You find an encouraging job listing online. You get excited and send a customized resume and a tailored cover letter and wait for the response. A few weeks later, you are still waiting, your enthusiasm has diminished, and you have determined that your resume has been thrown away. Do not get disheartened. Here, we will tell you how to get a job interview and clear it successfully. A proactive approach to your job search can enhance your chances of getting interviews. These job interview tips will help you clear your first interview with success.
A job interview is important for advancing through the hiring procedure, showing yourself as a strong candidate, and accepting a job offer. It is important to create a strategy that demonstrates your qualifications and elevates you over the competition. In this article, we explore the ways following which you can enhance your capability to get an interview and secure a job.
How to Get A Job Interview
Make contact before you send your resume
Unless you are replying to an ad that requests “no phone calls”, you should contact the hiring manager before you send the resume. Even if you are not aware of the name of the person who is handling the job search, you can do some research to find the right person if you know the company.
When you get the person on a call, be short. The motto of your call is to express enthusiasm about the opportunity and that you can be a part of the team. Make sure you have an elevator pitch regarding your qualifications and how you could benefit the company. Always keep your focus on the employer instead of you.
Do not apply directly to a job posting- To get the first job interview, do not apply directly to a job posting. The only concession to this rule is if you are the right fit based on the experience, skill, and titles listed on the job description. If you are not perfect, no need to spend more than 20% of your time applying to jobs. However, if you feel that despite not being a fit for the role you can do the job, there are several things you can do to clear your interview.
Use the backdoor- When you know the job location and title, search in LinkedIn, or use Google to find the name of the hiring manager or the department head. If this does not work for you, call, and ask someone in some other department who is the VP of the department. The big idea: use the job posting as a lead to work instead of the application button to click.
Get more referrals- Another one in the list of tips on how to get a job interview is to get more referrals. Getting a referral from somebody in the company is one of the best ways to get an interview. It is even better if the referral will provide a personal recommendation for you. If you are serious about getting a better job, networking to attain referrals should represent 50% of more of your job-hunting strategies.
Be purposeful in your successive follow-up contacts- If several weeks pass after you followed up initially without any update from the employer’s side, initiate another email or call. Your objective for following up could be to find out if a timeline has been created for interviews or to give an alternate contact number in case you are traveling. Be polite, respectful, and professional.
Maintain a contact log- You can make your follow-up attempts much simpler if you maintain a contact log of all the positions to which you have applied. Your log must include a copy of the ad for the job, the file name of the resume, and the cover letter you had sent along with contact dates, the names of the hiring managers, and a summary of the information you collected when you contacted them.
Explain your “selling points” and the reasons why you want the job- Before going for an interview, make sure you have three to five key selling points in your mind, like what makes you the best candidate for the role. Having an example of each selling point. And be ready to tell the interviewer why you need that job, including what interested you about the role, what rewards it provides that you find useful, and what capabilities it needs that you have within you. If an interviewer does not think you are interested in the job, he or she will not give you the job- no matter how talented you are!
Foresee the interviewer’s reservations and concerns- There are more candidates for positions compared to the number of openings. Keep yourself in their position and ask yourself why they might not want to appoint you. Then prepare an answer on your defense.
Prepare answers for common interview questions- Every book title, “How to get a job interview” has a list of hundred or more “common interview questions.” So, how to prepare? Choose a list and think about which questions you are most probably to encounter, provided your status and age. Then, prepare your answers so that you do not fumble during the real interview.
Prepare some questions for the interviewer too- Come to the interview with some smart questions for the interviewer that show your idea of the company as well as your intent. Interviewers always ask if you have any questions for them. So, you should have at least one or two. If you do not ask any questions, the interviewer may think that you are not interested in the role or the company.
If you are having a series of interviews with a similar company, you can use some of your prepared queries with every person you meet. Then, you can try to think of one or two others during every interview itself.
Prove you are a competitor- Put a small statement in your email defining some important accomplishment that reveals about you and your qualifications. Include a link to a website or video that further validates your capabilities in this area.
Keep practicing- It is a thing to come prepared with a mental reply to questions like, why should we appoint you?” This is another challenge to say it convincingly and confidently. The first time you try this, you will sound confused and garbled, no matter how clear your ideas are! Practice at least 10 times and you will feel confident.
But you must not practice when you are on the stage with your employer. Make sure you rehearse before you attend the interview. What is the best way to rehearse? Bring two friends and practice interviewing each other. One person should act as an observer and the” interviewee” gets feedback from both the interviewer as well as the observer. Practice for four to five rounds by switching roles. Another idea is to record your answer and then listen to it continuously. This will help you to understand the areas where you should improve. Whatever you do, ensure that you practice by speaking loudly. Rehearsing your answer in your mind will not help.
Based on the employer, specific job, and industry, the time between the application closing date and the day interview invitations are issued can be several months.