5 Ways to Ace Your Job Interview in Mississauga

Published January 21, 2017 at 2:44 am


New years can mean new beginnings, and sometimes that new beginning involves a brand new career. If you’re changing jobs or careers in Mississauga–or if you just getting into the working world after school–there are no doubt you’re about to experience at least a few job interviews. As intimidating as that might be, there’s no need to be nervous–the more confident you are, the more likely you are to ace your interview.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when searching for a new job in Mississauga.1) Do your research on the company, the interviewer, and the role

Company: Learn about the past, present and the future of the organization you are applying to. It is common for an interviewer to ask you “what do you know about Company X”, and providing a brief description shows that you have taken initiative and done your homework before coming to the interview.

When you’re asked this question, start off with a few lines of the history of the company, followed by where they are now and any relevant/positive information about their future (i.e. expansion plans, new product offerings, new leadership structure, etc.).

Interviewer: Take a peek at their LinkedIn profile to help get a better understanding of the background of whom you are meeting with. You may stumble upon information that can help build a personal connection such as common past employer, past education, and any organizations he/she is part of that you also have an interest in. Don’t fret if you have nothing in common with your interviewer, just be sure to slip in or gently compliment any accomplishments you came across during your research.

Role: Get a deep understanding as to what the role you’re applying for requires and what challenges this role faces. This will help you highlight and cross reference your past experiences and how you can overcome any potential challenges with this ‘new’ role. Also, be proactive – check to see if there are interview questions online for the role you are applying to. Depending on the type of role you’re interviewing for, you may be able to find past interview questions on the internet from people who have been interviewed for the role you are applying to. Even if you find questions for your role but the questions didn’t take place at the company you’re meeting with, research and prepare for those questions anyway as they could be similar.

2) Dress for the role

You can never look over-professional for any interview. This means, if you’re stuck between wearing jeans or dress pants, go with dress pants and if you can’t decide if you should throw in a tie, you’ll likely get extra points for wearing a tie. Within the first few seconds of meeting the hiring manager, you’re already judged on your appearance before you’re asked any questions– be sure that you’re giving them the best first impression possible. Although it’s always important to be yourself and how you dress is a way of expressing yourself, you can always learn ways to personalize your work wardrobe once you seal the deal and get a deeper idea of the work attire within that company’s environment.

Dress for the role you’re applying for: research how people in that environment dress because depending on the industry and role you’re applying to, the dress code may be more flexible and/or could seek individuals with a unique style.

With cosmetics, try keeping makeup to a minimum and go for a natural look. Applying perfume or cologne can be risky because your interviewer may be sensitive to certain fragrances, and your nails must look professional (also avoid non-traditional nail art).

Above all, make sure you dress comfortably and avoid anything that could possibly result in a wardrobe malfunction.3) Perfect your non-verbal communication skills. — Make eye contact, have a good handshake, lightly use hand gestures and have solid posture throughout the interview. 

Your social and communication skills are essential. Your in-person interview is an opportunity to show how well you communicate and how you engage/carry on a conversation.

Eye contact is one of the most important keys to a successful interview – it demonstrates that you’re genuinely confident and giving the person you’re meeting with your undivided attention. In interviews, people can unintentionally only provide eye contact with the person who asked him/her a question– make sure you don’t do that. Even if you were asked a question by interviewer A what your favourite hobbies are, make sure you’re also looking at interviewer B, C, and D while answering the question.

Body language also has an impact as to how an interviewer may perceive you. Throughout the interview, make sure your body is communicating confidence and proper etiquette. If you’re not sure how to position yourself, discreetly mimic what your interviewer is doing. Level your body movements with them and make a mental note as to how they position themselves. Studies have shown that people are more likeable when they portray the same body language.

Keep your hands visible and keep your hand gestures to a minimal – too much can be distracting and come off as a little theatrical. Practice a firm your handshake and do everything in your power to avoid sweaty/over moist hands – it’s gross.

Nod when appropriate (that means not at everything); sit with your back straight (it takes pressure off of your spine and back muscles); slightly turn your body and face the person you are speaking with. Above all, smile and don’t be afraid to laugh. People naturally gravitate to individuals who project positive energy and it’s a sign that you’re happy to be there.4) Important talking points: Don’t talk money (unless the interviewer brings it up), come prepared to ask questions, and don’t lie about anything.

During an interview, it’s okay if your experience doesn’t meet every requirement, just make sure you make it clear that you’re eager to find ways to meet any necessary criteria for the role, and that you’re progressing to find new ways to become better suited for the role. Examples of this include you mentioning how you’re taking an online course, or you’re joining an organization where you have exposure to mentors, etc. As long as you’re able to show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to satisfy requirements for the role, the interviewer will likely not see your lack of experience/qualifications as an issue during the hiring process (unless there is someone that meets every single requirement then umm better luck next time). Just don’t lie and say you know how to do everything for that role. They may test you on a formula or ask you to reference your past experiences. In short: you’re digging yourself a bigger hole.

As tempting as it is to say no and run out of the interview, don’t pass on the opportunity to ask questions at the end of your interview. This not only illustrates that you have an interest in the company, but is also a great opportunity for you to validate whether or not the company you’re meeting with is a good fit for you.

With that in mind, yes, there is such a thing as dumb questions. Do not ask questions that would make the interviewer feel uncomfortable – in fact, try to do the opposite by bringing up questions that will likely result in a positive note. Ensure all your questions are thoughtful and relevant to the role and aren’t easily searchable via their public website otherwise you’re causing more harm than good. While 2-3 questions are optimal and less than that may demonstrate a lack of interest, remember that quality is better than quantity.

Just like in the dating world, money needs to be discussed later on in the relationship. Once both parties feel more comfortable and have built a mutual level of interest with one another, the discussion of money can be raised. Until then, sit tight.5) You have 24 hours to send a thank you note and 5 days to follow-up. 

In your thank you email, thank them for their time and the opportunity to meet. Bring up something insightful you learned during the interview, and make it clear that you are eager to join the organization. Also offer to provide any additional documents and let them know that you’re looking forward to hearing from them soon. This is literally the easiest email you’ll ever have to write and it goes such a long way.

If you don’t hear back from the interviewer, send him/her a gentle follow-up email asking for a status update and if they have any follow up questions for you. If they come back saying they went with another candidate, wish them well and thank them again for the opportunity to meet with them. You never know if you’ll cross paths in the future, so make sure you end this note as professionally and positively as possible.

Do you have any amazing interview tips? If so, leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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