Even if you’re not new to job interviews, the process can still be confusing and stressful. You may find that you get nervous and feel pressured or in the spotlight, unable to come up with strong answers for interview questions. That’s natural. However, the job interview is an important part of the job search process that shows potential employers your personality and what you have to offer. It’s your time to shine. With some preparation and practice—learning how to answer interview questions, approaching it with the right attitude and rehearsing important talking points—you won’t feel as nervous, and your job interview will likely be more successful. Follow these 5 interview tips to help you get that dream job.
1. Prepare and Practice
One of the most obvious but sometimes neglected interview tips is to practice ahead of time. A job interview really isn’t something you can just improvise. You’ll feel more confident if you take some time beforehand to research how to answer interview questions, to learn something about the company and to come up with some questions of your own to ask the interviewer.
2. Attend to Details
Take care of the small, but important, details ahead of time so that you’re not worried about them the day of your interview. Doing so will help you to feel more relaxed and confident, which helps you focus more on explaining your professional skills. Speaking of presentation, one of the most important details to consider is your appearance. Choose an interview outfit based on corporate culture, and make sure it is clean, pressed and ready to go. Also, get your portfolio, extra resume, letters of recommendation and other paperwork in order to bring with you. You may even want to take a practice run to the interview site ahead of time to be sure you are familiar with the directions and to time your travel. Going in looking professional with all your bases covered is essential.
3. Share Your Knowledge
The job interview is not the place to be modest. Always be ready to show the job interviewer what you know. Well-placed information regarding the earlier research you did on the company is always a good idea. Also, don’t be afraid to share specific examples of your past work accomplishments. Showing what you know in your answers will demonstrate your confidence and abilities, as well as let your prospective employer know you are prepared to go above and beyond.
4. Be Positive
It goes without saying that you want to avoid any negative remarks about past employers, but it is also important to maintain a positive demeanor and attitude from the moment you step into the building. Be polite to receptionists and everyone you encounter prior to the interview. Shake hands firmly and look each person you meet in the eye with a smile. A positive and confident attitude will make a lasting impression. You can know everything about how to answer interview questions, but if you do so with a negative attitude you will not get far.
5. Follow Up
After you’ve demonstrated your professional skills and impressed your interviewers, always thank them for their time. In addition, be sure to send a follow-up thank you to each person in attendance, both through email and a hand-written note. These small efforts are appreciated and remembered.
Finally, don’t hesitate to make a follow-up phone call if you hear nothing within two weeks of your interview. Follow these interview tips to make a lasting and favorable impression, and you’ll be well on your way to securing that job you’ve always wanted.