How to Nail Your Next Job Interview

job interview tips

Completing your degree is no easy task, and once you're finished, finding the right job is just as difficult. 

In today's job market, the most competitive applicants take advantage of several resources to boost their standings. From beefing up resumes to developing LinkedIn profiles, there are multiple fronts to conquer before getting a first-round call and a second-round interview. However, once you get your foot in the door, a whole new set of challenges arise before receiving an official job offer. 

NCU understands the challenges that come along with preparing for the next chapter of your career, so to help calm your job-seeking nerves, here is how you can nail your next job interview and continue building your success.

Related Article: Seeking Employment? First Step: Manage Your Online Reputation

Study Yourself and Your Employer

Once you have the interview date locked in, your first preparatory steps should involve your resume and your employer. 

Knowing the ins and outs of your professional experiences is essential to how well you understand your different job roles and how they relate to your new position.  This means that you have your past job roles memorized, as well as your duties and achievements for each one. In addition, you can elaborate on specific projects that were successful or any challenges you may have faced. 

Along with your own history, taking the time to learn about your employer's impact also shows how committed you are to advancing their mission and being a team player. To familiarize yourself before the interview, spend an hour or two researching the company's website, checking out their social media accounts, and reading any relevant news articles about their products or services. 

Studying yourself and your employer gives you total confidence once the interview starts, and most of all, it will help you segue into the next phase of interviewing that often gives job-seekers the most trouble. 

Practice Interview Questions

Interview questions cause job-seekers a lot of trouble when they aren't anticipated. Employers want to see how a new recruit handles themselves in a variety of situations, and creating scenarios is a great way for them to test an applicant's knowledge and skills. 

Thankfully, the interview question and answer process is something that can be practiced beforehand, so anyone looking for a bit of guidance should take a few minutes to review. 

Here are some of the most common interview questions that job-seekers face:

  • Why are you interested in the role?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Can you share a tough work situation and how you overcame it?
  • What makes you unique?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are your salary expectations?

The reason why these questions are so difficult to answer is because they focus on the applicant's personal assessment skills, as well as their thoughts and actions in the workplace. At first, an applicant may think that responding to these questions is no big deal. Answers with heartfelt statements and truthful remarks may seem like the best way to react, but employers aren't just looking for a casual conversation. In truth, they are analyzing your ability to gauge your overall interests, passions, and ambitions, so any responses should be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. 

Rather than relying on an off-the-cuff strategy, research some potential questions that you may face and write out a 2-3 sentence response for each one. Once you're done, run through your answers or ask a friend to conduct a mock interview and test your overall execution. Of course, you want to be as open as possible to accommodate any questions that arise, but having a strong foundation to build from will help you create a memorable impression that will carry you to the next round. 

Related Article: How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

Convey a Strong Interview Etiquette

After you've put together your research and potential questions, the last thing you need to establish is a strong interview etiquette

Etiquette refers to the manner in which you present yourself and conduct your behavior with your potential employer. When it comes to job interviews, there are many tips to implement that can improve your etiquette and show your employer that you're fully committed to the opportunity. 

Here are several interview etiquette guidelines to follow on your big day:

  • Have a firm handshake
  • Turn off your smartphone
  • Let the employer lead the discussion
  • Let the employer finish their sentences
  • Dont slouch in your seat
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Make eye contact
  • Greet your employer with proper pronouns (Mr or Ms)

In addition to these interview tips, another important etiquette consideration is your overall appearance. No matter what the position may be, it's always a good idea to dress in business attire with your hair properly done. Your employer will be analyzing every aspect of your character, and losing out on a promising career because you showed up in a t-shirt can easily be avoided with the right instruction. 

Advance Your Career with NCU

Whether you're just starting to submit your resume or you're securing multiple appointments with potential employers, the NCU community is here to provide guidance and support along the way. 

The alumni circle of the university can offer you first-hand experiences with interview questions, and reaching out to faculty members is another great way to learn about industry trends or expectations of certain job roles. On the other hand, if you're having trouble finding opportunities in your field, NCU also offers a career insight tool called Burning Glass that aids job-seekers in pinpointing job roles in specific locations, along with other helpful insights to secure employment. 

No matter what your career journey looks like, trust that it will lead to something meaningful. The work you put in now will surely reward you in the end, and NCU is here to foster your progress. 

To learn more about NCU and other professional resources, contact the admissions office today.