Tips for Acing an Interview
Interviewing can be nerve-wracking. Sure, you know the employer is interested in your resume, but will you deliver it in person? Luckily, there are several tried-and-true tactics that are sure to give you the confidence and knowledge to help you stand out from the crowd.
9 Tips for Acing the Interview
Research the company.
This step is absolutely crucial. Find out everything you can about your future employer by combing through its webpage, visiting its social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram, and finding current employees on LinkedIn. This will not only prepare you for questions like “why do you want to work for us?” but will also give you insights into the company culture and values, which you can use to your advantage. For instance, if you discover it engages in a lot of philanthropy, you can highlight your own community service experiences.
Find out who you will be talking to.
Making a personal connection to your interviewer can be the reason you end up making it to the next round instead of someone else. Make sure to ask the name of your interviewer and find out anything you can about her, again making use of tools like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Additionally, consider her position in the company — your potential supervisor will be more interested in the specifics of your experience while the CEO is more likely to gauge whether you are a good culture fit.
Dress to impress.
First impressions matter, so make sure you dress professionally. How formal you will need to be will depend on the corporate culture, another reason to do your research. Startups and tech companies often have a more casual dress code, while a large corporation will likely require a suit.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality.
US interviews can be fairly informal and often feel more like a conversation than an interrogation. Interviewers are interested in not only your experience but also your personality and how it would fit with those in the company. What’s more, making a personal connection with your interviewer will increase your chances of moving on to the next round.
Prepare talking points.
Make a list of four to five traits or experiences that make you a perfect candidate for the position, and make sure to work them into the interview. Always follow up a claim with a concrete example. For instance, don’t just say you have excellent time-management skills. Tell them about the time you juggled a double patient load while completing your charting before your shift ended.
Practice answering common interview questions.
Interviewers in the US use a pretty common set of questions. Do a quick internet search to find a list, and practice how you would answer each one. Even better, find a friend to practice with and give you feedback.
Prepare insightful questions to ask the interviewer.
Nearly every interviewer will give you a chance to ask questions, so be ready. Don’t try to think of something in the moment; instead, prepare a list of questions ahead of time, such as, “how would you describe the culture here?” or “what is your management style?” Of course, if you do think of a question during the interview, feel free to ask.
Don’t talk about salary or benefits in the first interview.
In the US, discussing financials or specifics of the compensation package in the first interview comes off as presumptuous. Wait until you are extended an offer, which you can always negotiate at that time.
Follow up within 24 hours.
Send an email thanking your interviewer, expressing your continued interest, and summarizing why you are the perfect fit for the position. If you managed to make a personal connection during the interview, make sure to reference it so the interviewer will remember who you are.