on the positive. Tell the employer what you have learned and how the experience will help you serve as a valuable, indispensable employee.

Eve Nicholas: Eve.GetaJob@gmail.com.

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