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September 28, 2015

5 Secrets To Help You Ace Your Job Interview

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Sponsored: [VIDEO] Secret to ace any job interview

Diligent job seekers spend hours creating resumes & cover letters, searching through job postings, reviewing classifieds and networking -- all in order to get an interview. Yet most of them don't know what to do when they get one! When the job market was booming, it took an average of 3 interviews to get 1 job offer. Now it takes 17. The key is have a great interview, where the interviewer actually pictures you doing the job.

If you want to be that person, there's a little known secret you can put together for your next interview that literally forces the interviewer to picture you filling the position, and to visualize actually hiring you -- asap. Using this method guarantees you'll stand out from the crowd and shoot straight to the top of the "must hire" list. To learn more about this 'Secret Career Document' and land any job you desire, check out this job interview video.

Secrets to Acing Your Job Interview

Liz Wessel, Co-Founder & CEO at WayUp

Here's a quick cheat-sheet for five tips that -- when implemented -- can completely save your job interview.

1. Come with 3 little-known facts about the business

"I learned something about my own company from someone who doesn't even work here!"

This one sounds silly, but it tends to work really well. Try to have three little-known facts related to the business prepared. This shows that you did your research. When seeking out these facts, try to find ones the typical interviewee is unlikely to come across, and that the interviewer may not even know. By doing so, you display an interest and an ability to thoroughly prepare. Just imagine what they'll think when they walk away saying, "I learned something about my own company from someone who doesn't even work here!"

An example I like to give is when I applied for an internship with Google. I had just read In the Plex by Steven Levy, so the number of "fun facts" in my head during the interview felt infinite. In my first interview alone, I remember name-dropping the person who designed the Google Logo (I subtly included it in my answer about why I loved the Google brand). I also had gone to a Best Buy and interviewed sales clerks who sold Chromebooks and Android phones to find out what the average customer was like. This was a HUGE help when I later was asked "How many Chromebooks do you think we sell in a year?"... If I hadn't at least had some idea from the Best Buy sales clerk about the market, I would have felt much more lost.

2. Be prepared with 3 questions that definitely won't be covered by the interviewer beforehand

You've probably heard this a million times: "Do you have any questions for me?" You likely thought that this was just a formality and would have no effect on whether you get the job. Well, you're wrong. You should always come with at least three questions you know won't come up during the interview.

Questions like, "What do you do on an average day?" are overused, and often covered during the interview. A better question would be "What is the toughest part about your job?" or "Now that you know a bit about me, if I were hired, what parts of this role do you think I'd be strongest for?" (Just be ready for them to turn that question on you, and for the interviewer to ask you "What do you think?")

As it turns out, asking questions during the interview can often be more for the interviewer's peace of mind than yours. It shows them that you're enthusiastic and interested in the company. It also shows you're involved in the conversation (it's okay to make them feel like you're interviewing them a bit).

3. Follow up ASAP after the interview

It's the classic dilemma: should you wait for an employer to contact you or get in touch first? And if you plan to follow up, how long do you wait? After all, you don't want to seem desperate.

Here's my suggestion: Don't wait. Most employees are encouraged to write their post-interview notes as soon after the interview as possible. If you can get your thank-you note in there before the review is written, it will only help you (unless, of course, you have spelling errors throughout your note).

Need more proof? A survey of 2,800 employers found that 22% of interviewers were more likely to hire a candidate if that person sent an after-interview thank-you note. More than half of these managers claimed that not sending a note showed a lack of interest.

4. Don't bash former employers

This may be the least obvious of the five, but given that everyone seems to do it, I figured I'd include this point: while it's tempting to be overly honest about previous employers, it's important to keep things professional. The second you start complaining about your previous employer, the interviewer will likely wonder "what will he/she say about us after he/she leaves here?" Don't let your potential employer think you don't play nicely with others.

5. Whenever possible, throw relevant + technical jargon in your resume (if relevant to the role)

You've likely spent hours creating a resume that showcases your positive attributes and tells companies they'd be lucky to have you. Unfortunately, this isn't enough. Studies have shown that recruiters often only give your resume a six-second glance. So, it's essential that you immediately stand out.

Adjust your resume to the company and role for which you're applying. This will make them feel like you're the "perfect fit"... because, well, you are! Also, use technical jargon from the industry. Employers that use applicant tracking systems (ATS) may let their software decide whether your resume is worth a look. Without these industry-specific keywords, you might get lost in the shuffle.

These steps may be surprisingly simple to implement, but you shouldn't underestimate their importance. It's critical that you do a bit of extra work to show that you have an interest in the job and a command of the necessary skills.

Liz Wessel is the Co-Founder and CEO at WayUp, one of the largest online marketplaces for US college students to find part-time jobs, internships and full-time jobs for graduating seniors. Jobs available on the site include Fortune 500 brand representatives, freelancers for startups, summer interns for tech companies, and the list goes on.

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