21 Essential Tips To Bear In Mind Before Your Next Interview

Unless you live under a rock or in outer space, you will probably find yourself in an interview at one point in your life. Most likely, this interview will be a job interview. I’m not sure about you, but the mere idea of trying to say the perfect thing and struggling to put together coherent phrases that make the person in front of you want to employ you, make my knees go weak. Now, while there isn’t a perfect formula that will land you a job, these tips will surely get you ready for your next interview and significantly increase your chances of having a positive reply!

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#21. Think Before You Say Something You’ll Regret

A common question is how you overcame struggles in past experiences. Something, your interviewers might be even more specific and ask you how you overcame struggles while working in a team. While it may seem obvious to some of us, you’d be surprised to learn that some people interpret this question as to the opportunity to rant about their past teammates.

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Even when the question is about what type of personalities you struggle to work with, you should for sure think about how you are going to phrase your answer. The employer should feel that even when your personality isn’t compatible with some else’s, you’ll be willing to work things out.

#20. Know The Difference Between Persistent And Annoying

I know that applying for a job can be nerve-racking; you want to know right away, the second you push that “send button”, whether your application went through, whether somebody read it already, whether it was placed in the interview file… and so on.

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However, you should know that a company receives various applications and that unless you have some sort of personal relationship with somebody in the office, they won’t give you special attention. So, if you decide to check in to see if your application went through, call once in a while. But DO NOT call every day, they’ll just mark you as the annoying applicant.

#19. Avoid Making Enemies

This might sound like basic knowledge, but avoid at all costs making enemies or burning down bridges. This includes initializing a heated argument with whoever is interviewing you. Being rude to your interviewer just because they don’t seem to want you is not the way to go.

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Trying to find out if a person works in a company during your interview? No. Trying to talk negatively about somebody that you know works in that office during your interview? No. Most importantly, remember that if you ever leave a bad taste to a company during an interview, it’s basically impossible you’ll ever get a job there if you apply again.

#18. Be Polite

Maybe you feel extra confident because you’ve had amazing grades, or have a great reference letter or maybe you’ve had working experience that you know will make yourself look good. However, while confidence is always a nice plus, make sure you don’t become too cocky about your past achievements.

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You might be the best person for that role or you might have had the perfect experiences that have prepared you for the position, but if you behave condescendingly, rest assured that the company will rather take somebody that will improve the office atmosphere over somebody that makes the other workers feel bad about themselves.

#17. What Do YOU Have To Offer?

While it is very common for people to get excited talking about why the company is so good to them, they sometimes forget to talk about something very important, and that is: why are you good for the company? What skills and abilities can you bring to the table that would make the company want to hire you?

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This might sound harsh but the people interviewing you aren’t that interested in knowing why the job is good for you. They make their decisions based on what they think will make their company grow and improve, not on what the people they are interviewing need.

#16. Research The Company

Take initiative from the very beginning. Before you go to your interview or before you get that call, make sure you do some research on the company. If you let the information you read shine through during your interview, the hiring manager will for sure take into consideration that you actually are interested in that company.

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Maybe you don’t have much experience regarding that specific company, but if you show them that you have lots of initiative and that you are somebody that can work independently without holding somebody else’s hand, the company will definitely be interested in hiring you.

#15. Never Speak Down

If it wasn’t obvious enough, you have to show respect to whoever is interviewing you. An example of a case where things go the wrong way is when the interviewer is significantly younger than the applicant. In such cases, the person being interviewed might gather a feeling of superiority.

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For instance, if both the applicant and the interviewer are women, the elder woman being interviewed might refer to the interviewer as “sweetie”, or maybe the applicant has had children, which makes her feel even more entitled to talk down to a young lady that hasn’t dealt with the multitasking of raising several kids. Well… make sure you don’t do that!

#14. Don’t Be Rude To Someone Just Because They Aren’t The Boss

You might think that your only task is to be polite to the people that have a high ranking at the company. Think again. In some companies, the hiring manager will ask others around the office what they think about the potential new employee, including the receptionist.

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Apparently, it is quite common for people to be extra rude to receptionists when they are going in for an interview. While we all know, it’s never okay to be rude, so think again before you treat the receptionist as if they were below you!

#13. Don’t Lie And Don’t Ghost

Another no brainer… but do not lie about your resume and do not lie during your interview. While it is impossible for a company to corroborate every single thing their applicants write in their resumes, if they catch you, don’t even think you’ll get a callback.

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Also, if you got more than one potential offer, don’t see this as the perfect opportunity to ghost one of you interviewers. Let them know you found something else and thank them for the opportunity. Back to the point of being polite and having good relationships, you never want to be rude to somebody in the hiring business. Who knows when your paths will cross again!

#12. Don’t Try To Steal Somebody’s Job

If your dream position in a company isn’t available but you are applying for another position within that same company, don’t try to let this seem too obvious during your interview. They might ask you something like “Where do you see yourself in a few years“? If they ask you this, remember that it is not the time to say you see yourself in one of their coworker’s position.

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You don’t want the interviewer to think that you are only using the position you are applying to as a stepping stone for an upper professional position. While this might be your case, the interviewer needs to feel that you truly care about the position you are applying to and that you are passionate about it.

#11. Dress Appropriately

This might also sound very obvious, but you should not stroll into your interview with sweatpants and a tank top. You want to show your interviewer that you are serious, so dress and act like you really want that job. Maybe do some research on what the people at the company wear, and go with some version of that.

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Along with being nicely dressed comes good body language. Never underestimate the power of body language because this can get you very far. Do some research on how to look professional, polite and highly interested in the position. Use both your body and clothing to tell the interviewer you would be a great addition to their team.

#10. Be Prepared

You might think that the only important part of an interview is when you are actually talking to the hiring manager. Well, think again. If you are going to a physical interview, make sure that your earbuds are nowhere to be seen when you are about to reach the sign-in area.

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Once you finish talking to your interviewer, don’t pretend like you’re back at home. Maintain your posture and decent manners. Even if the interview is done, your actions can leave a big impression; you don’t want them thinking you were faking everything during your interview.

#9. Know The Job Description

While more than a few of us are guilty of skimming through the job description and just applying, you might want to make sure you read through carefully. For instance, if the job involves a seasonal position, make sure you know what this means.

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You shouldn’t be asking the company if you can have two weeks before the holidays off because that goes against the job description itself! So make sure you know what exactly you are signing up for and that you understand what the implications are.

#8. Never Threaten Anybody

If you are qualified, the company will let you know. They will contact you and offer you a position. If they don’t and you are convinced they forgot about you, a call to clarify the situation wouldn’t hurt. However, never ever make a call threatening the interviewer.

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Don’t even think about leaving threatening voice messages saying you will contact the supervisor to get the interviewer fired or anything of that sort. Threatening, in general, will get you nowhere, but especially if you are still trying to get a job at the company.

#7. Show Them You Care

Yes, we all know that the monetary compensation of a job is probably the biggest reason why are you applying; after all, we all need to eat and pay the bills. Now, since we got that out of the way, there is no need to let your potential employer know that what you are looking for is money. What you do need to show them though, is that you truly care about the job itself.

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No matter what the job is, your employer wants to hear that you are passionate about it and that you will do your very best to deliver great results. You need to show them that you want to learn and grow within that position, rather than wait to get that paycheck. Make sure you portray yourself in such a way that would make them see you are a great addition to their team.

#6. Have A Good Attitude

You should know this at this point, but make sure that you have a good attitude. Even if you are applying to a job that you think you will definitely have, don’t act like the interview doesn’t matter. This applies even more to jobs where the requirements aren’t very high.

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If you are applying for a minimum wage job, don’t bring a bad attitude to the interview or act like the interview is just a formality. It doesn’t matter if the pay isn’t high, whoever is interviewing you doesn’t want to hire somebody that thinks they are above the job itself.

#5. Never Be Racist Or Sexist

Since we’ve talked so much about being polite, this one should not come as a surprise. Unless you didn’t have some basic education on how to be respectful towards others, you should know that being racist or sexist or discriminating in any shape or form, is never going to do you any good.

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An example would be somebody that calls the hiring committee complaining about not getting a position, and then attributing it to the fact that they were interviewed by a woman. Needless to say, if you ever do something like this, chances are the company will be glad they didn’t hire you.

#4. Details

This might be a bit too much, but if you can look into the details, you’ll definitely score some points! For starters, never ever be late to an interview. Even if it is a few minutes, you want to show your employer that you are ready and eager to meet with them.

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This is another example about details, but if you are going to interview for say, Starbucks, don’t come to the interview with a cup of coffee from another coffee shop. While it may not look like a big deal, every impression you make on your interviewer counts.

#3. Save The Specific Requests For LATER

So maybe you have a great resume and you are confident about getting the job, or maybe you just get the feeling that the company will hire you because they need to fill in the spot. However, just because you have high chances doesn’t mean you should be making special requests.

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For instance, don’t think that because they offer you the position or the job, you can ask if you can be off extra early because of some unreasonable excuse. An example would be to require being off at 4 pm so that you can go home and have a warm dinner with your partner.

#2. Be Attentive

If the job you are applying for is detail-oriented, make sure you are extra attentive and pay attention to the details. For instance, if your hiring manager signs you in by reading the steps of an electronic sign-in system, make sure you keep up with the steps.

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If the company focuses on work that is very heavy on the details and you cannot follow simple directions, then they will not be interested in hiring you. Show your interviewer that you feel comfortable in following very critical detailed instructions.

#1. Have A Voicemail!

This applies mostly to those of you that are quite young and don’t really care much for voicemail. The reality is that people that are hiring you are older and they do use voicemail. If you don’t have your voicemail box set up or if it is brimming with so many messages nobody else can leave another one, the hiring manager won’t be able to contact you.

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This doesn’t mean that you for sure won’t get the job if you don’t have a voicemail set up, but it will definitely be better if you do have it. Most hiring managers won’t be texting you, which means they’ll expect you to be able to receive voice messages when needed.

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