Job Interviews

Interview Basics to Help You Land the Job

One of the most critical steps in any job search process is securing an interview with the hiring manager. Whether it’s your first ever job interview, you’re making plans to switch careers, or just trying to brush up on your interviewing skills for a dream job later down the road, preparing for the interview is crucial, regardless of where you are in your career.

Take a look at this list of interview basics to help increase your chance of landing the job.

Research The Company

You may have applied for many positions simply based on the job description. Conduct research on the company you’d like to work for to learn more about its values and mission, as well as the workplace culture and how your skills may help the company.

Take some time to look at the LinkedIn profiles of some of the company’s executive leadership and people you may work with within your department. It’s possible that your supervisor or another team member has a similar background to yours, which could make for an interesting chat during the interview.

Showcase Your Portfolio

“Show, don’t tell” is a phrase you’ve probably heard before. In the interview process, this is crucial. A potential hiring manager wants to hear about your previous work experiences, but they also want to see your work to determine whether you’re a good match for the company. Make the most of this opportunity to showcase some of your best work. Bring copies of your presentations, analytic data, or performance reviews to show off if you’re doing an in-person interview.

Have your tabs open if you’re doing a virtual interview so you can share your screen with your interviewer.

Prepare Your Own Interview Questions

Near the end of the interview, most interviewers give you the option to ask questions. Take advantage of this time. To set yourself apart from the competition, ask open-ended questions such as “what do you appreciate about your job?”, “what do you dislike about your job?”, and “what challenges are you trying to solve by hiring me?” to learn more about the position you applied for. Also, don’t forget to ask for the next steps in the interview process.

Follow Up After the Interview

You’ll need to create follow-up communication after you’ve finished your interview. For most interview follow-ups, email is the best option. Ask your recruiter, if you have one, to send you the emails of the people who interviewed you if you can’t find them. Reiterate something you learned about the company during the interview to add a personal touch. Remembering specifics from the conversation demonstrates your interest in the position and desire to build a relationship with the team as if you’ve already been hired.

How do you prepare for a successful interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

When and How to Discuss Pay in an Interview

At the end of the day, even if they love their job, people work to get a paycheck. They need to pay for utilities, support their families, and save for retirement. However, it isn’t advisable to ask how much a job pays in your first interview. Companies want a new hire that’s really interested in the job and company culture, not just a paycheck.

But when are you supposed to bring up pay then? And how should you ask? We’ve got you covered. (more…)

More Questions to Ask After the Interview

Job applicants spend most of their time researching questions their interviewer might ask and coming up with suitable answers. Which makes sense, given that most of the interview is spent answering questions. However, it’s just as important to come up with a few questions of your own to ask after the interview is over. Clever questions can both help you learn if the position is right for you and show your interviewer you’re the right person for the job. Here are a few questions that are always great to ask. (more…)

Why Aren’t You Getting a Second Interview?

You put in the work and sent out plenty of job applications, and you had the opportunity to interview with some great companies. But for some reason, even when you think those interviews went well, you never get a second interview.

What’s going on? Is there something you’re doing wrong? Not necessarily, but there might be a few things you can improve. Here are a few reasons for not getting a second interview and solutions to help you move forward. (more…)

Losing a Job Due to an Aptitude Test

You have the experience. You have the interview skills. You know what you’re doing! You ace the phone interview, the in-person interview is a cakewalk, and you know this job offer is coming your way. But before you can get the offer, your would-be employer asks for an aptitude test. It’s just a formality, so it shouldn’t be anything to worry about, right?

But then when it’s time to take the test it’s confusing. Maybe the questions are odd, there’s a time limit, or it covers information that isn’t really relevant to the position. But you persevere and finish it. However, you get a call two days later from the company’s HR department, who you didn’t even interview with, telling you that you didn’t get the job.

It’s hard not to feel devastated. How do you deal with losing a job you were perfect for due to what feels like a technicality? Here are a few things to know. (more…)

Questions to Ask in a Final Round Interview

You did it. You made it through the phone interview and several in-person interviews and now you’re here: the final interview. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, it can be hard to think of something because you’ve already had so many other opportunities to ask questions. However, this is a great chance to show your interest in the job, and make sure the job is right for you. (more…)

Proving Your Soft Skills in an Interview

When it comes to interviews, job applicants usually focus on hard skills, defined by Investopedia as “learned abilities acquired and enhanced through practice, repetition, and education.” Skills such as knowing how to use a certain program, experience working in a certain industry, or being familiar with a certain product or service.

However, employers are just as interested, if not more, in soft skills, defined as “character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationship with other people.” When looking for hireable applicants, decision-makers often look for certain soft skills in their applicants. Specifically, they look for a good combination of willingness to learn, dependability, and communication skills. Here’s how to show you have these abilities in your next interview. (more…)