Job interviews are never easy.
But often it’s the case that the more you’re prepared, the better you’ll do.
In a blog post, Salesforce’s director of content marketing, Alexa Schirtzinger, offers 7 do’s and don’ts to ace your next job interview.
Try to answer these 7 questions before your next job interview, and you’ll be more prepared to snag your dream job.
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1. Why are you REALLY interested in this particular position?
Schirtzinger writes, “You’re applying for this particular job, not a foot in the door.”
Instead of simply saying the company’s a great place to work, try to give specific reasons to why you think so.
Say this: “Here are the three main reasons I’m interested in this position.”
Not this: “I’ve heard that Company A is a great place to work!”
2. How are your skills applicable to this particular position?
“Often, candidates rattle off what’s on their résumé — a checklist of job titles and skills. This doesn’t answer the question of why you’re applying,” Schirtzinger writes.
Instead, you should try to add what’s not on the resume, and how your skills could help the company.
Say this: “I’m excited to be part of the team that does A and B, and I think my experience in X, Y, and Z will help us achieve even greater results.”
Not this: “I have a lot of experience in X, Y, and Z, and I think I would be a great fit for this position.”
3. Do you know enough about the company and position you’re applying for?
It’s not OK to just Google the company and pretend you’ve done your homework to learn about the position.
“Find out as much as you can not only about the company, but also about the position you’re applying for, the team you’ll be part of, and the hiring manager herself,” Schirtzinger writes.
That includes getting the hiring manager’s name right.
Say this: “I noticed you have a background in X. How does that inform your goals for the team?”
Not this: “What’s it like to work at Company Z?”
4. Have you put enough thought and effort into the position you’re applying for?
Schirtzinger says she always asks the job applicant what questions he or she has for her during the interview.
“This is always revealing: it shows how much thought and effort you’ve put into applying for the position, and subtle differences in how you ask the question can have a big impact,” she writes.
Your questions should show that you have a long-term view of the position you’re applying for, and that you’re very success-oriented too, she says.
Say this: “In six months, what would success look like for this position?”
Not this: “What are you looking for in a candidate?”
5. Can you bring new ideas to the company?
During the job interview, you’ll likely get asked on how to improve the company you’re applying for. It’s a good chance to show you’re a critical thinker and good problem-solver, Schirtzinger says.
But remember, if you’re going to criticize the company, be prepared to offer a solution as well. “Critiquing work product without offering any ideas for improvement won’t do you any favors,” she writes.
Say this: “I think there’s a big opportunity to freshen up your marketing with a summer Instagram campaign.”
Not this: “Your corporate blog feels a little stale.”
6. Are you ready to evaluate the hiring manager, team, and company?
Schirtzinger says interviews are a “two-way street,” so it’s a chance for you to also ask the hiring manager about his or her vision for the team.
“These kinds of questions will give you a good sense of the type of leader you’ll be working for, and they’ll also show the hiring manager that you’re considering the role in a broad, thoughtful way,” she writes.
Say this: “What are your top 3 goals for the team this year, and how will you measure success?”
Not this: “What’s your vision?”
7. If every aspect of your job search process were visible to your mother, would she be proud?
Finally, it’s important to “be polite, don’t lie, and other obvious things,” Schirtzinger writes. For example, if you can’t say your mother would be proud of your job search process, you need to rethink about your entire strategy.
“Don’t pad your résumé. Don’t interrupt the hiring manager when he’s speaking. Be on time. Say thank you,” she writes.
This article is published in collaboration with Business Insider. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.
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Author: Eugene Kim is an enterprise tech reporter for Business Insider.
Image: Unemployed Belgian Mohamed Sammar (R) answers questions during a simulated job interview, which is recorded to help him get feedback afterwards in Brussels. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir