Having a Successful Job Interview

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Table of Contents

  • Researching
  • Be Familiar with the Specific Position
  • Preparing Questions
  • Practicing for Perfection
  • Confidence is a Key


Researching the company to which you've applied is one of the strongest advantages going into an interview, and it is definitely noticed by the interviewer. In fact, employers expect candidates to be aware of the company's markets, strategic executions, current challenges, and current interests (Thill & Bovee, 2017, p. 523). By understanding even the basics of the company, one can display his or her interest in the company and come off as a professional who is attentive to detail. Some of the basic information to research a company on consist of:

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  • Name and location
  • Brief History
  • Offered products or services
  • Financial situation
  • Growth and development figures

When finding details about the company, one should also take the time to look up the hiring manager or managers who will be conduction the interview. If information can be found about the interviewer, it can be used to build a charisma or personal connection with him or her. For example, if you can mention a club or event that the interviewer is a part of or attends regularly that is relevant to the interview material, you can further engage him or her into the process. Just as all people love to talk about themselves or things they are a part of, doing this could spice up the tone of the interview and may get the interviewer to form a positive opinion of you.

Be Familiar with the Specific Position

Another part of company research that should be done is research about the very job position you are applying for. From experience, I have learned that many employers will inquire about the aspects of the positon that interest you. Knowing the details about the position you're interviewing for can show the interviewer that you are aware of what you will be required to do every day on the job. If you are asked about a specific way you would perform a task in the job description and you don't know how to respond, you may come off as arrogant or disorganized (Bortz, 2014, p. 93). A few things to know about the position before the interview are:

  • Responsibilities and expectations
  • Qualifications and requirements
  • Relocation or travel expectations

Preparing Questions

At the end of the interviewer you will be asked if you have any questions. You should never not have at least one question prepared for the interview. This is another area where researching the company and position can benefit you. The Thill book states that you should ask questions that present your qualifications to best advantage and verify yourself as to if hiring you is the perfect opportunity (Thill & Bovee, 2017, p. 525).

Practicing for Perfection

Practice makes perfect. The best way to prepare for the conversation of your interview is to practice what you are going to say several times. One way to do this is setup a mock interview with a friend or family member and have him or her role play as the interviewer. Having another person with you when practicing responses can really help you simulate the unknown questions the interviewer may ask you, and can provide instant feedback (Binns, 2014, p. 14). The Thill text mentions that most colleges have career centers that offer mock interview experiences with random professionals and computer based systems for practicing interviews, too (Thill & Bovee, 2017, p. 526). Having another person critique you and evaluate your answers, tone, delivery, body language, and speaking habits is colossal to the development of your performance for the real interview. Employers want to see motive and commitment. For instance, use "I am" instead of "I will" because it conveys dedication. You would say, "I am a proud stakeholder of this organization" not "I will be a stakeholder" (Binns, 2014, p. 15). When practicing responses, one must plan and anticipate which questions the hiring manager is going to ask. From the position research it might already be narrowed down as to what type of questions could be asked, but you also need to be flexible if you are asked a personal question. One example of such question could be, "How do you spend your free time?"

Confidence is a Key

Everyone gets nervous, and that's okay. However, having confidence in your ability to communicate your qualities thoroughly with the employer is crucial. As mentioned above, repetition of your conversational strategy is one of the strongest confidence boosters. If you are nervous, try your best not to let it show, because the interviewer will notice (Bortz, 2014, p. 94). This is important because they can judge if you can keep your wits when confronting with high ranking executives or presenting to a team of investors. Refrain from entering the room acting like an arrogant know-it-all, and don't make it seem like you're desperate no matter what the circumstances. Also, try to stick to the responses you practice. You definitely do not want to be caught criticizing or judging past employers as negative toned comments can disappoint your prospective employer. The confidence in your speaking abilities is critical, however it is not the only form of confidence you must display when you walk in the door.

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