“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
Whilst there are no quick and easy secrets to success, there are some secret job interview facts that can give you the absolute best opportunity to get the job. For example:
Most Applicants Are Woefully Unprepared
If you look at any job interview tip site, the first tip is “prepare.” Research the company, practice the questions, and prepare your answers. Very, very few applicants do this. The more you take the time to prepare, the better you’ll do. Have a look at our list of the 15 Most Common Behavioural Interview Questions to help you get started.
Previous Interview Experiences Are Online
For many companies you can actually find what the interview might be like online. Use Glassdoor.com, a website that tells you what the interview may be like and what questions you may be asked. You can prepare in a way your competition likely won’t.
Substance is the Key to Success
Show, don’t tell. Don’t just say you’re a hard worker – prove it with facts and figures and achievements. Most applicants do not back up their claims with evidence. If you’re able, provide as many substantive responses as possible.
Numerous Mock Interviews Reduce Anxiety
Mock interviews are fake interviews you have with someone you trust – someone that will ask you tough questions, grade you on those questions, provide you with advice, and more. Even one mock interview can be helpful, but applicants that do the process many, many times get so bored by mock interviews that normal interviews become less anxiety-inducing. See our 4 part series on how to get the most out of a mock interview every time.
Ask Smart Questions
Your answers matter a lot. But your questions leave a lasting impact. The more you ask smart, interesting questions the more likely the interviewer will remember you, and if the questions are truly great the dynamic of the interview may change – the employer will feel like it needs to prove itself to you, not the other way around. Download our FREE eBook – 20 Great Questions to Ask at an Interview.
Your Personality Matters
Presenting the most professional version of you is important but so is showing a little bit if personality. Interviewers are human beings not robots and if you can build a rapport during the interview it will make a big difference to the way they remember you vs all the other candidates. Remember what Mark Zuckerberg said when asked what he looked for when hiring any employee “I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person”.
Create an Agenda for Every Interview
Just like any meeting every interview needs an agenda. Think about what you want to get out of the interview beyond just …I want a second interview. Start by determining what the interviewer is looking for and what you want to convey about your own skill set, experience and personality. As the interview moves along adjust your answers as you see ways for you to stand out.
Answers Are One Part of the Puzzle
Your answers are important, and your work history and experience will effect whether you get the job. But all of that information may not be enough. It’s remembering the above tips that will be most likely to win the position for you, and provide you with an upper-hand against your competition.