Career Advice, Interviews, Jobs

5 Secrets to Acing Your Next Job Interview

This review is going great!

A professional outfit? Check. Impeccable resume? Check. Thorough company research? Yep, got that too. However, acing a job interview doesn’t just mean impressing the interview team. It’s also about getting a clear sense of what you want. Successful job interviews yield clarity and connection for those on both sides of the table.

You’re not coming to this meeting to be weighed for your worth. You are meeting with equals to discuss an opportunity that could be beneficial for everyone involved. Approach this interaction knowing what you want to get out of the meeting rather than trying to display what you think the interview team wants to hear from you. You’re interviewing these managers and potential colleagues just as much as they are interviewing you. So assess the culture carefully, and use your gut instincts to help you decide if this professional culture could be a fit for you.

If you’re gearing up for a job search, bookmark this page for the following tips on #winning in your next interview.

1. Don’t be Overly Focused on Outcome
A great interview doesn’t always lead to a job offer. Sometimes an internal candidate emerges and has an edge, the position gets nixed, or the pay range isn’t a fit. Regardless of how it turns out, having a positive interview experience is professionally valuable. It’s confidence building and can lead to future positive interview experiences. So make that your aim.

[Related: Recent Interview Experiences at Local Companies]

2. Handle the Logistics
Arrive on time and professionally dressed. Bring copies of your resume and, as long as they aren’t bulky or distracting, bring samples that represent the work you do. If you are applying for a grant writing job, bring a sample proposals or two. If it’s a graphic design position you’re after, bring a couple pieces you’ve done. This is a meeting. So think of it like other meetings you attend. Bring simple materials if they help clarify and illustrate the points you aim to make.

3. Arrive Prepared
Arrive to your job interview having thoroughly researched the company and having thoroughly reviewed the job post. Know where you’re going, how to get there and with whom you are meeting.

[Related: 20,000+ Reviews from Employees of Walmart]

4. Ask meaningful questions
This meeting may yield a job offer. If it does, you want to have all the information you need to accept the job with confidence, knowing that you are signing on to work at an institution where you can be happy.

Don’t ask questions that you think those on the hiring side want to hear. A Glassdoor employer survey revealed that “More than two-thirds (67%) of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a clearer picture of what to expect about working at the company before taking the job.” (https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/popular-topics/hr-stats.htm)

Consider these:

  • Can you speak a bit about the history of this position? How long did the previous person hold the job? Did he or she stay with the company or leave? May I ask why he or she left?
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company and on this team?
  • What do you think is the biggest challenge about working here?

5. Make your peace with salary negotiations
The secret about Salary negotiations is that they’re not that hard. And they’re not embarrassing and engaging in them does not suggest that you’re greedy. Try it, because sometimes a hiring manager has extra money that can be yours if you ask for it. If you do that, your job satisfaction might be greater. And you’re likely to stay in your position longer. And everyone wants that.

DISCOVER: 2016’s Best Places to Interview