In May of 2018, the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 3.9 percent. That means the labor market is highly competitive as companies seek the best talent in a robust economy. As such, your job interview remains the most critical element to landing a top position. Discover some do's and don'ts of interviewing as you seek out your next opportunity.
1. Be Patient
The job interview process takes longer than ever because employers are trying to find the best possible candidates. Be patient because the average hiring process lasts 23.8 days as of 2018. You may have to go through many types of interviews, such as a quick screening call, a phone interview, a video interview, one to three in-person interviews, and an informal interview where you dine out with the team before you finally hear about your acceptance or rejection. Higher-paying jobs often involve more complicated hiring processes.
2. Understand Technology
Job application software and social media are playing larger roles in hiring. Understand how to use keywords on resumes and how to optimize your social media presence ahead of a job interview. Expect your employer to ask for more details on anything and everything you mention in a resume and social media.
3. Become Irreplaceable
Before leaving your current job, become an irreplaceable linchpin for your team. Make your work the highest possible quality and thrive in your current workplace. Become a doer who sets outstanding performance standards while also maintaining a cheerful attitude. This high level of quality shows through your resume and job interview at your next opportunity, and it helps your supervisor to recognize your value when giving a good recommendation.
4. Prepare, Prepare and Prepare Some More
Perform research ahead of your job interview. Get to know the company, its people, its workplace culture, and its market or industry. Examine the company's website, social media and LinkedIn pages. Reach out to your network and find people who can tell you things about the employer. Preparing ahead of time lets you formulate the right questions for employers that show you understand precisely what's going on and what your role is all about.
5. Understand the STAR Method
Whether you are answering a mundane question or a behavioral question, understand and master the STAR method for each answer. STAR stands for Specific, Tasks, Actions and Results. Highlight a specific situation where you demonstrated your skills, and then show what tasks needed your expertise. Then relate what actions you took to solve a problem and the results of what happened. The STAR method highlights concrete ways you came through for a previous employer.
Recruiters find several things annoying during an interview, and these things can cost you a job. Don't fidget in your chair or play with pens, because that shows you're distracted. Avoid negativity of any kind, especially when you talk about yourself or your previous supervisors. Don't exaggerate or lie about anything, ever, because your employer will find out about that lie eventually. Don't dress too casually because that leaves a negative first impression.
Take these do's and don'ts for a job interview to heart and increase your chances for success. A great interview can land you some valuable networking contacts even if you do not land a position right away.
Photo courtesy of Wisang at Flickr.com