Job interviews can feel like one of the most stressful experiences, but the whole process can actually be fun with the right preparation.
You’re not alone, if you often feel overwhelmed at just the thought of the interview. Not everyone is a natural when it comes to self promotion. Meeting new people every time you get called back for a position may even be a bit intimidating.
Fortunately, there are some helpful tips that can make the whole experience much more enjoyable, while making yourself even more valuable to the potential employer. You’re going to want to research the company, anticipate their questions and do everything you can to express confidence. We can show you how.
Dress for success
First appearances are integral to the job interview. Without question, you’ll be taken far more seriously if you walk into the room wearing formal or semi-formal business attire. Depending on the job you’re wanting, you may not need an expensive suit, but a dress shirt and/or blazer is a nice touch that will gain you plenty of respect as you walk through the door.
Look professional, which means you should also be clean shaven, if you’re a man. Make sure you’re not walking in with wild hair styles or bed head, and keep your perfume and cologne to a minimum.
Anticipate the questions
Research the types of questions you may be asked and then come up with your own list based on the language of the job posting and responsibilities. Know what strengths and experiences you have that will help you in the job because you’ll be asked about them.
The language in the job posting itself should tip you off to many questions as well. If you’re expected to handle data entry, you can be sure you’ll be asked about your experience with these types of duties. Think of examples of work experience or training. Giving examples is one of the best ways to illustrate your skills and prove you can deliver on the job expectations.
Be enthusiastic, not inappropriate
Some of the best interviews come from having a great connection with the people interviewing you. It’s important to recognize this and to be friendly, but you don’t want to get too informal in your approach and conversation. Follow the body language and enthusiasm of the room and you’ll be fine.
Always have questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout the interview, if you have any. A good interview is a simple conversation where both sides are sharing information. You want to know if you’re a good fit for this organization as much as they want to know the same about you.
If a potential employer describes an aspect of their business that you don’t understand or that you want to know more about, politely ask the question. This often helps you get to more of a conversational tone to the interview.
Also, most employers will ask if you have any questions about the job at the end of the interview. Always have questions. If there are expectations about the position you’re unsure about, this is the time to ask. If you want to know more about the company—and you likely should—this is the time to ask.
Know the company
You should have done some preliminary research when you applied for the job, but once you land an interview, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to get properly prepared. Find out how long the company’s been around. How old is the branch where you want to work? Are there online reviews you can find about the company? Find out more about them by mining their website and exploring their social media.
Your best assets
Know your best attributes and highlight them in the interview. Take a long look at your resume and think about the responsibilities of the job. Go through the questions you anticipate to be asked and jot down some key points you want to make in your answers.
From this list of points, you should start to see some common themes. Identify three or four attributes you have and make sure you get these across in your interview.
It’s OK to talk to yourself
Once you have your questions and answers mapped out, practice them. Read the questions and say the answers out loud. Once you’ve done this a few times, and if someone is available to you, try a mock interview. The more you practise, the better you’ll be.
Close the deal
Just as you came in feeling positive and confident, it’s important to leave on a high note. One of the best ways is to remind the person interviewing you that you want this job. If you’re even more excited about the position now that you have more information, tell them that in the moment. Remind them you want this job, then tell them why. It’s OK to be excited, just remember to be professional.
These steps will go a long way to help you prepare for your interview. Take the time to practise and you’ll see the difference when you walk in that room the next time. If you’re prepared, you’ll be much more confident. If you dress well and be friendly, but respectful, you’ll be more confident. And remember, not every interview is going to go well. Learn from each of them and move on to the next.