Tyler Jacobsen, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at Extra Space Storage, is interviewing potential new hires every day. As our resident expert, we turned to him for tips on how you can ace your next job interview!
Interviews are nerve-wracking experiences, no matter how many you have under your belt. Whether you’re a college graduate just beginning your professional career or a seasoned employee looking for a change of pace, it’s great to review these top five tips for landing your next job.
Do Your Research
Walking into an interview having done your research about the company, the position, and the industry is your first opportunity to demonstrate to the hiring manager your strong work ethic and practices.
Come up with two to three reasons why this company interests you and look beyond the obvious. Know their mission statement and show them how your skills align with their mission. Check out the company’s blog and social media channels to get an inside look at what life inside the organization looks like. Pick specifics that excite you—like photos of the team volunteering or other company events—and find moments to share that knowledge in your interview.
“Anyone can Google a company’s website and give a brief description of what they do,” said Jacobsen. “If you’re looking for a pro tip, research the person who will be interviewing you as well. The more you can connect with that person, the more likely you are to be remembered.”
Practice & Prepare
Interviewers are trained to look for specific answers to questions. They ask behavioral-based questions and are looking for specific answers. Prepare your answers before the interview by coming up with several projects or assignments where you have added value in your past positions. Be sure to include what the situation was, what action you took, and what the results of your actions were.
Find someone who is willing to conduct a mock interview with you. Use a list of the most common interview questions and rehearse your answers with them.
“The more someone practices, the more comfortable they come across when they interview,” said Jacobsen. “Remaining confident and calm during the interview positions you as an authority on the topic, leading the interviewer to believe this is the attitude and confidence that would be carried into the workplace.”
Be Confident in Yourself
Many times, an interviewer will open the interview by asking the candidate “Tell me about yourself.” Be prepared to give a quick overview of your work experience. This is a great time to show your confidence in yourself and the impact you have had with other roles. Many people are not aware of how they are subconsciously presenting themselves through body language, but it speaks volumes.
“During interviews, we love to see someone who is comfortable speaking with the team,” said Jacobsen. “But remember, there is a fine line between being comfortable and confident and coming across as arrogant. Practicing and being self-aware of body language can make or break you getting the job. Lean into the interviewer, sit up straight, and show us your personality!”
Show Your Passion & Innovation
Companies are looking to hire employees who can use their unique perspectives to drive innovation. Don’t be afraid to tell your interviewer what makes you unique, ideas you have to improve the company, and how your skills differentiate you from the competition.
Apply for jobs you are passionate about even if you feel your experience isn’t the most aligned with what they are asking for. If the company finds value in the skills you do possess, they may open the conversation to in-house training and growth to meet their requirements.
“We value innovation and passion on our team at Extra Space Storage,” said Jacobsen. “Approaching an interview with the ability to discuss your future contributions to the company shows initiative that will be sure to set you apart.”
Follow Up After the Interview
Sending a follow-up email to all parties involved in your interview shows that you are truly excited about the possibility of joining the team. Remember specific parts of the interview and comment on them to show your attentiveness. Go above and beyond the typical email. Send a handwritten note or card to your interviewer to bring yourself to the top of their minds, not just the top of their inbox.
“I’m always impressed when I get a well-thought-out follow-up,” said Jacobsen. “Something that goes beyond a simple ‘thank you’ makes me believe that person would show great teamwork if they were to join our team.”
Pre-interview jitters will always be present, but with these tips, we know you’ll have the confidence to ace your next interview! Just think—your next interview could be with us! Take a peek at our job openings in a variety of career paths all across the U.S., and we’ll look forward to meeting you soon.
Interested in a career with Extra Space Storage? Learn more about our employment opportunities.