New Year, New Job? Tips for Applying and Interviewing for Your Dream Job

Are you pursuing your dream job? Then you’ve likely spent hours, days and maybe even weeks scouring the web for your next big break or a more fulfilling role. 

Here are some tips to help you land that dream job.

1. Be timely

Be timely when applying. Companies want to fill roles as soon as they can. An organization will search for the perfect candidate as long as possible but eventually must make a choice. If you’re the first person in line, your chances of landing the interview increase dramatically. Do not wait to apply!

Be timely when communicating. If a company believes you are qualified, a hiring manager may reach out for further screening via email or a phone call.  If you’re applying for THE job keep your phone close and notifications turned on. When THE company reaches out for THE job, you do not want to delay your response — their hiring window may closing soon.  

Be timely with your availability. If this is really your dream gig, you want to interview as soon as possible. You’re qualified, motivated, and perfect for the job. You want the company hiring team to meet you ASAP! Don’t let nerves delay the interview (interview tips below!). Be flexible with your schedule. You want to be the first in the door!

2. Be yourself

During the screening process and interview, be yourself! The hiring managers have read your resume. You would not be receiving a phone call or interview if you were not qualified. The company is not only trying to confirm your qualifications — they’re trying to determine if you are a great fit for the position, company, team, customers, etc. Your best chance in landing THE job is to show your personality during the interview. Get comfortable. Tell a story. Be talkative. Show your humor if you are humorous. Show your passion if you are passionate. Talk about what is important to you during your interview. If this really is THE job with THE company, you are already THE match. You just need to bring YOURSELF to the interview!

3. Be honest and positive

Be honest. If an interview question seems to be difficult to answer or if you think you don’t have the best answer, pause. Take a moment to really think about the question. If, after some reflection, you still do not have the certain qualification, experience, attribute, etc. be honest. Answer the question the best you can but be honest with the hiring team.

Be positive. If you come across a hurdle during a phone call or interview, be careful to not use negative terms about yourself. Avoid terms like ‘I’m ignorant of this’ or ‘I don’t know anything about this’ or ‘I do not have an answer to that question.’  Instead, try highlighting the experience that you do have and how that applies to the position. Discuss your strengths. If you’re a fast learner, a self-starter, or a dedicated teammate, highlight those qualities.

Focus on the positive but remain honest.

Why share these tips now? We recently completed a critical yet condensed hiring effort. We needed passionate teammates and we needed them fast. We’re still astonished at the quality of candidates we found in such a short amount of time.  We noticed the candidates we hired were all honest and passionate. They shared their personality and experiences during the interview. They talked at length and gave thorough answers to questions.

If a role at Horizon Strategies is your dream job, check out our opportunities here:

About Horizon Strategies, LLC:

Grounded in the values of service-oriented leadership, integrity, and teamwork, Horizon Strategies translates the best practices of the world’s premier leadership and strategy institutions — primarily the Department of Defense — to practical government, business, and educational applications. Founded in 2016 as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Horizon Strategies is an accomplished professional services firm dedicated to providing innovative and cost effective solutions that create value for our clients. We align leadership, strategy, and people to achieve desired outcomes through the application of timeless principles and proven methods. For additional information, please visit

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