Nail the Job Interview with These 7 Preparation Tips

New year, new job? A fresh calendar year is solid motivation to seek a career change or gain some diverse skills with a new company. If landing a new job is one of your resolutions for 2018, these 7 tips from Ogden Clinic’s Physician Recruiter will help you turn a good interview into a great one.

  1. Recognize When the Interview Starts

If you’ve got an interview, the process has already started. Recruiters aren’t only interested in what you have to say at the roundtable, they’re also aware of your actions from the moment you’re contacted. So how can you make an outstanding first impression?

  • Arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment
  • Kindly greet the receptionist, if applicable
  • Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, making direct eye contact and a pleasant smile
  • Break the ice by asking how he/she is doing or commenting on the weather
  • Equip yourself with the next 6 tips below

Well before the interview…

  1. Do Your Homework

shutterstock_479335804One of the best ways to stand out during your interview is to study the company and its current activities. Knowing their key clients and current projects will help you tailor answers specific to their business needs. This will also show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework and have a genuine interest in the position and the company.

You should have a minimum of three great examples of you know the company (perhaps: the year it was founded, who the directors are, and the company vision).

  1. Say It Out Loud

If you’ve ever stumbled over your words or lost your train of thought mid-sentence, this tip is for you. Rehearsing your answers to common interview questions will help ensure that your communication stays smooth and your thoughts are articulated clearly.

During the interview…

  1. Be Honest About Sore Spots

shutterstock_331290413.jpgMaybe your Excel skills aren’t exactly “proficient”; maybe you’re biting your fingernails about the background check for one reason or another. The best thing you can do during an interview is to be confident in your strengths and honest about your sore spots.

If there’s a blemish on your resume or history, be upfront about it and proactive about sharing solutions/resolutions you’ve made since then.

  1. Tailor Your Strengths and Weaknesses to the Job Requirements

shutterstock_322562930.jpgRegardless of the position you’re applying for, questions about strengths and weaknesses always come up—and they’re not the type you should answer on the fly. Come prepared with answers that keep the job description at the forefront. For example, if a job requires a lot of work on team projects, you might say that you are a clear communicator who can work with diverse groups of people.

When answering questions about your weaknesses, avoid weaknesses that would make you unfit for the job (i.e. if the job requires a lot of technical skill, do not say that your weakness is technology). Finally, a “good weakness” has two parts:

  • The weakness itself (an authentic weakness that wouldn’t be a major handicap on the job)
  • How you’re already working on it (discuss your proactive efforts to improve)
  1. Let Your Personality Shine

shutterstock_121389319.jpgQuestions about your hobbies and interests give the interviewer a better idea of who you are and if your personality would fit the requirements of the job. While you should answer honestly, this is also an opportunity to tip the scales in your favor, especially if the interview is going less than perfect.

Be confident and creative when thinking about your interests. Are you a pro at making fry sauce? A relentless dog lover? An office-wide Sudoku champion? All of these lend insight about who you are. Own them and share them!

  1. Prepare Some Questions of Your Own

shutterstock_374036287.jpg“Do you have any questions for me?” Some people miss a big opportunity when they’re hit with this question. You’re interviewing the company just as much as they’re interviewing you, so ask questions that give you a greater understanding about whether the company is what you’re looking for.

You might have questions about career development, upcoming projects, the company vision, or what makes them such a great company to work for—ask! Steer away from questions like how many hours, start and finish times, or even money (especially in first stage interviews) unless they’ve asked you.

Always finish the interview by asking what the next step is and declare your keen interest in the company and the opportunity. If you want it, show it!