The Top Tips to Ace Your Next Interview - Penn-Mar

The Top Tips to Ace Your Next Interview

Posted on January 26, 2022

As the world continues to navigate the pandemic, some things are beginning to return to normal. That includes the process of getting a job. Virtual interviews have been the primary interview method for the last year, but as more and more businesses reopen their doors, the interview process is starting to move back to in-person as well. So now’s the perfect time for an interview refresher to make sure you’re ready for a face-to-face discussion. In this article, we’ll cover some of the top tips to help you ace your next interview.

The Best Tips for Job Interviews

There are many different interview tips and tricks that people claim to make for a successful interview. However, it can be confusing to try all of them and keep everything straight. If you’re overly worried about following tips for an interview, then you may end up stressing yourself out even more or not being authentic. That’s why we’ve made this list of the best interview tips for you to follow:

1. Research the Company

Once you have an interview scheduled, it’s important to research the company you are applying to work for. It’s even better if you can find more specific information about the position you are looking to fill. This will help you be prepared for any company-related questions during the interview and also show your excitement about the company. Both of these things will assist you in standing out from other applicants. Some of the things you should research and make note of include:

  • The key players in the organization—like the owner, CEO, managers, and department directors
  • The skills and experience that the company values
  • The services or products that the company provides and the clients they support
  • The culture of the company, its values, and its mission
  • Reviews from former and current employees to find out what working there is like. These can often be found on websites like Glassdoor
  • The specific interviewer you will be meeting with (this will help you make a connection with them, which is very important!)

2. Practice and Prepare Ahead of Time

It’s an interview, so be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your work experience. Use common interview questions to help you prepare. You can even practice your responses in the mirror or with a friend so you can get a feel for how you’re doing and if you need to work on anything specific. The more you practice beforehand, the better you’ll perform when it’s time for the real interview. You should also use other resources for job seekers to prepare and ensure that everything is in order, like your resume, references, cover letter, and more.

3. Show Up On Time

Another important tip is to show up on time for your interview. What that actually means is you should show up early. Generally, it’s a good idea to show up for the interview 15 minutes early. This shows the interviewer and other employees that you are punctual and responsible. You show up where you need to be when you need to be there, and these are qualities that nearly all employers look for. 

You can arrive at the location anywhere between half an hour to an hour before the interview, but you shouldn’t go inside the office until 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you show up for the interview too early, it may have the opposite effect and cause employees or the interviewer to feel like they have to keep you entertained.

4. Do Your Best to Remain Calm

Job interviews can be stressful and cause you to become anxious. However, it’s vital that you do your best to remain calm and composed. If you have done your research and properly prepared, then you should be confident for the interview. But, if you’re still feeling nervous, here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Make a connection with the interviewer early on. This will allow you to build rapport and feel more comfortable talking to them. The interview will feel more conversational
  • View the interviewer as a friend trying to help you get a job and not a foe grilling you with questions
  • Try to maintain good posture and eye contact
  • Don’t fidget
  • Take deep breaths and don’t rush your answers
  • Mistakes happen, so accept them and don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes you can even make a joke about them and lighten the mood

5. Be Genuine and Positive

It’s also critical during interviews for you to be both genuine and positive. This includes when discussing your former employers, your strengths and weaknesses, and anything else about yourself or your work experience. If there were problems, explain them, but don’t talk down about your former employers or co-workers. This will show that you can be gracious and handle situations even if there are problems. 

If you are negative or seem angry, it may change the tone of the interview and can even discourage the interviewer from recommending you for the position. Admitting your weaknesses and shortcomings will also prove that you are honest and understand the areas you need to work on. That is more meaningful to an employer than someone who claims to be perfect. Research shows that individuals who are more authentic tend to get hired more than those who aren’t. So, be genuine and stay positive during your interview!

6. Follow Up Promptly

Another valuable tip for acing your interview comes after the interview is over. Follow up with the interviewer promptly—usually within 24 hours—to thank them for their time and for considering you for the position. You should also ask them if they have any other questions or need any further information from you to help them make their decision. If you talked during the interview about sending an additional document or more information, you should do that as soon as possible after the interview is over.

Now that you have these helpful interview tips, you’re ready to start making great first impressions, and ultimately land your dream job! We even hope it’s with us at Penn-Mar Human Services!

At Penn-Mar, our mission is to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to live courageous lives full of self-determination, independence, and equity. Our approach is innovative, person-centered, and successful. Through meaningful employment, community inclusion, and residential choice, the people Penn-Mar supports are empowered to live their best lives. 

If you’re interested in a human services career and want to make a difference in the lives of others, consider filling out an application to join our team! You can also get involved by learning more about our services, making a donation, or signing up to volunteer with us today!

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