Congratulations! Whether you wrote your resume yourself or got a little help, it has done it’s job of getting you to the next step of your job hunt – an interview. Now here’s how to beat the competition at the job interview.
Before we get started…
Some of you may have friends willing to go this far for them at a job interview
But for the majority of you who’s friends won’t voluntarily dunk their heads in fish tanks …
Here are three ways to ace the job interview and make yourselves stand out.
1. Your competition has a general sales pitch, but doesn’t know how to make it relevant
Here’s what your competition did right, they practiced their elevator pitch. Unfortunately, it’s probably so generic that it doesn’t necessary address the specifics of this job.
What you do differently is that you’ve taken the time to review the job description in detail, research the company and identified parts of your strengths that are relevant to the job. This way, when you’re asked what makes you a good candidate for this job, you know exactly what to day.
2. Your competition hates behavioral questions
You know… questions like “tell me about a time where ____ happened. How did you handle it”.
Guess what your competition just did? They rolled their eyes at that question.
Here’s where you have the upper hand – you know that behavioral questions are actually opportunities to shine. They’re your chance to draw out examples where you were spectacular at your last job.
Past performance is an excellent indicator of future performance, so while you’re competition is busy hating behavioral questions, you’re learning how to answer them questions like a pro.
3. Your competition is clueless about the STAR method
When asked the behavioral question above, your competition is talking about what they would do, how they would handle the situation. Sadly, they don’t realize that shoulda woulda coulda’s don’t work.
You’re giving examples of what you did!
Here’s how your structure answers to behavioural questions – think of the STAR method. Structure your answers to include the following in each example:
Situation – Give a description of the challenge or situation that you faced. Talk about where, when, who and why.
Task – Describe your role. Where did you see the opportunity?
Action – This is the meat of of the STAR method. It’s is the how. Describe the steps you took to solve the challenge. Describing the actions you took is often the hardest part, but it’s the most essential part.
Result – Here’s where you talk about what happened as a result of your awesome actions. Stay away from sentences like “and everything worked out”. Interviewers are looking for detail.
4. Your competition totally forgot about the little things
They didn’t bring extra copies of their resume along. They didn’t even bring a notepad to take notes! Guess what? They didn’t even have any questions when the interviewer asked if they had any.
Here’s the fatal mistake – they didn’t bother to send a post-interview thank you email!
Do these things and you’ve already gotten the upper hand.