How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

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There comes a time in almost every person’s life when they decide to get a job. Getting a job, whether for the first or hundredth time, is an exciting and scary adventure of finding where you fit in best. But for those of you who have never gotten a job before, or perhaps have always struggled at keeping a job or making a good first impression, here is some advice from Kristen Landers-Reid, the director of human resources (HR) at LHH Career Services.

After finding a job that’s hiring and suits your interests, next comes the interview. The interview is what finalizes the deal. It could either land you the job or could cause you to walk away empty-handed. Landers-Reid explained that “making sure you understand your personal strengths and then looking for an opportunity that aligns with your strengths …[and] understanding: What are your top skills? What are the things you’re really good at? What could you bring to a job? And then focusing your search on that,” is one key way to finding the right job to apply to. Understanding who you are and why you are there is what sets up an interview for success.

After you have sought out the reasoning for the interview and what your strengths are, preparing for the interview is another key component. Make sure to bring your resume or have your LinkedIn profile ready, and come prepared. “Being approachable and friendly,” making sure you’re “able to have a conversation,” and remembering that “you make an impression right away” on the interviewer is important when showing up for your interview. Be yourself but not in a way that makes the interviewer think you’re not taking the interview seriously. Try to be outgoing and try to make the conversation flow if you can. Remember that it’s okay to be nervous. Try to take deep breaths and talk slowly.

Landers-Reid pointedly said, “Approachability is key.” You could do everything else right, but if you aren’t friendly and approachable, then the interview was for naught. People skills are needed in almost every job. If you can’t be approached by your boss, how can you approach others in your work and approach clients and customers? One way to check if you are approachable and knowledgeable is to do a mock interview with a friend or family member. They will ask you a series of questions that could come up and then evaluate how well you are at answering them calmly and collectively while monitoring your behaviors such as friendliness and eye contact.

You should become familiar with common questions such as: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What are your strengths in the workplace? Why do you want this job? What makes you the best candidate? Then, you will start to relax and feel more confident in your interviewing capabilities which will lead to a better performance in your interview.