Getting a job is a necessity, especially when a person has already come of legal age; and there’s really no excuse when there are bills to pay. For every job there is available, there is a good number of applicants waiting in line to get their chance. And for every chance there is, only one thing makes the difference—the interview.
Have you heard about the ‘Best Job in the World’? No, seriously, there really is one. In the year 2009, a tourism advertisement in Queensland, an Australian state, surfaced the internet; which made everyone half-amazed and half-excited. Tourism Queensland called all who are qualified and willing to apply for the ‘Best Job in the World’. The would-be winner gets to be the tourism ambassador of the said state, including the Great Barrier Reef, and will also serve as a ‘caretaker’ of the island. Job duties included uploading vlogs (blog videos) about the place, blogging, and thousands of photo diaries. It’s pretty much just sharing your experiences in the virtual world. It won’t take long to like this job because The Great Barrier Reef is an adventure itself. Ever thought about getting to explore over 2900 individual reefs, the exceptional diversity of life, the most endangered species of the world, and more than 200 species of birds? Sounds amazing, right? So, landing on this job is not just doing Tourism Queensland a favor, but it’s more of doing yourself a favor!
And the job compensation? You wouldn’t believe it.
How does living in a luxury villa in one of the most beautiful places in the world, getting a $150,000 contract, and transportation to and fro the island sound like? True enough, it really is the ‘Best Job in the World’!
Apparently, the chosen applicant didn’t just land in that job without getting through the hard way. It’s the best offer, so competition was not easy; more than 34,000 applicants came whirling in from about 200 countries in the world! The application process was too easy and was open for almost everyone—it included uploading a video, which was made available publicly. As a matter of fact, the application website crashed just two days after the campaign was launched because of too much uploads of videos. Then, from 34,000, 16 finalists were picked; two from Australia, two from USA, one from United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, India, South Korea, China, France, Taiwan, and Japan. Not long enough, a British named Ben Southall beat more than 34,000 applicants and got the job.
Well, we are not certain what exactly happened in his interview, but one thing is for sure: He aced it and did enjoy all the perks the best job in the world had to offer. But enough of Ben Southall, let’s look at the job you are eyeing. If you are in this page, hoping to find something new and useful for your upcoming interview, then you’ve stumble in the right page. So, here are the top 5 tips on how to ace your interview:
#1: Prepare Your “Hook”
There are some companies that screen candidates beforehand; then, the shortlisted ones are called. Before you are scheduled for an interview, keep in mind that your competition should most likely have the same skills and knowledge that you have. Interviewers, most of the time, don’t remember all of the applicants they screen. You are only as good as the story you tell, or most commonly called as your ‘hook’. If you want to be remembered, stay standing out among other applicants, it’s good to tell your interviewer about the most successful story you have that’s work related. That is an effective way of getting remembered. Let them know about how you reacted on a work-related struggle and how you were able to get past it. Also, one good hook is your life story. There are some interviewers who would go probing for more because they are looking more at your personal values; because often times, habits determine a person’s work ethics. Should there be an opportunity of telling a little bit about your life story, it’s good to let them know about your healthy habits and your personality that would also serve as your strength in the workplace.
Another good hook is your other sets of skills and the reason why you ventured into learning more. It always impresses interviewers to know that the applicant is eager to learn new things, because it gives them the idea that you are game for work-related changes, and are not the complacent-type. Any story could be your hook, you just have to find it; and when you do, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression on that interview. Really.
#2: Create a Map Linking You, Your Skills, and the Company You are Applying For
It’s called strategizing. If you’re really in for it, especially if it’s a lucrative job you’re eyeing, it’s good to create a sort of interview map and probably extract all the possible good points you have linked to the job post. How, you ask. First, list down your skills, everything, even the non-related ones; categorize them from the most relevant to the job post up to the least. Next, list down your personality and habits, categorized into two: your strengths and your weaknesses. And lastly, research about the company you are applying for, its nature of business, the job vacancy it offers, and if you can, the culture inside the workplace.
Once you already have all these information, link each point, on how you and your skills match the job and the company’s needs. Your healthy habits will determine how comfortable you could get along inside the work place, especially with corporate relationships, provided that you get an idea about the company’s culture. The more links you find, the better you are fit for the job. Now, what are the listed weaknesses for? You see, most of the time, interviewers love to probe (it’s their job to do so), and they will try to squeeze out as much information from you—even your weaknesses. Well, it’s OK to be honest, as long as you know the borderline between selling yourself out and being truthful. But beforehand, make sure you already have a prepared speech on how you could overcome those weaknesses and turn those negatives into a positive outcome! Make a draft, draw a map, memorize each strong point; it’s like waging a war, knowing who your enemy is, and if you do it right, you’ll win.
#3: Wear Clothes That Match Your Profession
One of the things that make a lasting impression during an interview is how an applicant dresses up. And believe it or not, colors can be a tool to tell them who and what you are! If you are a programmer, a software engineer, network engineer, or a web developer, the color gray is a great match; because gray represents logical or analytical thinking. If you’re in for a job that requires being organized like administrative tasks, white-colored outfits suit you. The brown color stands for being dependable, so it fits for secretarial and assistant jobs. Red stands for power; a good color for those who are looking for managerial positions. If your job is anything on the side of creativity, like marketing, graphic artist, video editor, film-maker, the colors green, purple, orange, and yellow best suit you; these colors represent creativity.
#4: Be True, But Don’t Sell Yourself Out
During an interview, there could only be one person who has the potential to screw things up, not the interviewer, not your competition—but you. Yes, your mouth has a way of selling you out if you don’t choose your words wisely. It’s OK to be truthful, interviewers love it; but not in the way that you’re giving out too much information that could jeopardize your chances of getting hired. Some of the things that you can be honest are the following:
Your compensation – It’s very common to look for another job, especially if your current income hardly makes ends meet. You can tell your interviewer that times are hard, although you don’t want to leave, it would be best if you seek new employment for the sake yourself and/or your family. Safe but true answers will always be the best way to go. You don’t want to tell too much, but you also don’t want to seem shady and dishonest.
Your location – Most of the people looking for a new job consider their location from the workplace. If your travel time and transportation budget eats too much of your precious time and salary, it would be wise to look for a workplace that’s not too far away from your home. And yes, this reason is safe to say during the interview.
Your schedule – Some employees, especially the family guys, always consider work-life balance. Time with family shouldn’t be affected by work. If this reason is applicable to you, let the hiring company know that you’re keen on having a good schedule; and you believe that a healthy work-life balance can bring out the best in you as an employee.
Your stagnant career path – Some people just love learning new things. If you see that your current company is not giving you enough opportunity to broaden your knowledge and skills, it is wise to look for a more promising company. Keep in mind that there’s always a polite way to spill this reason without having to bad-mouth your previous or current company. You could say that although you are enjoying your stay in your current company, you feel like there’s really something more you’d want to achieve or learn, and that the company you are applying for could help you reach that goal.
A little tip, it’s the practical reasons with a heart that get the interviewers. Example, if you’re a family guy and you noticed that the interviewer also has his own family, get into a direction where your reasons could be related to his situation like: ‘I feel like as a father, spending more time with my daughter becomes a huge influence that somehow could mold me into a better man—and eventually, a better employee.’
#5: Keep Your Cool—Always
Did it ever happen to you, that you were asked a question and you suddenly felt like a guilty prisoner on a hot seat, trying to answer to something that’s not really a crime? Sometimes, interviewers may ask some questions that will leave you speechless for a few seconds; you really know what to say, but cat got your tongue and you suddenly felt so unsure and unconfident about yourself. It happens, very normal. Whenever you’re in an interview, always think that your confidence will pull a lot of chances in landing on that job. If the interviewer sees how unsure and insecure you are in answering such a simple question, it gives away that chance. Always keep your cool and don’t ever answer ‘I don’t know’. If you really don’t have any idea about the question, you can always ask further. There’s always a smart way to answer difficult questions and if you get to discover the art of communicating effectively, you will definitely impress your interviewer.
Keep in mind that research, preparation, and positive values are some of the tools you could use to ace that interview. Don’t look at it as a competition. It is not about beating other applicants, but it is about beating your old self and deciding to be the better employee that you are, should you start a new career path with a new company. Hopefully, you won’t regret choosing another path—and so does the company that would choose you. We hope that you find this article useful.
If you want to learn more, it won’t cost you anything to read our article about Top 5 Common Mistakes During An Interview.
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