An open job receives an average of 118 applicants. If you’re one of the lucky few to land an interview, you’ve beaten the odds. Time to celebrate? Not exactly. Now you need to nail your interview.
At Burchard & Associates, we’ve conducted hundreds of interviews. We’ve seen it all — the good, the bad, and the just okay. We know what it takes to have a successful interview. And acing your interview is all about preparation. Here are 6 things you can do to effectively prepare for your next interview:
Do your research
One of the worst things you can do is walk into an interview without knowing anything about the company. Before an interview, always learn everything you can about the employer. Visit their website and learn what they do. Google them to see if they’ve been in the news recently. Check out their social media pages to learn more about their company culture. And visit Glassdoor to read reviews about what it’s like working there. If you know who will be interviewing you, you can find their profile on LinkedIn and learn more about them.
Practice answers to common interview questions
Every interview is different, but there are some common interview questions that you can almost guarantee you’ll be asked. Check out the 10 Most Common Interview Questions and practice your answers. Not only should you practice what you’ll say, you need to be aware of what your body language is communicating. Learn the biggest body language blunders you can make and how to avoid them.
Dress the part
Interview attire is a big part of making a positive first impression. Wear the wrong thing and you could blow your whole interview. First, you need to determine if you should wear business professional, business casual or casual. What you should wear really depends on the type of job you’re interviewing for.
Most professional services jobs, like accounting or sales, require business professional, so you should dress accordingly. If you’re in the creative industry, like advertising or marketing, professional attire is not always required, so feel free to express your individualism and creativity with your wardrobe. It helps to visit their social media pages to learn more about their company culture to determine what they wear in the office to get an idea of what you should wear to your interview.
Know what not to do
While you will be preparing and practicing answers to common interview questions, equally as important is knowing what not to say in an interview. Badmouthing your past boss, asking about vacation time too early, or focusing too much on what the company can do for you (rather than what you can do for the company) are all things to avoid in an interview. Learn more about what not to say in an interview.
Focus on your strengths
Before your interview, review the job description to identify both hard and soft skills the employer is looking for, then determine how your skills match up. For example, if they need someone who can meet sales quotas, one of your interview answers should include how you successfully met and exceed sales quotas at your last job by X percent.
As your interview progresses, continually focus on what you can do for them. Each answer you give should focus on your strengths as related to the job. By repeating your strong suits throughout the interview, the employer will be more likely to remember what you can bring to the table.
Know what questions to ask
At the end of an interview, you should always ask questions. This shows the interviewer that you’re interested in the position and not just looking to work anywhere that will have you.
Still need an interview?
You should work with a recruiter to find your next career opportunity. We’ve helped hundreds of job seekers like yourself find the next step in their accounting & finance careers. Search our available jobs, and contact us so we can begin looking for the perfect opportunity for you.