By Jim Wong, CPA | January 4, 2017

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” – Rainer Maria Rilke

By now, many of us have already heard plenty about our family and friends’ New Year’s resolutions—maybe we have even decided on our own new year’s resolutions. Whether it’s hitting the gym, reading five new books or perhaps saving money, it’s certainly not a bad thing to have goals.

For some people, making a career change might even be a resolution. Rather than letting that resolution slip away, job seekers should certainly plan how to tackle the job search.

Let’s say you’re an accounting, finance and information technology professionals applying for a position and you land an interview—how are you going to ensure you do well in the interview process? Through careful planning and preparation. Preparing for an interview can be what separates you from the rest of the talent pool.

I’ve covered this topic before, and with the New Year, it’s important to reiterate a few new tips to having a great interview. I recently came across an article on The Muse that discusses how to knock an interview out of the park and decided to share some of my own pointers with you, as well.

Read more for 7 Interview Tips to Score Your Next Position.

1. Dress for success. 
There’s a reason the old adage, “dress for success” still exists. It’s important for job seekers to dress professionally and appropriately for a job interview. While it’s not necessary to go out and buy a brand-new wardrobe, it’s helpful to have a standby professional outfit that you feel confident in so that you can walk into the interview feeling good. Curious about examples of strong interview outfits? Click here to learn more.

2. Use the STAR Method. 
This is perhaps one of the most effective ways for a job seeker to communicate their importance in their last role. The writer says, “To use this method, set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete to provide the interviewer with background context, but spend the bulk of your time describing what you actually did (the action) and what you achieved (the result).” This is a great way to show exactly what your previous role was, how you performed in your role and the result.

3. Translate your skills. 
It’s important for job seekers to convey how their skills can be transferred into new roles and one of the best ways to do so is to do your research before an interview and listen to the hiring manager. Try paying attention to questions that might elicit further explanation, include specifics and clearly explain how these skills can allow you to hit the ground running in the new role and with a smaller learning curve than others.

4. Be natural. 
Without getting too chummy with an interviewer or hiring manager, job seekers should develop good, natural rapport during an interview. A good rule of thumb is to feel confident and comfortable with this person through eye contact, active listening and avoiding nervous laughter.

5. Show enthusiasm. 
Job seekers should be sure to show enthusiasm for the role they are interviewing for. Enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily mean being over-the-top, but instead, showing interest in the position in an appropriate and professional way.

6. End on a high note.
At the close of the interview, let the interviewer know that you are interested in the role. Say something like, “Based on our conversation, I think am a great fit for the position due to the following reasons—(and then repeat a few highlights from the interview.) I want to let you know I would be very interested in pursuing the opportunity further. Based our conversation, do you have any questions or concerns about my ability to be a success in the role?” This close of an interview allows you to do two things: 1) It makes your interest known. People want to hire people who want the job and 2) It addresses any concerns the interviewer may have about your level of interest.

7. Say thank you.
This one should be a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Sending a follow-up thank you note to a hiring manager is always a nice touch. It shows interest and sets you apart from the other jobseekers. Try sending a thank you note via email within 24 hours of the interview and / or a hand-written note within one week in order to stay top of mind to the hiring manager.

These are only a few of the ways to score your next position. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know.

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