Job interview tips

When it comes to applying for jobs, everyone is an expert right away. “Ask questions”, “Dress appropriately”, “wear shoes”… You've probably heard it all a hundred times. We probably won't help you with clichés, so we'll leave the chewed-up tips aside for now.

Here are 9 interview tips that you won't see coming, but that will have you rolling through your application like an unstoppable diesel train.

1. Get your story straight

The best way to make it easier to answer tough questions is to think of yourself as a brand. How does that work? Well, we could write a few separate articles about that. But here's the short version:

It starts with the question of who you are and who you want to be. Look at yourself critically in the mirror and ask yourself questions like: what makes you happy? What can't you stand? Are you best solo or in a group? The central point: “What is my story?”

From that point of view, many things automatically fall into place: what your qualities are, what your areas for improvement or weaknesses are, and what more can you offer an employer than anyone else.

If you have your own story in order, all those difficult questions (such as "where do you see yourself in 5 years" or "what are your worst qualities".. Hurrr..) suddenly much easier to answer, because now they're just part of that story. In addition, you also appear much more confident and self-aware. After all, an employer is not looking for someone without weaknesses. He or she would much rather have someone who is aware of those weaknesses and is willing to improve them.

2. Turn the tables

An important thing to remember is that getting a job somewhere is not an employer's favor to you: it's a mutual agreement that should benefit both parties.

If you look at it this way, a job application is therefore not just a one-sided ‘interrogation’ of you as a candidate, but also an opportunity for you to see whether this is a company where you would like to work. With that mindset, there is a good chance that you will be less nervous, more sharp with your questions, and that you will come across as more positive.

3. Grow taller

Tall people are seen as more handsome, intelligent, and better leaders, and they earn more and get promoted more quickly. Pretty unfair, is that, but yes. So ehh.. Grow a few centimeters?

4. Make Them Laugh

Okay, you're not supposed to be a clown all the time, and if you don't really have a natural sense of humor you might want to be a little careful with this. But if you manage to make the interviewers laugh in a light-hearted way, you'll gain priceless charm points.

The main thing is that you look for making a connection with your conversation partner. And nothing works better than a well-aimed laughter.

5. Follow up, even after a rejection

At the end of the interview, send a polite note thanking them for their time and attention. The interviewers probably had a lot of conversations, and a friendly thank you is a welcome gesture on such a busy day. In addition, you make them think of you again, and then you naturally become much better rememberable.

6. Read up like a madman

Information is your friend. Do a crazy search on anything that could be relevant to your application. What are the company's core values (and how do they align with your own)? What can you find out about the interviewer? What do you have in common with him or her?

Anything that helps to address commonalities, whether it's between you and the company or between you and your conversation partner, can be of immense value to you. For example, look up the personal blogs of HR employees. For example, do they have a food blog? Do they occupy a specific position across the field? All this information provides opportunities to find something in common.

The point really is: don't forget that you're dealing with people. Those figures across the table may feel like aliens, but they're just people who, like everyone else, enjoy connecting with other people on a personal level.

7. Flirt with the company you want to work for

This one is again a bit of a question of estimating whether it is possible. But if you really want to work somewhere, it's best to let it to be known. Send a valentine day card, have flowers delivered, write a poem… Do something silly with the serious undertones: I love your company and am willing to die for a chance to work with you. I'm sure they'll like it, and at least you'll be sure to stand out.

8. Schedule your application on Tuesday at 11:30 am

Not only you might have got rid of your hangover by then, but your future employer is also most likely to have his attention on you at that time instead of starting the week (Monday) or going home like crazy drive to have drinks and dance on the tables (Friday).

9. Be early

It should be clear that you should not be late. So make sure you are a bit early, half an hour to fifteen minutes or so. Then absolutely do not roll in right away, because that will not come across well. Rather go for a quiet walk. That's good for your thinking ability, it gives you a moment to organize your thoughts and it lowers your heart rate from cycling, so you aren’t sweating like a pig in your job interview.

Then walk into the building a few minutes before. Have a short, friendly chat with the person behind the reception desk, if there is any, take a calm place in the waiting area and trust yourself.

You got this!