Nailing It: Acing that Job Interview

By , on October 20, 2013


Preparing for that job interview? Nail it. Photo by Raywoo on ShutterStock.
Preparing for that job interview? Nail it. Photo by Raywoo on ShutterStock.

On the hunt for your dream job? Or at least just trying to find a pleasant change of pace, a more profitable employment, or a job that will let you keep the rest of your sanity?

I’m sure you’ve poured hours and hours editing your resume, making sure it looks–the font, the format, the kind of paper you printed it on–and reads great, keeping in mind that a great resume should highlight your credentials and make your “weaknesses” look like commendable areas for improvement.

“There isn’t as much room for failure when it comes to hiring,” Chicago-based staffing agency LaSalle Network CEO Tom Gimbel told CNN Money.

We understand finding a job can be hard and quite arduous, even nerve-racking. With hundreds of applicants vying for the same job with almost the same qualifications, it can get a little tense.

So, you’ve sent your resume and got the call for your initial interview. Nervous? Don’t be. You got this. Here are a few tips about acing that interview from CNN Money, Forbes, and Money Magazine.

Practice Your “On Cam” Skills

In an OfficeTeam poll, 63% of Human Resources managers said they conducted initial interviews via Skype and other online platforms. In 2012, only 14% of HR managers used online resources.

Put your best foot forward and familiarize yourself with Skype or the chosen medium if they’ll schedule you for an online video screening.

“You don’t want to say, ‘I’m not sure how to turn on my video,'” Lynn Hazan & Associates recruiter Anne Howard said.

Double check all functions and features you will probably use during the interview. Make sure to check the big four: your internet connection, your audio settings, your video quality, and the lighting. Practice looking straight at the camera instead of your computer screen. This creates an impression of eye contact with your screener or interviewer.

Even though it’s an online interview, dress appropriately and groom yourself accordingly. Make sure to pay attention to your background as well.

Acing that important interview. Photo by Baranq on ShutterStock.
Acing that important interview. Photo by Baranq on ShutterStock.
Do Your Research

Read up and familiarize yourself with the new company–their history, mission and vision, what they do, and even their extra-curricular (charity) involvements.

Explain to your interviewer why it would be your pleasure to be a part of their company.

Honest Embellishment

Should you pass the first interview, you will most likely be grilled about your weaknesses on your second or third interview.

Questions might even arise based on your character references’ conversation with the company’s HR staff.

When the conversation starts touching on your waterloos, try to put a more affirmative spin on some not-so-positive points of your career life. Focus on the good things and avoid bad mouthing your former employer or company.

Be Adaptive, Not Hip

On a recent Adecco poll, 33% of HR managers said they keep an eye on more matured applicants because they might not be as submissive to younger management (which, let’s admit, is starting to be the trend).

Remember there’s a big difference about being hip and cool vs. being adaptive. There’s also a very fine line between being open to suggestions and being a power-hungry control freak or spineless push-over.

In terms of being open to working with a younger staff, Gimbel says that you should avoid saying that you worked with “a bunch of kids.”

“That suggests a disregard for what this generation brings to the table,” Gimbel said.

Show-N-Tell is Not Just for Kids

You want to make sure that you put your best foot forward and let your interviewer know that you have what it takes to fulfill the position they’re looking for. Not just that, you want to show them that you are above and beyond their basic requirements.

“When they ask about a time you had a difficult situation, you might say, ‘Let me show you how I solved it,’” Howard said.

You know what would blow their minds? Show them how you would handle one of the company’s problems.