Most recruiters today use structured interviews. They ask candidates the same set of questions to better gauge their responses. This provides a more objective way to compare and contrast job seekers based on their answers. It also means that you need great interview tips to beat these interviews!
That’s good news for those looking for employment because you can better prepare yourself to answer structured interview questions. There are proven ways to answer questions that can help increase your odds of getting hired.
Whether or not you take part in a structured interview, here are a few job interview tips to help you ace your interview. After you are done with this article, head over to Voomer so you can practice answering interview questions and you’ll get AI-powered feedback on your answers.
Do Your Research
You want to show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework. Fortunately, there is so much information available online that it’s easy to visit the company’s website and look at any recent news items and other information about it.
Research the values and principles of the company you’re applying to. Companies want to find people that fit their culture, so it helps when you know what that culture is. It can help you frame responses in a way that fits with the way they do business.
Study the job listing carefully. You’ll want to make sure you touch on the key requirements during your discussion to relate how your experience matches with what they need. You may want to make a note about specific keywords and phrasing, but it’s most important that you can share relevant examples that show you’re a good fit.
Start Strong and Watch Your Body Language
We’d all like to think we get hired on our merits and skills, but there are other factors at play. Many interviewers make up their minds quickly, picking up on subconscious signals that may impact their assessment.
A third of interviewers say they know whether they plan to move forward with a candidate within the first 90 seconds of meeting them. That means, in less time than it takes to read this article, recruiters may have already made up their minds about you.
You need to start strong. That means being on time, being dressed properly, watching your body language, and being positive.
- Make sure to maintain eye contact during in-person interviews.
- During video interviews, look directly at the camera and limit any visual distractions around you.
- Watch your posture and avoid nervous habits like touching your face or hair.
- Smile and don’t be afraid to laugh!
- Be enthusiastic and energetic.
Use the STAR Method for Answering Questions
Here’s one of the most powerful tips for a successful interview. The STAR method is a structured way to respond that helps demonstrate your expertise. STAR stands for:
Try to think about your response in these terms. Describe a specific situation that you encountered and the goals of the task. Then, discuss the actions you took to meet those goals and the results. You want to show quantifiable results whenever possible.
For example, you might be asked what you would do to grow sales. Your answer might be something like:
- Situation: In my current job, we’re focused on developing new business. We have aggressive goals, and I’ve been able to meet or exceed every one of them.
- Task: I’m responsible for finding my own leads and making sure I always have my pipeline full.
- Action: I set aside an hour every day to prospect and pre-qualify potential customers. Then I do a little online research before contacting them. While sales is a numbers game, you can’t afford to waste your time on prospects that aren’t a good fit for what you’re selling.
- Result: I consistently bring in the most new business at my company. We have sales contests each quarter, and I’ve won them three out of the last few quarters.
Ask Intelligent Questions
At the end of the interview, you may be given a chance to ask questions. If so, have a few ready ahead of time. It’s another opportunity to demonstrate both your interest and your knowledge. A few sample questions might include:
- Why is this position open?
- If you could pinpoint one thing that would determine whether the person you hire will be great at their job, what would it be?
- If you hire me, what goals would you want me to achieve in my first month, two months, or six months?
- What is the biggest challenge for your company?
- What do you love about working here?
- What is the next step in your hiring process?
Don’t ask about things that you can answer yourself. If it’s public information or on the company’s website, you should know already.
After the Interview
When the interview is concluded, take a moment to thank the recruiter. This interview tip might seem corny, but they’ve invested their time in learning about you and you should show some appreciation. Sending a follow-up note or email thanking them and mentioning specifics from your conversation can make a big impression.
It sounds simple, but people rarely send thank-you notes for job interviews anymore. Doing so can help you stand out and reinforce the positive points from your interview.
Practice and Prepare to Be Your Best Self
You don’t want the first time you’re thinking of the right answer to be in front of the interviewer. Practice ahead of time by thinking about what types of questions will be asked and how to ace a job interview.
Especially in structured interviews, you’re likely to hear many of the same questions. Here are some of the more common ones, with links to some tips on how to answer them best.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What is your biggest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Can you tell me about yourself?
This interview tip is key since it’s important to have answers ready that always come back to meeting company goals. This is where your research and preparation pay off.
Voomer can give you a significant advantage when you’ve got a crucial job interview lined up. Using scientifically proven methods and artificial intelligence-enhanced video analysis, you get instant video feedback on how you’re doing so you can refine your performance for when it matters most.