Congrats! 98% of job seekers are rejected before the first interview.
A job opening, on average, receives 250 applications. 98% of those applicants are rejected. This means that 245 out of 250 hypothetical applicants will not be considered beyond the resumé stage. 4 out of the 5 remaining candidates will get rejected during the interview stage. All of the data can be found here.
Let’s say you are one of the 5 candidates to be offered an interview. Here are a few pieces of homework you can do to make the strongest impression:
Understand the role & company. 47% of interviewers report that they will reject a candidate who lacks proficient knowledge of the company. Lack of knowledge reflects a lack of interest in the role. Research the company’s values, look up recent news, and think about how the role for which you’re interviewing contributes to the company.
In the process, you will come across some legitimate questions; write them down so you can ask them during your interview. This shows that you are a serious candidate who has done your research.
You will likely be asked some role-specific standard interview questions; look these up ahead of time and be prepared to answer them. You might even be given information about your interviewer - again, research here is important.
Be prepared to talk about your resumé. You will be at a great disadvantage if you don’t know your resumé well. You should be able to discuss any aspect of the resumé with confidence and detail. Be prepared to explain any significant gaps or unique jobs and experiences.
Plan ahead for how you will relate your past experiences to the role for which you are interviewing. There is rarely a perfect overlap of skills from job to job, so don’t worry about spinning your experiences to present yourself well. It’s smart to bring extra copies of your resumé just in case your interviewer doesn’t have one handy (or hasn’t even read it yet). It always looks good to be extra prepared.
Mock interview. A mock interview is nothing more than a simulation of a real interview; treat it like a real interview, but if you flub, nobody has to know. You will practice responding to difficult questions, improve your articulation, and reduce stress during the actual interview when it counts.
No interviewer wants to hear memorized answers. Mock interviews will help you express your answers comfortably without seeming too rehearsed. There are lots of ways to practice your interview skills; work with a friend; rehearse in front of your dog; talk in front of the mirror; seek out a mentor or career counselor to interview you; record yourself with your phone.
Talk Hiring is a free (yes, 100% free) automated mock interviewing tool that allows you to practice and gain confidence for your upcoming job interview. It is an audio-only, low-tech, and mobile-friendly practice tool for job seekers.
You will go through a simulated phone interview that usually takes about 10 minutes. Based on their research, they currently support 30 of the most common interview questions. Upon completion of the interview (within a few seconds), you will be sent an email containing your audio recordings with feedback on how you can improve. You can practice the same questions over again or take a crack at a whole new set of questions in each mock interview.
How cool is that?
Wishing you the best of luck in your future interviews!
Harris Ossermam the Founder of Talk Hiring, a free mock interview company. It is an incredibly helpful tool to try out if you have an interview coming up. But, you won’t hurt his feelings if you disagree!