Sending out a cover letter and resume can be nerve-wracking on its own. An in-person interview, live and uncut, is even more worrisome. Thankfully, interviews don’t have to be scary. If you walk into the meeting room with a firm plan of how you’ll handle the interview, you’ll be in a much better position to prove your worth and impress the interviewers. Here are four ways you can ace your next job interview.
Do Your Research
One of the first questions you may be asked in a job interview is, “Why did you apply for this job?” or, “Tell me a little bit about what this company does, in your own words.” Even if these questions aren’t specifically asked, you should always research the company as best as you can. Learn about its history, read reviews on sites like Glassdoor from previous employees, and even reach out to current employees on LinkedIn to get a sense of the workplace. This research can help reduce the amount of stress you may feel going into the interview. Consider the interview an exam—if you do the prep work and study, you’ll ace it.
Come Prepared With Questions
Throughout the interview, applicants are invited to ask their own questions. Make sure you not only come with questions, but come with the right ones. If you did your research on the company, you won’t have to ask about workplace culture or its history. In fact, doing so may make you seem unprepared. Instead, ask focused questions about the position—what defines success in this specific role, what they look for in the ideal candidate, and what the career path looks like. It’s highly effective to weave these questions into the interview where you can, instead of bombarding interviewers at the tail end (even when they give you time to do so). Weave your curiosity into the conversation, and don’t be afraid to ask for elaboration if you’re uncertain about anything.
One of the most important parts of an interview doesn’t come until it’s over. Within 24 hours of the interview, you should send a thank-you note to those who took the time to speak with you. If you don’t know their email addresses before the interview, be sure to ask for their business cards when you meet with them. Once you have this information, contact your interviewers with a personalized letter. Be specific in your letter; mention what exactly you appreciated, and reference events or comments that specifically occurred. This demonstrates a level of personability and shows your investment in the application process, as well as the company itself.