How to Secure that Dream Job: 12 Essential Interview Tips
Career Advice from our Career Professionals
As BC’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% last month, our career advisors at Dress for Success Vancouver continue to mentor and guide our clients through their job search. Last year, a total of 160 women were provided with career assistance by of our dedicated, professional volunteers, all of which have several years of recruiting experience that they share with our clients.
We interviewed one of our careers consultants for advice, and came up with a list of 12 helpful tips to maximize the chances of securing that dream job. Here is what to do to prepare for a successful interview:
Before the interview
Your objective is to be convincing when you say, “I want to work at your company.” Back this up by understanding what makes the company unique. The better you understand the employer’s needs, the more effectively you can show how you can benefit their company.
2. Understand your own skills and experiences.
Think of instances from previous jobs where you helped improve the way things were done. If you identify some of your strongest accomplishments ahead of time, you will not only recall them a lot faster when the time comes, but will feel a lot more confident in your abilities.
Do it with a friend, or in front of a mirror. Just practice, practice, practice. Make sure to also practice introductions, since first impressions are often made within the first few seconds of an encounter.
4. Know your weaknesses.
Think of your worst qualities, in case you are asked about them. If you are, talk about what you’ve been doing to improve on them.
You can try: “Sometimes I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I limit that by prioritizing my deadlines.” Or: “I’m a little shy about giving my opinion, but I’ve joined a conversation group to get better at it.”
5. Prepare thoughtful questions.
Bring questions that show you have a thorough understanding of the company, the job, and its requirements – and be prepared to explain your interest in them.
During the interview
Before you go into the room, stop, take a moment, and relax. You’ve got this.
7. Stay in the moment.
Be present, and listen carefully to the interviewer when they are asking a question. Now is not the time to think about all those other things – like what they might ask next, or what you are or aren’t. Shake off those thoughts and face each moment as it comes.
8. Show enthusiasm.
People can sense the energy you bring into a room. Be conscious of that, and don’t be afraid to express your enthusiasm.
9. Give clear answers.
Always try to communicate your message clearly, and stay on topic.
10. Maintain eye contact.
When speaking, look your interviewer in the eye. Try to speak as if you were talking to a friend you like and respect.
After the interview
11. Leave with confidence.
Give a firm handshake and a smile. That should do the trick!
12. Follow up with a note.
Shortly after the interview, it is good practice to thank the employer for taking the time to get to know you. Gratefulness goes a long way!
Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation – it is as much the employer’s chance as yours to get to know each other. Take that chance and use it to understand who you will be working for. If all goes well, it will be the beginning of a mutually valuable relationship!
Need personal career advice? See if you qualify for a free, one-on-one session with one of our professional career consultants by giving us a call at (604) 408-7923.