How to Ace an Interview

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

In order to ace an interview, there's just one thing to remember.

"Be prepared."

But being prepared doesn't just mean bringing your resume and a note pad. "You also need to know everything about the employer," says Lore Nicolaysen. "Try to know more than what's on the website. A great way to do this is talk to people that work for the employer or have worked for them in the past."

You also need to know yourself. Employers often use a technique called “behavioral interviewing” that asks specific questions about your reactions in specific situations.

"With those kinds of questions, the employers are hoping to assess how you will act in the future based on how you acted in the past," notes Nicolaysen, "so you will need to have a store of stories."

This means thinking of situations where you were creative, showed leadership or had to problem solve.

Sometimes in an interview, you'll be asked tough questions, such as "what is your greatest weakness.” When asked a question like this, don't say something that contradicts your job, instead use an example of something very specific and limited in scope. People often say being a perfectionist is their weakness. This is too common and not limited in scope. Also, after admitting your weakness, talk about how you are working to correct it.

At the end of the interview, when you walk out, Nicolaysen advises to say "thank you so much, I'm very interested in this job. I'm even more interested in when can I hear from you, what is the next step?" Then when you call in at the advised time, if they haven't made a decision yet, ask "when I can I check back with you?"

And never forget to send a thank you, whether it's by e-mail, snail mail, or fax.

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