When you interview for a job, you want to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position. But don't forget that at the same time, you also want to find out as much as you can about the company to see if it is a good match for your needs, too. It has to be a win-win situation!
Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you need to answer some job interview questions:
- Do your homework in advance. The first step in learning how to answer job interview questions is to do your homework prior to the interview. This will help you to know what the company does and how they operate. This will help you feel comfortable answering questions about how your skills will benefit the employer. If the company has a website, it is always a good idea to visit it before the interview so you will be as prepared as possible.
- Try to be as relaxed as you can be. One of the most obvious of interview tips is to try to stay calm. If talking a walk or reading a book helps you to feel at ease, do that before the meeting so you are at your best when the pressure is on.
- Remember that the person interviewing you is human, too. She may also be nervous about meeting you. Keeping this in mind can help to keep things in perspective.
- Be up front if you have a bad case of nerves. If you feel a little nervous about the interview and are afraid it will show, don't be afraid to admit it to the interviewer. Sometimes saying that you are a little nervous right up front can be a good ice breaker. Once you name the feeling, you might find it isn't as strong.
- Be personable. You don't want to seem so stiff and formal that your personality doesn't show through. Always maintain a pleasant appearance. If you are easygoing and like to joke a little, if you are applying for a sales or customer service position where this would be an asset, let the interviewer catch a glimpse of this. Of course, you'll want to remain professional.
- Don't forget where you are. While being comfortable with the interviewer is a good thing, getting too casual is a big no no. You don't ever want to be too chatty or informal or share too much personal information. This interview advice can be a challenge if you feel an immediate connection with the person interviewing you, but you still need to remain professional.
- Stay focused and keep your goal in mind. You are meeting with the interviewer because you potentially want the job, so answer interview questions with this context in mind. For instance, if the interview asks you to describe a situation where you had to problem solve, use an example that would demonstrate your value to the company in some way.
- Be flexible. Sometimes interviews don't go as you expected. if the interviewer keeps you waiting for a long time, or asks you questions that you didn't expect, go with the flow and show you are adaptable and can handle surprises.
- Avoid simple yes and no answers. When an employer asks you a question, try to be specific and give some examples to supplement your answers in detail.
- Take care not to sound too canned. Put some thought into your answers and always be honest. Don't just say what someone wants to hear.
- Turn negatives into positives. Many interviewers ask people to describe their biggest weaknesses. If this is the case, be prepared with something that you can use as a weakness that might actually be beneficial in the job you are applying for. For example, if the job would require cold calling potential customers, you might talk about how your weakness is that you can just never give up, even when things seem hopeless. This would be a good trait in a job that requires determination so always be sure you are answering interview questions accordingly.
- Ask your own questions. It helps if you have some in mind before the interview begins, so you can show you are generally interested in the job and want to know more about it. If you are unsure where to start, just go with the basics. You might ask what a typical day in this job would be like, or why the last person left the position or what the timeline is for filling the position.
- Make eye contact. By looking the other person in the eye, and by smiling when appropriate, you give a good impression and seem confident and appealing. A firm handshake is also a good way to convey that you are confident, feel good about yourself and have a lot to offer the company.
These interview strategies have been presented to calm your nerves by making you familiar with the process. Never forget that the one interviewing you may have just started that job and may also have a some nervousness during the job interview, too. Everyone wants a good result!