Job interviews are an art not a science, with all that this implies. You cannot deconstruct them step by step. In order to succeed at job interviews, you need to be able to keep certain principles in mind. These principles will help guide your behavior as a job interview subject.
Your potential boss wants you to be friendly, alert, confident but not arrogant, professional, curious, and enthusiastic. You need to try to model these traits as successfully as you can for the duration of the job interview. Your future boss is not going to be monitoring you every day once you actually get the job to make sure that your job interview persona was real, of course, which should take some of the pressure off of you. You simply have to embody this persona as well as you can for this comparatively brief session.
The people who are interviewing you are going to be paying attention to the little things. They will be looking at you to see how nervous you are. Your level of alertness and how awake you appear to be will all matter. While it is true that you can be undone by a lot of simple things, it also means that meeting a certain baseline level of alertness and confidence can already be enough to cause you to win over your competition.
Your interviewers will also pay attention to the moments that really cause you to stand out among the competition. If you did research about the company in question and demonstrate that you know a lot about it, you will stand out in a positive way. If you ask intelligent questions about the company at the right time, it will also help you stand out.
One of the challenges with acing a job interview today is the simple fact that a lot of the best answers to the tough questions are overused. Job interviewers are often specifically trying to shake you up when they ask you about your biggest flaws or your greatest challenges. Saying that your biggest flaw is that you work too hard and are too dedicated to work to enjoy life will probably just send the signal that you read a list of the best answers to job interview questions. There are certainly ‘good’ and ‘bad’ flaws when it comes to job interviews, but choosing some more original answers in advance can make all the difference.
One popular difficult question to ask involves trying to get people to voice criticisms or concerns that they have about the job or the company in question. This can be an opportunity to show off the research that you’ve done about the company, as well as possible solutions that you might have. This can also be an opportunity to show off what a people person you are, since you can mention the fact that you hope that this isn’t a job that is going to isolate you from your teammates.
Your interviewer ultimately wants to hire an ally and not a competitor. If you are there to pursue your individual ambitions at the expense of other people and you make that clear, it is going to harm your chances of getting the job. You need to show them how you will be an asset to the company, which is a large collection of individuals working together. Acing a job interview isn’t just about reading a list of the right and wrong things to say, which is just going to lead to you reciting a lot of stock phrases. Acing a job interview is about understanding the mindset of your interviewer and what he or she probably wants, and letting that guide you.