Tips to Successful Interview
Even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count, job interviewing never seems to get any easier. With each job interview you are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don’t know. If you haven’t done many job interviews in the past, the uncertainty will only add to your jitters. But if you follow best practices, you’ll build your confidence, feel more comfortable answering questions and dramatically increase your chances of having a successful job interview. Below are tips on how to succeed in a job interview next time (and every time).
1. Do your research:
Always do your research on a company before your head into an interview. Wouldn’t it be a shame to get hired only to discover you don’t even want to work there? At the very least, research information about the company and the job, and do a Google search for current news on the company.
Some important information to look for includes what the latest projects are being carried out by the employer, how financially stable the employer is and how well they treat employees.
2. Practice and Prepare:
It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Otherwise, you might come across as apathetic, which is a major turnoff for hiring managers.
3. Prepare stories to tell:
Part of a successful job interview is your ability to market your experiences and skills as they relate to the job described, and a great way to do just that is by telling stories to illustrate your experiences and successes with those skills.
Stories make you engaging, allow you to show off your personality and demonstrate good communication skills too.
4. Develop a Connection with the Interviewer:
In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions.
5. Gather your questions:
A classic recruiter pet peeve is the part of the interview when they wonder out loud if you have any questions for them, and you simply reply “no.” That can be a big strike against you.
Having questions shows how interested you really are in the role and may also show that you did your homework and should be taken seriously.
6. Get Ready Ahead of Time:
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear.
7. Dress for success:
While your skill and experience should stand on their own, to have a successful job interview, start with your clothing. Dress one level above the job you’re seeking. It’s not all about expensive suits and ensembles — it’s about looking the part and wearing clothes that are clean and fit you well.
If you are unsure of the dress code at the company where you are interviewing, reach out to the recruiter and ask.
8. Bring what you need:
Although you may have emailed your resume to the company, bring paper copies for you and your interviewer to refer to. It’s also a good idea to have paper copies of your references list in the event that you are asked for them. These should always be on a separate sheet of paper, not on your resume.
9. Respect the schedule:
How to succeed in a job interview 101: Plan to arrive for your interview 10-15 minutes before the appointed time. Arriving too early can confuse the employer and create an awkward situation. On the other hand, arriving late creates a bad first impression and may doom your chances right off the bat.
10. Be on Time (That Means Early):
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
11. Watch your body language:
What you don’t say can be as important as what you do say in job interviews. Understanding and maximizing your non-verbal’s smiling, eye contact, handshake, posture, and the like — will help you succeed in the interview.
12. Be real:
Speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills. You should be proud of your accomplishments. Be professional but let your personality shine through. Employers tend to hire people they like. Don’t be afraid of short pauses. You may sometimes need a few seconds to formulate answers, and that’s fine.
13. Note important information:
As soon as possible after the interview, take time to write down the names and titles of all your interviewers, your impressions, remaining questions and key information learned. If you promised the interviewers anything, such as forwarding additional information, note that too for a reminder later. Once you’re interviewing regularly, this process will help you keep employers and circumstances clearly defined.