How Any Job Seeker Can Excel in an Interview
April 21, 2015
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After pursuing a degree that aligns with your vocational goals, your next step is to explore your chosen field as a job seeker. With skills from your time as a student, you are fully prepared to contribute to a company with confidence. As you get ready for your interviews, remember that this first impression is an opportunity to highlight your strengths. Use the following tips to shine in your interviews where it matters most:
As a job seeker, your primary focus should be on emphasizing the qualities that make you stand out. Employers often see a wide range of candidates over long periods. Talking about your accomplishments will help you define what makes your background unique. During the interview, discuss your actionable impact — perhaps you went above and beyond to update your last office's protocol or you received the highest customer service rating on your team. If you do not have previous job experience, highlight something significant during your academic career that can translate to the job you're seeking. Everyone has their strengths — play to yours with easy-to-remember achievements that set you apart.
Be Yourself and Connect
Being comfortable in your own skin is important in any interview. Having confidence in who you are and your skill level offers interviewers assurance that you believe in yourself enough to rise above any unexpected challenges. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will genuinely connect with your interviewer, which is of the utmost importance. Many job seekers may have the appropriate experience but may not connect with potential colleagues and employers. Establishing a positive relationship with interviewers fosters the idea that you are someone they would like to work with on a daily basis.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Interviewers want to hear valuable questions about the position and their company. Save questions about vacation days and office hours until a later conversation, after an offer has been made. Instead, focus on the content of the job: what the company is looking for in a successful candidate and how it would like to see the role grow. Spending time in this way allows the interviewers to connect with you over the aspects of your experience that make you a great fit for the job.
After your interviews, follow up with a short thank-you note. If you can, try to incorporate something you spoke about during your conversation. The more personalized your thank-you note, the easier it will be for the interviewer to connect your name and face with the accomplishments you highlighted in your interview.
If you play to your strengths, you can feature your accomplishments with ease in every interview. Don't worry if you are anxious — nerves are natural during interviews. Focus on what you learned during your courses and aim for your goals with confidence.
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