Let’s face it: finding the perfect job can be, well, work. It takes time and effort, preparation and planning, capability and competence. But it doesn’t need to be a nerve rattling or confidence shaking experience.
With a few tried-and-true interview tips, you can master the moment and impress your interviewer, which might help to ensure the entire interview process is never a nightmare — and help you easily snag the job of your dreams.
Looking to land your dream job? These interview tips can work wonders.
1. Prepare for common interview questions
Get hold of any “How To Interview” book and it’s bound to include a list of common interview questions. Read through them and give some thought as to which questions you’re most likely to be asked given your current situation or job search: recent graduate, summer intern, goals, relevant past experience, etc.
2. Research the company, industry, or agency
Before you leave home for your work interview, do some homework: learn about the potential employer’s company, including its industry standings, competitors, accomplishments, and significant milestones. Knowing about the company showcases your research capabilities, initiative, and commitment.
3. Practice…and then practice again
Off-the-cuff isn’t always best when it comes to staying on point. Responding to questions clearly and concisely takes verbal practice; simply going over questions in your own mind isn’t the same thing. Rehearse out loud with a friend so that you become familiar with how questions sound when they’re posed to you and how your response is delivered.
4. Give it your all in the first five minutes
According to some studies, interviewers make up their minds about interviewees within the first five minutes of an interview. Put your best foot forward early on by displaying enthusiasm, energy, confidence, and appreciation for the interviewer’s time. And it won’t hurt to say something positive about the company and its work, as well as how much you’ve been looking forward to the “meeting” — not “interview.”
5. Consider the “tell me about yourself” question as an opportunity to sell yourself
Chatting about your hobbies or your pets really doesn’t cut it when it comes to making your mark. Instead, focus on your selling points and how they relate to the position for which you’re interviewing.
6. Remember the importance of body language
Body language speaks volumes about you. Don’t underestimate the importance of dressing appropriately, having good posture during the interview, giving a firm handshake, and making eye contact. You want to present yourself as interested, inquisitive, and involved — not just moving mechanically from one interview to another. And skip the perfume or cologne; if you end up interviewing in a small room with poor air circulation you don’t want your interviewer overcome with fumes and, as a result, underwhelmed by you.
7. Bring a resume to every interview
You never know if an interviewer has misplaced or forgotten your resume. They might ask if you have another one on hand so be prepared. Not only will handing them a resume save some embarrassment on their part it will also demonstrate you’re preparedness.
8. Send a thank-you note
Worth noting: A handwritten thank-you note or an email, sent within 48 hours of the interview, is always welcomed by the interviewer. Mention some specifics from your meeting such as what you and the interviewer discussed or ideas and proposals that were of particular interest to you. A thank-you note conveys not only your enthusiasm for the job but also your ability to follow through promptly.