Ace Your Next Interview

Knowing how to handle yourself during an interview won’t get you your next job on its own, but it can definitely help.  What you say and how you present yourself are vital during the process… Here are some things to keep in mind as you interview to give yourself the best chance at landing the job.
Use The Company’s Own Words

You always need to research the company you’re interviewing with, and before your interview, become familiar with the company’s website and literature. As you’re researching, pay attention to words that keep popping up.  Those are the key words to hit upon during your interview – they’re what are important to the organization.
Using the company’s key words, like collaboration, teamwork, leadership, or growth, can send the message that you have what the company is looking for.

Instead of “I don’t know,” say “That’s a Good Question.”

If the interviewer asks a question that surprises you, saying, “That’s a good question,” can give you a few moments to come up with an answer.  In the meantime, it compliments the interviewer in a subtle way.

Avoid saying, “I don’t know,” whenever possible (but of course, don’t lie about your experience or training!).

Share why you want the job

Of course, interviewers want to know what you will bring to their company in the way of skills and experience, but they also want to know a job prospect’s motivations for applying for their open position.

Share your career goals and how you see this position fits into your future plans, how it fits with your values, and what you would like to learn from it. Talk about what you believe you can bring to the position, and how you see yourself in relation to the company.  This helps show who you are as a person, and gives the hiring manager an idea about how you might fit in the company.

Be flexible

While you certainly don’t want to be a pushover (especially when it comes to your salary negotiation), being flexible allows the interviewer to avoid complications in coordinating a second interview or even your start date.  It signals that you are willing to work with others and are ready to step into possibly changing job duties.  

Bottom line: being flexible makes you easy to get along with. 

Ask Thoughtful Questions

When you ask good questions, it shows you are interested in understanding the company. There is typically a time to ask questions near the end of an interview, so be ready with thoughtful questions that show you’re engaged in the process and interested in the job.

Some good questions to ask:

  • What are the biggest short- and long-term issues I would need to focus on in this position?
  • What would I need to focus on differently than the previous person in this position?
  • What organizational issues should I be aware of?