Landing an interview is the first step to getting a great job. Acing an interview requires a combination of preparation and experience. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with 15 tips and tricks for how to get the job!
1. Do your homework
Before going into any interview, you must do your homework.
Your interviewer may ask you what you think about the company. Therefore, you must know about the company’s business, market, and competitors. Researching the company before the interview shows that you’re genuinely interested in the job. Moreover, it demonstrates you’re a motivated and organized person.
2. Know why you want the job, and state it
Interviewers will often ask why you want the job. It would be best if you had a well-thought-out answer ready. If you truly want the job, you can’t afford to “wing it.” Think about why you really want the job as you prepare for the interview. For instance, “I am looking for a chance to work in a multinational corporation” may sound somewhat vague. Alternatively, “I want to work for a company that is focused on researching agricultural and food science and provides a strong career track, and this organization does both” clearly underscores your reasoning.
3. Put yourself in your interviewer’s position
When preparing for an interview, think about your interviewer’s concerns. Ask yourself why they wouldn’t hire you. Try your best to anticipate potential objections you might get. For example, your interviewer may have concerns about your lack of experience. Be ready to focus on the reasons why they should hire you. Your skills and willingness to learn can offset your lack of experience.
But your ability to guess can only go so far. At the end of the interview, consider asking, “Based on our discussion, is there any reason you would not recommend me for the next step in the hiring process.”
4. Be ready for common questions
Unfortunately, most candidates fail to think about answers to common questions. For instance, “what are your strengths?” or “tell me about your weaknesses” often get overlooked. You need to be ready with answers to these likely questions. Generic responses such as “I’m a team player” or “I need to improve my research skills” may not cut it. Prepare thoughtful responses that capture your true feelings. Answers like, “My greatest strength is my determination to succeed” are responses that help you get the job.
5. Prepare your own questions
Don’t think a job interview is a one-sided conversation. Be prepared with your own questions. For instance, questions about scheduling, duties, and lines of reporting all show that you’ve put careful thought into the position. Your interviewer will see that you’re serious about hitting the ground running.
Reference their website to show that you prepared, “I saw on your website that you strive to create a healthier world through science, can you share with me how you accomplish that?” When thinking about how to get the job, carefully preparing your own questions can go a long way to improve your chances.
6. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Trying to “wing it” may backfire on you. Coming up with answers on the spot can lead to making mistakes. So, the best approach is to rehearse as much as possible. Do a dry run with a friend or family member. You can practice in front of a mirror. Or better yet, use your phone to video yourself as you deliver your responses. Look for gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Getting a handle on these elements will sync your verbal and non-verbal communication.
7. Go for it early on
More often than not, interviewers schedule several interviews in a day. Time comes at a premium; this means you have a brief window to make a great first impression. So, go for it early on. Leading off with a positive comment about the company can help set the tone. For example, “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. I’m excited about the prospect of being a part of a biotechnology leader such as your company. I want to contribute to the company’s success in every way I can.” this shows that you mean business. That’s how to get the job. You can spend the rest of the interview explaining why you’re the best candidate.
8. Be on the same side
A common mistake is seeing a job interview as a negotiation. Yes, you will negotiate. But the point is not to “win” the negotiation. Instead, your aim should foster a win-win relationship with your interviewer. It would help to let your interviewer know you’re on the same side. When you focus on how to get the job, you can come up with mutually beneficial arrangements.
9. Take the lead
A misconception among candidates is that the interviewer should take the lead at all times. That assumption will not help you get the job! You must be willing to take the lead, too. You can proactively address issues about the job. For instance, you can ask questions about your duties or expected outcomes. These types of questions will help you get the job by showing your assertive side. Please be mindful, however, that you don’t inadvertently take over the conversation. Taking the lead also implies knowing when to let the other person speak and listen carefully.
10. Be ready for tough questions
As you prepare for your interview, you must be ready for tough questions. For example, questions like “why did you leave your last job” can be hard to answer. Be prepared to give a thoughtful and honest answer. If you were fired from your last job, be ready to explain why and how it happened. Attempting to avoid responding will only make it seem like you’re hiding something. Ultimately, your aim should be to build as much trust as you can early on.
11. Keep a positive attitude
It’s crucial to stay positive throughout your interview since you’re eager to get the job. Communicating your enthusiasm signals that you truly want to hit the ground running. However, be careful not to overdo it. Showing yourself too excited or eager may send the opposite message. For example, talking too much and too fast may cause a negative impression. Providing thoughtful answers and smiling will help you make the right impression and nail the interview.
12. Don’t be afraid to admit you “don’t know”
The idea of being unable to answer a question fills candidates with anxiety. There are questions you should know the answers to right off the bat. Questions such as, “why did you leave your last job?” require a direct reply. Undoubtedly, there are questions you may not know the answer to. Remember that honesty is always the best policy and if you get truly stumped, tell the interviewer that you don’t know. Then, you can offer to give it some thought and follow up with the answer. This approach can help your chances of getting the job as it may lead to further communication following the interview.
13. Use the “tell me about yourself” question to the fullest
There’s a reason why interviewers often lead off with this question. It gives them the chance to get an overall picture of a candidate. As a result, it’s a great idea to make the most of that question. In particular, focus on what in your past has led you to this point and state two or three main reasons you should get the job.
Don’t be afraid to throw in specific examples such as “I am a hardworking person. I don’t mind going the extra mile. I had to work overtime for three weeks to conduct an environmental impact study in my previous job. It was tough but certainly worth it.” Examples provide context and will definitely help you get the job!
14. Watch your body language
Body language can betray your words. Please note that non-verbal communication (body language and facial expressions) can say a lot more than words. It’s always a great idea to sit upright, maintain good posture, and smile as much as possible. Please avoid fidgeting or slouching in your chair. Overall, please ensure your facial expressions match the situation. Smile when you introduce yourself and maintain eye contact when listening to your interviewer.
15. Prepare for “behavior-based” questions
A common mistake in interviews is going through your resume. The interviewer has probably gone through it already and is more interested in hearing about what you would do in a specific situation. For instance, questions like “how would you handle conflict with another colleague?” are essential parts of an interview. The SAR method (situation-action-result) is a great way of highlighting your actions in a given situation. This method describes the situation (problem), explains your steps, and analyzes the result. This approach allows the interviewer to see how you could effectively manage a crisis. Whenever possible, think of a real-life situation to demonstrate your true capabilities.
How to get the job
With these practical tips, you are well on your way to getting the job. At Simply Biotech, we value people that think outside the box. We go beyond the words on a resume. We believe in looking for people’s skills and creativity to match with world-class organizations. You can learn more about what we do here.
This post is made available for informational purposes only to provide a general understanding of the topics discussed herein. It is not intended to provide specific business, legal, or professional advice, and should not be relied on as such. Simply Biotech is not liable or responsible for any damage or loss arising from any reliance placed on such materials.