Earning

Nail your interview and land your dream job in 2020 in 4 easy steps

Twenty/20

Two-thirds of hiring managers admit they know within 90 seconds if you're the person they want to hire, according to The Undercover Recruiter. If you want to stand out in a high-pressure situation, confidence in your skills and your value can go a long way.

"A lot of people go into the interview desperate for a job," career expert Jena Viviano told Grow earlier this year. "But it's about flipping the coin and recognizing what your strengths are and what you have to offer, and that changes the way you approach interviews."

If you're on the hunt for a new job in 2020, these four steps can help you set yourself apart from the rest of the applicant pool and nail your interview.

1. Revise your resume and cover letter

Before you go on an interview, you'll want to prepare your interview materials and social media accounts to make sure that they're in good shape.

Review your resume and cover letter to ensure that all of your information is up to date. Comb through each section, paying special attention to your choice of words. Compare the language you're using in your resume or cover letter with the keywords the company used in their job posting to make sure your qualifications match up with the job requirements. For instance, if the company is seeking someone to "lead a team," you may want to include examples of how you led or managed a team in your previous roles.

"Once you're an in interview though, your resume has already demonstrated that you can do the job, the interview is less about 'Can this person do the job?' and more about 'Okay, can this person do it well?'" says Chelsea Goodman, president and career elevation expert at Got The Job.

A lot of people go into the interview desperate for a job. But it's about flipping the coin and recognizing what your strengths are and what you have to offer, and that changes the way you approach interviews.
Jena Viviano
Careers expert

2. Research the company

Researching the company you're applying to is a great way to familiarize yourself with the company's mission, and find ways to craft your responses so that it's clear they align with the company's goals.

You'll also want to come up with a few questions for your interviewer. Asking questions gives you the chance to show that you're prepared and are interested in the position. Questions might include, "What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?" or "As an employee, what can I expect my day-to-day schedule to look like?"

"Every company has their own mission and set of values," says Goodman. "You'll want to know what type of work the company does, what kind of product they develop, and what types of activities are part of the role you're applying for."

3. Rehearse your interview question responses

Do some research online and come up with a list of sample interview questions that you can review with a friend or family member. There is no way to know what your interviewer will ask you, but a good place to start is by practicing using standard interview questions. This can help you feel more confident when you walk in the door.

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Online job boards also tend to have information about a company's interview process. Glassdoor, for example, offers a forum for people to discuss their interview process, and may include a few examples of interview question.

Goodman says one rookie mistake is giving too much away when asked the question, "Tell me about yourself." Stay focused. "There are three things you want to address," says Goodman. "Here's what I do now, here's what I want to do next, and here's why I would be good at it."

4. Reach out after the interview

When you wrap up the interview, your work isn't done. Make sure to ask the interviewer what the next steps in the interview process are and when you can expect to hear back. Get a business card for each interviewer and write them each a thank you note, expressing how thankful you are for their time and briefly highlighting your interest in the position and your qualifications.

If possible, send a handwritten thank you note, as well as an email, no later than one week after the interview.

"It's good to send a reminder to those people," says Goodman. "They've probably spoken to more people that day, so you want to remind them of your conversation and reiterate what you bring to the table."

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