Okay, so you want to do better in job interviews, but the qualifications on your resume aren’t matching the job postings you’re seeing. Let’s talk and figure this out together.
Many jobs ask a lot of us, and I can understand that. Companies want to hire the best person for the job. It’s now up to you, the applicant, to be – or rather, try to be – the best person for the job. One way to get there is to get qualifications you can wave around in an interview.
Hiring Managers love people who know what they’re talking about. They also love resumes packed with things that can help you with the actual job. So being one or both types of people can help you wow your interviewer.
Extra qualifications don’t always mean a degree from a fancy school. It just means you have enough to show you can do the job right. So here are some ways you can wow the interviewer.
Get certified in areas that support the role you’re applying for
Degrees are great and get you to the front door. Certifications can open that door, sometimes even without the degree. Plus, sometimes you don’t have the time or resources to get a degree, so certification is your next bet.
A certification in something directly related to the position is an enormous boost. It shows the hiring manager that you know your way around and you won’t need too much handholding. Long degree programs are great, but you might forget things you learned in the earlier years. Also, some certifications teach things you don’t get in a formal degree program. So, it’s always a good idea to learn what you can.
So, if you’re in marketing, look into getting a Google Analytics or HubSpot Certification. For education, get a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification. For Project management, get a Project Management Professional Certification. EDX, Google, Coursera and Future Learn are great places to get certified in a wide range of useful career areas.
Building your portfolio with relevant pieces can help you do better on job interviews
Another way to get noticed is by having a comprehensive portfolio. It shows, practically, what you can do.
If you have a career in a field that you need a portfolio, make one. But don’t just make it, try to add to it as often as you can. Even if you aren’t doing tasks professionally, exercise your talents. Add to your portfolio even if it’s just for practice. You never know how those side projects can help you get ahead.
Make some logos, get some friends together and shoot some videos, develop an app, start a podcast, make a blog, sketch some designs. Do as much as you can, as often as you can.
Showing what you can do given the opportunity will help convince hiring managers that you’re the best person for the job. A great resume is helpful, but hiring managers want to see behind the scenes too. So, whenever you send your resume, attach a link to your portfolio or scanned versions of your work. It goes a long way.
Do your research on the position you’re applying for
Whenever you’re about to apply, or have already applied, for a job, research the position. Especially if you aren’t sure what you may have to do. Job postings don’t always provide detailed descriptions. So it’s good to have a general idea of what to expect.
Knowing what to expect allows you to know what you can and can’t do. Use the time to prepare yourself for what you know you can’t do. Make YouTube your best friend. It’s great for crash courses in almost anything. So, when the interviewer asks certain questions, you won’t go blank and get embarrassed.
Never go into an interview without doing proper research. I can attest that it’s the worst thing you could do. I didn’t prepare for a job I really wanted a few weeks ago. So, I went into the assessment not being able to sell myself well. It was a disaster and extremely embarrassing. But, it was an excellent lesson.
Prepare yourself for what they might ask you, so they can see you know your stuff.
Do better in job interviews by practising tasks that you might get if you’re hired
Many companies may throw you a task or two related to the job to test if you can do the actual job. Prepare for this to happen. Practise the things you know the job may require of you.
If you’re applying to be a graphic designer, practice doing a few designs that may align with what the company stands for. If it’s event management, practice making a budget and a plan for a mock event. Whatever the job is, prepare yourself.
Don’t get caught off guard by hiring managers testing you. Show them you’re ready and prepared to get the job done. If you’ve never done any of the tasks related to the job, learn them. Google and YouTube have many guides, samples, templates and instructional materials. Use them! Do and learn as much as you can.
Not everyone will have a shiny degree, prestigious internship experience or an impressive job history. But, you can bridge the gap and do better in job interviews by making up for what you’re lacking in other areas. Always try to make yourself marketable and sell whatever you offer. It’s better than settling and accepting defeat.