Interviewing Tips to Land the Job

After all those applications, you finally have an interview. Congratulations! Here are some tips on how to nail the interview and land the job.

Research the Company

Go to their website, read the “About Us” section, learn how they compare to others in their industry, find out everything you can about this company. If you know who you will be meeting with, look them up, too! The more you know about the company, the better you’ll be able to answer questions and impress the person conducting the interview.

Practice & Prepare

Grab a friend to practice some typical interview questions. These questions are often resume-based or behavioral/situational. Remember to highlight your strengths during the interview. Think of some concrete examples when you displayed these strengths in a previous position. Answers like this will provide evidence of your success which will prove to your interviewer your level of candidacy.

Prepare a list of questions for you to ask at the end of your interview as well. Interviewing is a two-way street. The ones conducting the interviews ask their questions to see if you will be a good fit with their company. You should be asking questions as well to see if this company is a good fit for you! Do not ask questions that can be easily found by researching the company. The questions you ask should have more to do with company culture, day-to-day responsibilities of the roll you’re applying for, and how you compare against other candidates. You can find a great list of questions in this Forbes article.

There are a few other items you should prepare for your interview ahead of time. Print out extra copies of your resume, printed on paper of good quality, as well as a list of your references. During the interview, you should be taking notes. Use a professional binder with a notepad and don’t forget to pack a pen! If it pertains to the job, get together a portfolio showcasing your work.

Dress Up and Show Up… On Time!

No matter the type of job you’re applying for, you’re going to want to create a good first impression. Dress to impress. It’s also extremely important to be on time for your interview. A good rule of thumb is to arrive 10 minutes early. Give yourself some extra travel time as well so you aren’t scrambling to find a parking spot or find the visitor entrance to the building. Some additional tips: remember to silence your phone (or better yet, leave it in the car), don’t chew gum, and don’t bring a cup of coffee.

During the Interview: Listen and Remain Calm

As previously mentioned, you’re interviewing this company just as much as they are interviewing you. Break up the monotonous Q&A tone and make it more conversational. Listen to the questions they are asking you and take a moment to gather your thoughts before providing an answer. Body language is important in an interview, too. Be cognizant of your posture, restrain from fidgeting, and make eye contact with a smile. Keep in mind to give off a sense of confidence, but not arrogance.

Follow Up

Once you get home, craft a thank you note to those you interviewed with. Most of the time, an email will suffice. This thank you note gives you the opportunity to reiterate the skills you have that will make you a success in this position and your enthusiasm for the job.

How to Ask for a Raise

Navigating your way as you climb the ladder at your job can be tricky. You want to fight for what you feel you deserve so you don’t sell yourself short without pushing too hard or overselling yourself. That can be a difficult rope to walk for those who want to advance in their careers without feeling like they’ve overstepped their boundaries. No, you shouldn’t ask for a raise your second week at the company, but you also should be compensated for tenure if you’ve remained with the company for a long time. If you’ve assessed the situation and truly feel as though you deserve a raise for all the work that you do, here are a few ways you can approach the subject of salary negotiation with your employer.

  • Prepare for the conversation.
    • Conversations about money are always a bit uncomfortable, so the worst thing that you can do is walk into the conversation unprepared and spring the question on your employer. Take the time to prepare before launching into a salary negotiation. You’ll be able to bring more solid points to the table and be able to defend your request.
  • Do not present your request as a complaint.
    • One of the worst things you can do during a salary negotiation is dredge up resentments to back up the fact that you want a raise. Been there for over a year? Gone a while since your last raise? Shouldering some extra work lately? All of that is fine and perfectly valid for wanting a raise, but it’s likely that your employer is already aware of this fact and for one reason or another hasn’t responded the way you’d prefer. Instead, bring to light accomplishments that may not have received a lot of attention or recent successes that you’ve had.
  • Show them the value you bring to the team.
    • If you want to earn more money for doing the same job, or want to undertake more responsibilities for greater pay, you need to make sure that you can actively demonstrate the value you that you provide to the company at large. Have you skillfully handled any difficult clients? Have you successfully increased profit margins for your department? Did you develop a system to streamline productivity and save the company time and money? Highlight the reasons why you feel as though a raise is deserved and help them see what you bring to the table.