Job interviews can be nerve-racking, which is why it’s crucial to prepare for them as much as you can. By doing so, you’ll be able to focus on proving why you’re the best person for the job. The following are some job interview tips I’ve garnered over the years:
Before you actually go on the interview, it’s important to do as much research as possible so that you’re not thrown off come the actual interview. First and foremost, it may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to know specifically what position you’re applying for. What are the responsibilities and requirements? What are the key qualities the employer is looking for that you’d like to highlight and show that you posses?
It’s also important to be knowledgeable of the company as a whole. What do they do? How long have they been in business? What industries do they serve? What kind of clientele do they have? Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to know every little thing about the company’s entire history, but a general overview will definitely help.
Lastly, you should learn what role your interviewer plays in the company. Chances are, that’s the person to whom you’ll be reporting if you are hired. What are his or her responsibilities?
Basically, the more research you do, the better.
2. Be aware that first impressions are everything when it comes to job interviews, so dress accordingly.
Always keep this in the back of your mind. When you’re on an interview, you’re being assessed not only on your past work experience and how you’d potentially be a perfect fit for the job, but also on the way you present yourself, which includes your appearance. Therefore, it’s important to dress appropriately, as your attire reflects your professionalism.
3. Plan your commute beforehand.
If you can, take a dry run the day before. If you’re driving, find a place to park. The last thing you want is to be rushing five minutes before the interview, scrambling to find a spot or even find the actual building. Knowing exactly where you’re going will be one less thing to worry about and allow you to focus on what’s important: Nailing the interview!
4. Arrive early, but not too early.
Whatever you do, absolutely do not be late! I recommend arriving about 15 minutes early, but obviously, use your own judgement.
If you do arrive earlier than you anticipated, don’t head straight into the building right away. Sitting around will likely build up your nerves and make you feel antsy. Instead, walk around the area for a bit. I’ve actually done this before, and in my experience, I’ve found that it’s helped me relax by taking my mind off the interview for a bit. It’s even helped boost my excitement. Seriously, give it a try next time!
5. Be friendly and polite to everyone, not just the person who will be interviewing you.
Be courteous and polite to the receptionist. Give a smile to the employee who randomly passes by. These little things are important and can potentially make or break you. If you’re hired, you’ll be joining the staff as a new member of their team, so obviously, you won’t want to start off on the wrong foot with anyone.
6. Give a firm handshake.
When you meet your recruiter face-to-face for the first time, introduce yourself and give him or her a quick, firm handshake. As corny as this may sound, think of the story, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Not too hard, or too soft, but just right.
7. Engage with the interviewer: Smile, nod, maintain eye contact, listen intently, etc.
Firstly, when you sit down for the interview, relax your body language and be ready to show your enthusiasm and interest. During the interview, it’s important to really listen to the recruiter so that you can think through each response before you give your answer. Keep in mind that it’s perfectly okay to ask for clarification on a question. Honestly, it’s better to simply ask that than to be confused at all and potentially give a misconstrued answer.
8. Give direct responses.
As the interviewer asks you to explain more about your work history and your strengths, be sure to be specific. Instead of simply saying, “I’m a self-starter,” give concrete examples of how you’re a self-starter. It’s fine to list off your skills, but be sure to tie them into tasks that you’ve completed at your previous jobs.
9. Answer positively.
Don’t be modest during a job interview. You’re there to sell yourself, so you want to highlight your strengths and accomplishments as well as emphasize anything on your resume that you really want the recruiter to remember. Than being said, if you’re asked about your weaknesses, use it as an opportunity to explain how you’re working on ways to improve yourself.
10. Ask questions.
At the end of the interview, the recruiter will usually ask if you have any questions. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression and set you apart from the other applicants. I usually like to ask what a typical day is like or what the recruiter personally enjoys most about working there.
You could also ask more about the company as a whole, what they’re proudest of, ways in which they promote qualities such as teamwork or leadership, what their future goals are, etc.
11. Send a ‘thank you’ email.
It’s not only respectful, but it can also be beneficial to send a quick email after the interview simply thanking the recruiter for meeting with you. If you met with anyone else, mention their names as well. I usually also like to write a quick sentence summarizing my strongest attributes relating to the job, and I close the email by stating that I look forward to hearing from them.
12. Learn from the experience.
Worst case scenario, you don’t get the job. It’s not the end of the world. It’s happened to me before. Don’t harp on it or beat yourself up over it too much. The experience of going on the interview is still worth your time, as you can take something valuable out of each interview. Re-evaluate and focus on how you can improve for next time. Eventually, you’ll land the job you’re looking for. Until then, keep trying.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Feel free to comment and share your own interview tips.