• 12th January, 2020
  • 4 minute read

9 Things You Can Do to Nail That Job Interview

After a long and tiring search, it finally happened! You just got called in for an interview at the company you recently applied. The excitement is rising, but at the same time, that tiny internal voice just keeps sneaking up on you saying you will be getting a rejection.

That’s nothing new, though. We’ve all been through it at some point in our lives! To make things clearer and less scary, we will show you some statistics. After a little digging, we found out that the average conversion rate from applications to interview is just 2%. If you take in consideration a big company and the number of applications they get per job posting, the percentage goes even lower. Well, after this clarification we certainly don’t feel any better.

However, we won’t let you get despaired because of it! There are always some areas where you can improve yourself and nail the next job interview.  We noted down certain things while reading some expert reviews and asked some personal opinions and tips from our recruiter Sayf. From small non-verbal gestures to what you could actually say to the interviewer, we made a collection of the most important points on how you can beat the odds and (possibly) have a greater chance of nailing that job interview!

Follow up #1

In order to higher your chances of even getting the interview, do this in the earliest stage of your job search. A couple of weeks after sending your application and if the job posting is still online, contact the recruiter or another HR employee. Write a short message about how you can contribute to the company. Following up may significantly improve your chances of getting invited.

1. Dress well

We cannot stress this enough: be clean, smell fresh, clothes ironed, fingernails cut and clean! These are the basics of well cultured behaviour. Also, don’t forget to politely greet everyone at the reception.

2. Be on time

On time means on time. It is also not wise to come in half an hour, an hour earlier. Chances are that the recruiter is busy with something else and is not yet prepared for you. 10-15 earlier will do just fine.

man bij een sollicitatiegesprek
3. Remember to smile 😊

Nonverbal communication is almost as important as verbal communication. According to Psychology Today, a smile does open doors for you. To seem more approachable and open during your job interview, be sure to have a firm handshake, make eye contact, make small talk, and remember to smile every now and then! 

4. Know your interviewer

Be sure to use the name of your interviewer whenever you can. This shows that you came in well prepared and that you care about the other conversation participant. For example: “To answer your question, [interviewer’s name] …” Or “[interviewer’s name], I am really glad you asked this question!”. Of course, don’t overdo it.

5. Have at least 2 reasons ready on why you chose their company

You don’t have to spend hours researching about the company. Just a quick look at their latest news or their CSR page will already show you what are they all about. You will know immediately if they fit your values. Tell the interviewer for example, “I found your last project to be quite exciting! I really like how your company is open to a variety of interests and always stimulates employees to be part of something new!”. Another reason can be linked to the company’s culture.

6. Know your weaknesses

By asking what your greatness weakness is, the interviewer wants to see how ready you are to work on yourself and your growth. The best thing to do here is to be honest about your shortcomings, followed by an explanation on how you are working on them to improve in the future. One important note: please don’t say being a perfectionist is your greatest weakness. Apart from the fact that it’s totally cringy, the interviewer will only think you are being dishonest.

7. Ask something yourself

Besides preparing for questions you might expect, be sure to prepare some good questions for the interviewer about the company itself that might interest you. For example: “What do the first three months look like for a new employee?” Or: “What can an employee expect from you as an employer, regarding career opportunities?”

2 handen geven een handdruk boven een tafel
8. Don’t trash your previous employer

Never, ever speak negatively about your former employer or colleagues. This not only shows a lack of integrity from your side, but it also says that you might repeat this behavior. If you did this to your previous employer, chances are high that in your next interview, you will speak negatively about your future employer. Instead, be sure to frame everything in a positive light. For example, rather than saying your previous boss didn’t give you enough freedom or autonomy, say that you had different visions about the company and that’s why you are looking for opportunities to grow elsewhere.

9. Know what you want

Confidence, just like smiling, will open many doors for you. So, don’t be afraid to show it. Ask for the job! Tell your interviewer that you are interested in the role and that you think you can be great fit for the company. Leave the room with certainty and confidence by showing enthusiasm, knowing what you want in life, your goals and how you’ll achieve them.

Follow up 2#

The second follow up is as important as the first one. In this message you should personally address the interviewer and tell them you had a pleasant conversation, regardless of the outcome. This is also a chance for you to mention anything important you might have missed during your interview.