If you already have an interview lined up, congratulations are in order: You passed the initial cover letter and resume test. Now as you prepare for your interview, you are probably anticipating the questions that the interviewer might ask, and hopefully choosing the right colors to wear in order to ace your interview.
There are several things you want to avoid saying at your interview (such as how much you hated your previous boss, or how you can’t wait to get a full-time job so you can plan a vacation), but it’s also important to make sure that you don’t leave anything important out. Your interview is your chance to show just why you are the candidate for the job, and you don’t want to leave anything unsaid that will help your interviewer conclude that you are the right choice.
Here are four things to make sure you say in your interview. There’s a good chance the interviewer will flat-out ask you No. 4, so if you don’t have a good answer, you can kiss your chances of getting the job goodbye.
1. Here’s why I am a good fit for this position …
No matter how little or how much experience you have, you will want to prove that you are ready for the position that you are interviewing for. Don’t assume that just because you got an interview you won’t need to prove your readiness or share your experiences. If you feel like you are lacking in specific areas, be sure to give concrete examples of how your skills match up, because the match may not be immediately evident to the hiring team.
Even if you are extremely experienced in the job field, you still need to share your experience. Be sure to give specific examples instead of answering in a manner that is too broad; also be sure to tie your experience back to the job duties listed in the job description. In addition, make it clear why you want the position and why you are qualified for it.
2. I’m interested in continuing to learn and grow
If you are willing and ready to learn new job skills, share experiences, and learn from your co-workers and boss, this is a great thing to share during an interview. You want to be clear that you are proficient in your job field, but showing that you are also open to continued learning is a great way to impress a hiring team. You can also ask if taking additional classes and attending conferences or workshops is encouraged at the company. Sharing that you enjoy learning and growing will indicate that you are ready to be taught, but also that you are motivated and hard-working. Although you are being interviewed for a specific position, the interviewer may appreciate knowing that your ability to take direction and to keep learning makes you a good candidate for future promotions later.
3. I enjoy working independently and also with others
Most positions require you to work independently at times; employers won’t want to hear that you get easily distracted and have a hard time meeting deadlines when you work on your own. They will want to know that you are motivated, hard-working, independent, and dependable. However, they will also want to know that you work well with others. Office gossip can harm the work environment, and it can cost a company money in terms of wasted time and even formal complaints. Your best bet is to get across that you enjoy working with other people toward a shared goal, and that you will enjoy pooling your talents with theirs in order to do the best possible work for the company.
4. I want to work at this company because …
One of the best things you can do to prepare for an interview is to research a company. Google and other search engines, along with individual company websites, make it so easy to learn about a company’s mission, goals, culture, and even some important clients. Going into the interview prepared to discuss the reason you want to work at the company is important, but so is actually knowing about the company. According to Payscale, the most important part of landing a job is knowing how to properly research a company; you should try to match your talents and experience to the company’s needs.
If you can convince the hiring team that you have the right experience for the job, that you are hard working and motivated, that you can work independently and with others, and that you care about the company itself, you will be well on your way toward getting a job offer.