How to Ace a Job Interview

How to Ace a Job Interview

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1. Research your interviewer

The first step in how to nail an interview is to research, research, research. Make sure you’re doing plenty of research on your interviewer and the company you’re applying for on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google. It’s one of the top job interview tips, but most people only research the company itself. The problem is this might not 

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1. Research your interviewer

give you all the information you need, especially if it’s a huge company. While it’s a good place to start, if you have the name of the interviewer, dig into their background a little as well. Get to know them before you get in a room with them. The goal is NOT to stalk them or memorize everything they’ve ever done. Instead, it’s to learn: – Their background (What 

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1. Research your interviewer

schools did they go to? What clubs have they been a part of?) – Their position with the company (Are they in a new role? Were they recently promoted?) – Common interests you both share (Are they into volunteer work, sports, hobbies, etc?) With these details, you can spark deeper discussions and stand out by subtly bringing them up during the interview —

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1. Research your interviewer

you’ll position yourself as someone who goes the extra mile, who’s proactive, and who cares. What’s the result? A great job offer.

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2. Find the question behind the question

When someone asks you, “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” it seems simple and very straightforward, but the reality is, “tell me about yourself” has dozens of questions behind the question. A great way to uncover the question behind this question is to think: – What do they need to know about my background?

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2. Find the question behind the question

– What would they be concerned about? – How will this answer reflect what type of worker I am? – Are they testing to see if you’ve done your research on the role? Always take time to pause and think about what they want. If you jump into answering their question or trying to sound good, you can miss what’s really being asked.

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2. Find the question behind the question

Remember, the interviewer isn’t interested in your dog’s name or your favorite flavor of ice cream. They want to know more about you as a professional. And the best way to do this successfully is to think of the answer before you step in the interview room. Make some notes on potential answers, such as your educational background and 

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2. Find the question behind the question

how it led you to this industry. Add in some color when you describe this, mentioning the skills and experience you picked up along the way. Bonus points if you can describe a specific situation that made you want to pursue this field/learn more/train for a new role. To recap, don’t just give a random answer, think about the question and:

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2. Find the question behind the question

1. Figure out the question behind the question 2. Write out a plain English answer 3. Polish your answer and give it some color

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3. Avoid using too much jargon

If we try too hard to sound smart and professional, we end up sounding like idiots: “Yes, the occupation filled me with immense joy as I interacted with my supervisor on a day-to-day basis to execute the financial…” HUH? A better strategy is to first translate what we’re trying to say into plain English. Then, if our response is compelling, 

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3. Avoid using too much jargon

we can polish the exact language to make the answer interview-worthy. Imagine the interviewer asks “Why do you want this job?” Before blurting out something about how you really “love their corporate values” or how you’re “so passionate” about the job, come up with something more realistic. Here are some real reasons you might want to 

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3. Avoid using too much jargon

work at Company X: – The company does great work – There are a lot of smart people here – I think I can do a good job So here’s what your answer might look like in plain English: “I want to work here because the company does great work in the local tech community and I’d love to be a part of a growing industry.”

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3. Avoid using too much jargon

Tip on how to use this in your interview: With the questions you deconstructed earlier, come up with your plain English responses to them. Be sure to also address the question behind the question. Take some time to write these down. But don’t worry about sentence structure, finding the perfect words, or sounding smart. Just keep it simple and natural.

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4. Master your body language

Your mouth may be moving and saying all the right things, but is your body saying something different? Interviews are nerve-wracking experiences for most of us, and that can cause us to tense up. With hunched shoulders, crossed arms, and eyes on the floor, your body language can use some serious work.

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4. Master your body language

There are tons of resources, studies, and books out there to help you master your body language, but here are some quick tips.  Show your palms According to the authors of “Crazy Good Interviewing,” John B. Molidor, Ph.D., and Barbara Parus, showing your palms is a simple way to show sincerity. This gesture signals to the 

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4. Master your body language

interviewer that you are honest and open. Press your fingertips to each other This gesture makes your hands look like a church roof. It’s considered a way to show confidence and you may recognize it from speeches that politicians, CEOs, or lecturers give. It’s also a good way to steady your hands if you’re nervous.

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4. Master your body language

Don’t conceal your hands One thing to avoid is to conceal your hands. Putting your hands in your lap, beneath the table may feel most comfortable for you. But body language experts suggest that this unconsciously signals that you have something to hide. More likely, it’s just because you’re just nervous but we don’t want a hint of doubt in the interviewer’s mind.

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4. Master your body language

The same goes for if you place your hands downwards. Instead, keep your palms facing up to show you’re open and honest.

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5. Speak with enthusiasm

It’s not all about what you say, it’s about how you say it. Interviewers don’t want to hire someone who sounds bored to be there. They want someone who is enthusiastic and full of energy. Being monotone can, at best, mean you don’t stand out, or at worst, put the interviewer off the idea of hiring you at all. Passion and enthusiasm help you stand out.

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5. Speak with enthusiasm

If you know your voice is a bit monotonous or nervous during interviews, spend some time practicing speaking.  Stand in front of a mirror and practice answering questions. Maybe even record yourself doing it and play it back. Try repeating it with a higher inflection and more enthusiasm so it won’t feel as weird or fake when you come to do it for real.

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6. Dress slightly better than the job you want

It doesn’t matter where you’re interviewing, play it safe and dress slightly better than the job you want. Lots of companies now have casually dressed employees. T-shirts and jeans are the new suit and tie in some places. But does that mean you should whip out the old Levi’s for your interview? Probably not. Figuring out the dress code

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6. Dress slightly better than the job you want

can be a bit tricky. You may have to do some investigating or just straight up ask. Once you know the dress code, aim to dress slightly smarter than that. You’re aiming to impress, not just with your words but also with a non-verbal first impression. Interviewers can already tell a lot about you as soon as you step through the door, so make that first impression a good one.

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7. Use a story whenever you can

A common style of interview question is the “tell us an example of when you handle X” or “tell us about a time you handled a challenging situation at work.” Before blurting out a factually correct (yet boring) answer, take some notes from the novelists in the world. Show don’t tell is the number one rule in any kind of fiction writing. 

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7. Use a story whenever you can

And you can apply that to interview questions as well. Instead of telling the interviewer what you did, try to show it instead. Illustrate a more detailed picture of the situation, the challenge, the steps you took, and then the result.  This works with any type of question the interviewer asks, including the dreaded “tell me 

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7. Use a story whenever you can

about yourself,” question. A story, when told well, is the easiest way to deconstruct an answer and elevate yourself in the eyes of the interviewer. Here’s what to say in an interview when you’re asked, “Why do you want to work here?” Start with a broad opening: Set the stage with some high-level background

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7. Use a story whenever you can

to let the interviewer know what you’re going to talk about before diving into the details. For example: “I want to work at ACME Company for three key reasons.  First, you’re doing amazing, life-changing work in the field of X. Second, I’m confident I can make a huge contribution, given my experience in Y. And third, you have some of the 

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7. Use a story whenever you can

smartest people in the world working for you. That really excites me from an intellectual perspective.” Then, get really specific. Now, transition into a short story with only the relevant details. For example: “Working with the smartest people is a big deal for me. You’ll notice that I have a history of actively seeking out 

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7. Use a story whenever you can

and working with the top people in my field, such as John Smith and Jane Doe, who really pushed me to accomplish Z.” Highlight the important takeaways. Lastly, get broad again and highlight the key takeaways. For example: “The bottom line, I thrive in environments filled with smart, ambitious people, and that’s why I’d love to be a part of the ACME team.”

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7. Use a story whenever you can

Notice how different this is from what most people say in interviews. It’s crisp and concise with no fluff and packed with details that are engaging and impressive. Filter your responses to common interview questions through this step-by-step system and you’ll give the perfect answer every time.

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8. Don’t trash talk your current workplace

It should go without saying … but don’t trash talk. Anyone. If you’re asked why you left your previous job, you may be able to rant all day and all night. But resist the urge. It’s not a good look. Honesty is the best policy in job interviews, but when answering the question “Why are you looking for another job?” it’s safer to give a more filtered answer.

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8. Don’t trash talk your current workplace

The best way to spin it is to deflect and say something positive about the job you’re interviewing for and (if you can) say something positive about your current/previous role. You could phrase it like “I learned a lot in my current role, but I’m looking for a new challenge/the next step/a bigger team.” This is a much more professional response that 

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8. Don’t trash talk your current workplace

also highlights why you want this role, not just that you’re desperate to leave your current one.

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