Landing the perfect job for you is rarely easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. While you may know that you have the ability to excel in the role, you won’t be successful if you can’t prove it.
The vast majority of job seekers don’t go above and beyond to make sure they get the job they want. It takes extra work to stand out from the crowd and the good news is by following these tried and tested 18 steps you can do it.
Think like an employer
If you want to impress a potential employer, you need to put yourself in their shoes. If you were them, what would you be looking for in a candidate? This is a powerful technique that the best job seekers employ. Ask yourself:
1. What value are you adding to your current organisation?
Consider how you are an asset to your current company and think what tangible results will demonstrate that you can bring value to a new employer. They’re not going to invest in you if they don’t believe you can add value, so give them proof.
2. What are your core skills?
You should have a clear idea of what your core skills are, but can you quantify them? Consider how you can put a number on your achievements, for example, an increase in revenue or money you have saved your current employer.
3. What need are you filling?
Don’t waste your time and energy applying for roles that don’t match your skills and experience. Your next opportunity should be one where you can fill a need and make a positive change.
4. Who is the decision-maker?
In the majority of companies, there will be a key decision-maker who has the most influence over whether you are offered the role or not. Figure out who this person is and focus on taking every opportunity to impress them.
Invest in your preparation
Preparation is everything if you want to be successful in your job search. If you can conduct thorough research on the company and really tailor every application, you’re already doing better than 90% of candidates. However, if you let the effort you’re putting into your preparation slip, you are opening the door for your competition.
5. Be prepared for common interview questions
There are a number of common interview questions that you should definitely prepare for. Employers use these questions a lot and it’s concerning just how many candidates struggle to answer them. Be prepared and have your answers ready to make an impact.
6. Practice answering weird questions
You may also encounter some unpredictable and downright weird interview questions that could throw an unprepared candidate. Practice coming up with original and relevant answers to questions like these by figuring out what lies behind each question.
7. Choose your referees wisely
Your referees should be people who champion you. It’s also polite to ask them if they are happy to be your referee and to warn them in advance when they may be hearing from a potential employer.
8. Find out everything
Find out everything you can about the company, their products/service, the industry they operate in and the person who is interviewing you. You have the internet at your disposal so make the most of it!
It doesn’t matter what role you are going for, if you want to be successful you are going to need to sell yourself. Building rapport with your interviewer is key to this.
9. Show that you are passionate about the role and company
Showing enthusiasm and passion in an interview can make a big difference to your success. Prepare some good questions to ask your interviewer, take any feedback on board and show them that you are keen.
10. Dress the part
Don’t guess what to wear for your interview. Instead, you should use the company’s website and social media channels to understand their general style. You want to look like you’ll fit in perfectly.
Remember an interview should be two-way
An interview isn’t only for the employer to figure out if you are right for the role, it’s also your opportunity to find out if the role and company are right for you.
11. Have a conversation
You should aim to make your interview a balanced conversation. If you can, ask your interviewer as many questions as they ask you. They’ll enjoy the opportunity to tell you more about the opportunity.
12. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions
There’s nothing wrong with asking an unexpected or tough question of your interviewer as long as it’s a good one. You’ll make a good impression and they’ll admire your bravery.
13. Find out more about the company culture
You should get a good idea of the company culture just from being in their buildings, but you can find out more by asking. You’ll want to get a feel for if this is the type of place you will enjoy working in.
14. See if you can meet some of the team
If you’re invited for a second interview, ask if you’ll be meeting anyone from the team you will be joining. This demonstrates that you are keen and gives you an opportunity to further assess whether the role is right for you.
Everyone receives job rejections from time to time, so don’t beat yourself up about it. If you do receive a job offer, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to take it. You need to feel that the opportunity is the right one for you.
15. Don’t let your nerves get to you
Some nerves tell you that you want the job, but it’s important to not let them affect your performance. Take a few breathes and remember everything you’ve prepared.
16. Learn from your mistakes
Some of the most important lessons we learn in life usually are as a result of failure. If you are not successful the first time around, ask for feedback and make improvements for next time.
17. You don’t have to accept the role
It’s a great feeling when you receive a job offer but take a moment to consider what it on offer before you say yes or start negotiating.
18. Bear in mind you’re still on trial
You’ve landed your dream role and now it’s time to make a success of it. Your first few days, weeks and months in your new role are important and your managers will be assessing your progress. Ensure you hit the ground running, listen and learn.