5 Best Interview Practices For 2020
Here is my playbook for “Best Interview Practices” that will help you nail your next job interview. Not until I started following these practices, I began to notice I was moving past 1st and 2nd round on my job interviews.
Follow my best interview practices if you want to feel more confident and prepared for your next job interview; increase your chances of being hired.
Preview of my Best Interview Practices
- Research The Company
- Practice Interview Answers
- Interview Preparation
- First Impression
- Mental Preparation
Best Interview Practice #1
Research the company First
What is the company about?
Perform your due diligence in ensuring the company’s core business, mission, and culture. Then, align it with what you are looking for in a company. You are setting yourself up for failure if you work for a company you are not happy to work for
Google search the company — positive or negative press?
Check to see what you find on the web, you will learn more about the company as you see how others view the company. Are they involved in the community, provide sponsorships, or maybe going through some internal problems. The more data you have on the company the better!
How does their social engagement look like?
I like checking the company’s social media accounts because you get a good sense of their culture and what matters to them. What are they highlighting in their social media accounts? Products, employees, charity work, industry news, etc. Analyze all the good insight to help you understand your potential employer.
What do people say on Glassdoor?
I always check Glassdoor when applying for a new job. What are former and current employees saying about the company? However, take it with a grain of salt, most people write on Glassdoor if they were unhappy. But some of these negative reviews can give you hints of problems that could occur in the company.
Connect with current employees to get company insights
This is another great practice I found very beneficial. I reached out to a current employee of the company I applied to and was able to connect with him via LinkedIn. I connected with other employees, they were able to tell me how they view the company and gave me some slight hints of what to expect in the interview. I consider this my recon practice since I get intel on the interview process.
Best Interview Practice #2
Practice Interview Answers
If you have to follow only one of my best interview practices, FOLLOW THIS ONE!!
Study the job description
Find a correlation with your skills and experience. Look at what skills and knowledge are being asked of you to know, or at least have an idea about it. Keep in mind, if you are applying to an entry-level position most employers know you may not be very experienced, but they still expect you to at least be familiar with the material. If you aren’t, start researching!
Physically write down your answers — better memory retention
Get my Interview Preparation Questions to help you practice answering some of the most common questions asked in interviews. You feel a sense of relief when you know what to say at an interview vs. coming up with an answer on the spot. Trust me on this, you want to write your answers beforehand.
Prepare for technical/soft skills questions
This is expected normally in the 2nd round of interviews. Typically, the manager you will work for will ask you technical and soft skills questions to see if you are a good fit. From the job description, you should be able to identify what potential technical questions you will be asked.
List your best qualities with quantitative measures
Interviewers are impressed when you provide answers with numbers. For example, I manage and maintain a network with over 200 ports, 10 WAPS, and over 1,000 end users. It can be something simple, nothing crazy. As long as you can give a quantitative example of your knowledge and experience.
Develop answers that tie into the role specifically
You will most likely be asked questions similar to “why do you want to work here, what makes you a good candidate.” Take this opportunity to highlight your background, and how it will fit in perfectly with the role you are applying for. I’ve interviewed candidates with vague answers such as “I’m a good fit because I like BLANK, I’m a good candidate because I’m a fast learner” No one will be impressed with that, make it specific and personal.
Best Interview Practice #3
Ladies HERE is a great guide for appropriate attire for interviews. Fellas, I also recommend checking out THIS post on interview attire. You can also find great examples on Pinterest, but overall make sure it’s ironed and clean.
Normally phone call interviews are done by the recruiting HR personnel, but still a very important phone call. Make sure you are somewhere away from distractions, noise, and have good cell phone reception. The last thing you want is a dropped call, and the recruiter to not hear you well. You know ahead of time when your interview will take place, make the effort to do it right.
It’s important to have a good setup for your video call. In your video invitation, you will see what platform is being used for the call. Make sure to test the video, and sound beforehand to avoid problems during the interview. Again, be somewhere away from distractions and noise.
Practice answers with someone or a mirror
It’s very important to practice your answers as BODY LANGUAGE says more about us than our words. Are you smiling? Do you look calm, or nervous? Getting feedback is great and helps polish your preparations.
Not all interviews require this, but it’s a nice touch when you bring extra copies of your resume. If it applies, it’s also helpful to bring documents that can help demonstrate your qualifications.
Bring a notebook
It can be a small notebook or journal to take any important notes mentioned in the interview. You can also use it to take notes on the company to help you prepare better for the next interview, as you can now reference details from the previous interviewer.
Search interviewer online
Another recon practice I like to do, once you have the name of your interviewer look them up online, or social media. Search if you can find anything to relate with them or something interesting you can bring up. If you are successful in collecting this intel you can casually bring up this info to help break the ice during the interview and make it flow more like a conversation than an interrogation.
Best Interview Practice #4
There’s always a possibility you may hit bad traffic, can’t find parking or you get lost. If the job is important to you, make sure you take extra steps to arrive early.
Talk to company employees
The moment you walk into the building you are leaving an impression. Be courteous to everyone you interact with.
Avoid using your phone or slouching in the waiting area. Carry yourself as a professional and you will be viewed as one.
Give a firm handshake with a smile when you meet your interviewer. Take the lead in the interview by commenting on your appreciation of the opportunity and what you like so far about the company. This normally helps make the interview feel more like a conversation and ultimately help you be less nervous.
Interviewers always ask candidates at the end if you have any questions. Ask them! If you have to make a list of questions beforehand. Ask questions that relate to the job role and the company culture. By asking questions you give the impression that you are genuinely interested in the opportunity and not chasing a paycheck.
Best Interview Practice #5
You will be nervous about your job interview. Accept the fact you will be nervous, it means you are taking it seriously. It’s natural to feel this way. Remind yourself about how much you prepared for this interview, you are most likely more prepared than the other candidates if you follow these interview practices. Look at this as a learning experience, regardless if you get the job or not you are getting something out of this experience.
*Bonus* Best Interview Practice #6
Ask For Feedback
This is one of my favorite interview practices because this interview practice literally tells you what your strengths are. Most of us struggle with identifying our strongest qualities. But by asking your interviewer what in your resume or portfolio prompted them to call you for an interview; tells you what qualities you should be highlighting about yourself.
Once you know what recruiters and hiring managers like about your background, you can expand on these qualities and make them stronger.
Don’t Stress It!
Your first interview or interviews may not be great, but that’s ok. Because every time you do an interview you are getting better with each one. In each interview, you are learning what works and what doesn’t. You are learning what employers like about your background, and you will learn enough to finally get the job you deserve. My best interview practices are not difficult to follow, you can complete them in a matter of a few hours. Practice your interview skills and you will see results with each job interview you perform.
Expect this to be challenging, all good things are. The job offer won’t be given to you, you have to earn it!
After you’ve done that leave a comment below. Let me know if you feel these tips are helpful. Did I maybe miss something that you feel should be added? Put it down in the comments, I want to hear your thoughts!
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