Success or failure in an interview is neither a question of luck, nor a question of education or your previous working experience. Whether you ace your interview depends mostly on whether you understand what matters in the meeting with the employer. You should learn what the interviewers want to hear from a perfect candidate from the job, and how to make a good impression on them.
At the end of the day, job interview does not differ to any other oral exam: you can prepare for it in advance, and improve your chances of passing the test with flying colors (and with a new job contract waiting for you).
Though your chances depend also on a few factors you cannot influence, for example the number of other candidates who compete with you for the job, and on their interviewing skills and qualities, you should not bother with that. You should focus only on things that you can control. We will have a look at them right now, in our step-by-step guide on how to ace a job interview.
Table of Contents
1. Step – Perfect interview preparation.
Prepare mentally, prepare physically. Research about the company, check the most common interview questions, practice your answers with a friend. Practice makes perfect, practice helps us to get rid of stress. The more you know about the employer and the better you understand the interviews and what happens in them, the less stress you will experience on a big day.
You can check our interview preparation guide to understand how to prepare for an interview, or our Interview Success Package to see up to 10 premium answers to all common interview questions, from each category, and learn how to make the best possible impression on the hiring managers.
2. Step – Try to improve on your soft skills
Times when people with the highest IQ got the best jobs are long gone. The same is true about people with the best education, those who have the most prestigious degrees from the most expensive universities. While a degree can and will help you, it is not a decisive factor in an interview anymore. At least not in a corporate interview.
Emotional intelligence is the real deal today. Do you know how to win your interviewers over? Can you connect with them in a rather personal way during your meeting? Do you know how to recognize their strengths, and praise them in the interview? Can you read their expectations in a course of an interview, and adjust your answers in order to meet the expectations?
Once you improve on your soft skills, getting a job of your choice will become much easier. Purchase some books that will help you with your communication skills and emotional intelligence, and work on your listening skills. Try to liberate yourself of your ego, to be free to truly listen to, and to understand the person sitting opposite to you. It is the only way to make a truly meaningful connection with them. And if you manage to make such a connection, you’ll be just a step away from a new employment contract.
3. Step – Follow up your interview
Most people believe that once they leave the interview room, there is nothing more they can do in order to get the job. They just go home and wait for the employer to give them a call, which may as well never happen.
Keep in mind that your success (or failure) in an interview starts in a moment of composing your first job application, and ends no earlier than after a follow-up letter, or call. Check our interview follow-up section to understand how to write a great letter, and send one to the employer after every interview you go to. You can lose nothing but you can definitely win something sending your letter.
4. Step – Choose the right job, one you can realistically get, one you will enjoy doing
Many job seekers waste their time applying and interviewing for jobs they cannot realistically get (at least not in a present period of their professional career, with the experience and education they have, simply not meeting the requirements).
You should realistically evaluate your experience, education, and skills, and apply for jobs you can realistically get, following the job description.
What is more, you should try to get a job you will enjoy doing. You won’t be happy earning a lot of money while hating the nature of your new job, and what is even more important, your enthusiasm and motivation plays a role in every interview. Unless you really want the job (and not only need one), the interviewers won’t hear any enthusiasm in your answers. And in such a case they won’t hire you, unless you really apply for some third-class job nobody else wants to do, and you happen to be the only candidate. Choosing a job you’d enjoy doing, and can realistically get, is actually the first step in a process of acing an interview…
5. Every detail counts
More often than not, you will compete with other people for the job. Some of them will be older than you, some of them will have more experience, or a better education. Just like in any other “competition”, each of you will have some strengths and weaknesses.
Nevertheless, you can still outclass everyone. You just have to understand all parts of the equation, and get everything right, each part of the puzzle. One of them is choosing the right clothes for the meeting with the employer. Another one is to show the right emotions in the interview, the non verbal communication.
Then we have the documents, your job application, resume, or perhaps even your work portfolio–an ace in your sleeve that alone can secure you a job contract, if we talk about technical jobs and job interviews in which demonstration of your previous successes play a major role. Do not underestimate anything in the meeting with the employer, because every detail counts, and can make a difference between you and the 2nd best candidate.
6. Believe and succeed
Last but not least, you should truly believe that you will succeed. Set your mind the right way. Repeat to yourself (in a quiet voice, or even in a loud one) that you will make it, that you will impress the HR managers and sign that coveted employment agreement.
Confidence can do wonders for you. If nothing else, it will liberate you from anxiety, and help you to deliver your very best on a big day. Who cares what the others think or say about you? You know the best. You can succeed. Believe in it, and make it happen…
May also help you:
- Interview Success Package – Up to 10 premium answers to all interview questions. Learn something your competitors won’t know, outclass them in the interviews, and get the job. See samples directly on the product page.
- What job is right for me? Starting your professional career? Deciding about your studies? Or feeling unhappy in your present occupation? The article should help you to find your true calling in life.