10 Tips To Nail Your Next Job Interview

10 Tips To Nail Your Next Job Interview.jpeg

By Becky Houdesheldt

I’ve been with the same company for 9 and ½ years and am on my 4th position. In that time I’ve applied for lots of positions within the company, not to mention the myriad of positions I submitted for prior to my career here. I’ve nailed some job interviews and I’ve bombed twice as many. I’ve learned that there are definite things you should and should not do. Learn from my many mistakes.

Present your best physical self. Don’t go in tired, or hungover. Don’t go in looking like you rolled out of bed, especially if that is exactly what happened. Take a shower. Style that hair. Wear deodorant and brush your teeth. This sounds like basic information, but trust me. It warrants being said, and it’s first for a reason. First impressions are a real thing.

Research the job and company. I have applied for many positions just to get out of a job I was in that I hated, and when I got the interview, was so ecstatic to be selected that I didn’t even think about what I would do when I was actually in the interview. Once I was interviewed at a big government partner, and 10 minutes into the interview realized the position I’d applied for was physical labor type stuff – moving tables and chairs, set up and tear down of rooms, etc. I was 22 and “strong” is not exactly the adjective I’d use to describe myself then. The guys must’ve thought it was hilarious. Do your research.

Ask questions. Don’t go into an interview without having thought of at least 2 questions to ask the person who is interviewing you. Ask about the specific job functions, how the job fits in with the team, how the responsibilities affect the company, how long the interviewer has been in the job, how long it takes to feel confident in the position, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into an interview and when asked if I had any questions I proudly said “Nope!” as though it made me look so smart, that I understood everything they were saying. What it actually showed was that I didn’t care enough about the position or the leadership to generate any interest outside of asking to be interviewed.

Think big picture. This job is probably one small piece of a giant machine that you’re going to be trying to fit into. It doesn’t matter if it is flipping burgers or spying for your country, there is always a bigger picture.

Ask for help. I have reached out to many people who hold positions higher than me, and asked them what types of things they look for in interviewees. What types of questions should I ask? What does upper management look for in a candidate, generally speaking?

Format your résumé. There are tons of sites online that will help format your résumé. Make sure all your information is up to date, clearly and succinctly stated. The latest information I had was to try to keep it to 1 page. References are not necessarily required depending on the job, but if you have them make sure it isn’t just your bff and your big sis on there. Some references with business credibility who can speak to your character will go a long way.

Brag on yourself, but also know your weaknesses. It is difficult to admit that I can sometimes get a bit headstrong, and that when I’m under pressure I tend to get tunnel vision. Being able to identify my flaws as well as my assets show the interviewer that I’m realistic about my abilities and that I have a willingness to learn and grow.

Be kind. Walking in to an interview with arrogance or an attitude of expectations is no way to land a job. While it is important to know your worth and value, it is also important to be humble and remember that this job could go to a handful of people. Manners and kindness go a long way.

Don’t whine about old jobs. Attempt to maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole interview. Don’t talk about your old boss and all the crap he made you do. Instead, be sure to state that you have the ability to multi-task, are a team player and are able to shift gears quickly when priorities change. Words mean things. In my experience, managers want to hire people who have a positive outlook.

Breathe. Job interviews can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Especially if you’re on interview 2 or 3, and upper management decides to sit in. Just remember they are just people too, just like you. If you can communicate effectively under pressure, that will go a long way. It isn’t easy – it takes practice. I used to get so nervous I’d sweat embarrassingly. I’m not a pretty sweater. I get the beads on my upper lip and the flop sweat on my forehead – it’s not a pretty sight. But when I just breathe – take deep, cleansing breaths – I am able to focus better on the task in front of me.

Becky is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via pexels}

2 thoughts on “10 Tips To Nail Your Next Job Interview

  1. crackingadulthood says:

    Great tips! I’ve found it helpful to do a quick search on who is interviewing you as well, if you know their names. LinkedIn is useful but log out of our account first. You wouldn’t want them knowing you creeped them! Prepare a few questions to ask as well. It’s okay to ask why this job is available to give a sense of how onboarding will go and if there are any procedures already in place. Find out why they like the company! This is a chance for you to find out if it’ll be the correct position for you!


  2. terrys2017 says:

    I do agree with what you said here. I do find that asking questions does let the person who is interviewing you know that you are interested in the position and not just simply that you need a job or need more money. I used to be someone who did not ask questions after the interview was over, but it is something that I try to make sure I do now. Even coming up with questions ahead of time is helpful.


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