A successful job interview is a crucial step in the hiring process. Your success requires planning and preparation to ensure your performance during the interview is effective and results in a job offer.
Conduct Research to Become an Expert
Learn everything you can about the company, the industry, and the job requirements. Read the company’s latest annual reports, talk to people in the industry, and seek out current or former employees of the company to gain a better understanding of the company and its work environment.
Compare Your Professional Qualifications, Abilities, and Skills with the Job Requirements
Generate a list of your top assets that match the job requirements. Expand the list to include specific instances that demonstrate you have the qualities required for the job. Study these past work experiences and be prepared to share them during the interview.
Be Prepared to Turn your Weaknesses into Strengths
Inevitably, interviewers will ask “What is your greatest weakness?” Be prepared to answer this question in a way that will show the interviewer you are a potential asset to their company and not a liability. You might list a couple of job-specific “hard skills” or abilities that can be learned through education or training. Make sure that these skills don’t disqualify you for the job. For example, the company you are interviewing with has its headquarters located in Germany. Your job doesn’t require you to speak German fluently, but learning this skill would definitely be a strength. If you mention a “soft skill” (e.g. communication or interpersonal skills) or “work ethic” weakness, such as being too much of a perfectionist or being too detailed oriented, make sure that weakness is not necessary to do the job. Be prepared to show how you are working to overcome these weaknesses or explain how these weaknesses might be seen as a positive as it relates to the job.
Listen, Ask Questions & Engage the Interview
During the interview pay attention to make sure you understand the interviewer’s questions. Then, take the time to formulate proper responses. When possible expand your answers by finding ways to include any applicable work experience. Have questions of your own to engage the interviewer and show you have an interest. Near the end of the interview, let the interviewer know you are interested in the job and believe it is an excellent fit.