Many send in their resume but only a few candidates are called for the interview and just one gets the job. Your qualifications and experience are what got your resume selected but successful job interviews are dependant on more factors than what is in your resume. Turning a job interview into a job offer is impressing your interviewer with your culture fit, problem solving abilityand potential to support profitability. Keep these job interview tips in mind when next you are facing an interview panel.

Why do you want to work with us?

Other variations to this question are “why do you think you are the best candidate?” An interview can be made or failed with this one question. Many candidates fall into the trap of regurgitating what is there in their resume. Your interviewer already has it in front of them. This is where you build a story of what you can do for the hiring organization rather than how the company is suitable for you.

Let us say that you are being interviewed for the position of a branding manager. You need to have done an analysis of what the existing branding strategy for the organization is. At the interview, build a story by highlighting what appears to be the weak cogs in their branding strategy and then sketch out a few strong use cases to address this. You can drive the point home by backing it up with some facts from your own previous experience – I got result Z by doing X and Y. Prepare beforehand a few work examples backed by statistics that can make your case stronger for the specific position you are interviewing for.

You need to demonstrate that what you can do, that no one else can do better. If you can establish this USP then you are on the inside track for getting a job offer. However, it is not done yet.

Practice your confidence

Often, the biggest interview mistake is what your body language says about you. This starts from the way you are dressed for the interview. It is best to err on the side of caution and go in formals for an interview. Practise, practise and practise using mock interviews with a friend. This is particularly important when you are fresh to the job market. You don’t want to sound hesitant or too brash. A calm confidence is what you need to aim for.

The first 10 seconds will set the tone for the rest of the interview. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. Make eye contact frequently as else you can appear nervous or shifty.

Many questions that the interviewer will put to you is to evaluate personality traits. The interviewer will not ask you directly how well you work with others or how quickly you can learn new skills. The best job interview tips involve preparing answers for some of the possible questions that can be put to you

  • Tell us of a time when you disagreed with your supervisor and how did you handle it
  • Was there a time when you had to mediate a conflict within theteam
  • Tell us of a time when you disagreed with a co-worker
  • Was there a time when you could not meet a deadline and what did you dothen
  • Describe a time when you made a mistake and what happened thereafter

Ask the right questions at the right time

Turning that job interview into getting a job offer will also depend on a two-way conversation. Don’t wait till the end to ask questions. By that time, the interviewer has already made up their mind whether you would be a good fit for their organization or not.

Successful job interviews are one where the candidate puts in relevant questions a few times through the interview. It shows that you are a good listener and that you are critically thinking beyond what you are hearing. Asking the right question at the right time during the conversation is important. You can interrupt politely by saying “May I ask a question here?”

Questions you could ask can be related to questions about the team you might be joining such as the team size, the skill sets involved etc. What are the achievements of their top performers? What are the career building opportunities provided by the organization? You could even ask the interviewer if they have any concerns about hiring you and then go ahead and address the issues raised.

Successful job interviews never have the candidates asking questions about salary, holidays or medical benefits. Keep this to when a job offer is made.  Another one of the good job interview tips is asking at the end of the interview what the next steps will be. This shows your interest in the job as well as helps you to know what to expect. There are no guarantees that a good job interview will lead you to getting a job offer but it sure can increases the probability of success.