Acing a job interview could be your ticket to an offer letter and the start of a great new career opportunity. The problem? Most job candidates don't.
A good 55% of working professionals have admitted to botching a job interview, according to LinkedIn. The top offenses included being overly nervous (32%), not preparing well enough in advance (27%), and mispronouncing words (10%), which could be problematic if the words in question are business terms you should be familiar with.
Of course, one reason why it's so hard to excel at job interviews is that most of us don't go on them all that frequently, especially once we've established our careers. But nailing a job interview is the only way you're going to get yourself hired at a new company, so here are a few ways you can manage to do just that.
1. Research the company at hand thoroughly
Showing up to an interview unprepared is downright unacceptable, as it sends the message that you couldn't be bothered to spend time to do your research. Don't send that message. Instead, read up on the company you're about to meet with. Study its website, and search for articles about it so you're aware of news and developments. It also helps to familiarize yourself with the company's products or services. If you're unable to sample them directly (say, because they cost too much money), read up on them so you're coming in educated.
2. Prepare to answer tough interview questions
It's common to have tough questions thrown at you during a job interview. You know what else is common? The questions themselves. Classics like "What's your greatest weakness?" or "How have you failed in the past?" are more likely than not to get hurled your way, so spend some time thinking about how you'll answer them in advance.
3. Do a few trial runs
You might think you're ready to go on a job interview, only to get extremely nervous or thrown the moment you sit down across from your interviewer in a conference room. A good bet, therefore, is to enlist the help of a family member or friend and go through a few trial runs. It may seem hokey or unnecessary, but it could end up serving the very important purpose of getting you comfortable with the process as a whole.
4. Utilize free resources
The internet is loaded with free resources that can help you gear up for an interview -- so use them. LinkedIn, for example, recently released a new set of interview tools that can help you prepare for the process. These and similar tools are developed by professionals, so why not capitalize on their expertise?
Botching a job interview is a good way to guarantee that you won't be getting hired for the position in question. Rather than let that happen, research the companies you're meeting with, read up on common interview questions, practice the actual act of interviewing, and explore online tools at your disposal. With any luck, you'll wow your next interviewer to the point where an offer letter quickly follows suit.
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