Are You Ready for Your Next Job Interview?
Whether you are a graduating student heading out for your first interview, just laid off, or a homemaker that is ready to head out into the working world for the first time, a job interview can be very intimidating. Competition in most fields is fiercer than ever, meaning you must have a good first interview if you are going to have a chance at a job. We have put some tips together that should help you shake off those nerves and make a great impression on your future boss!
Job Interview Tips
Research the Companies and Individuals Interviewing You – one common opening question is “What do you know about our company?” This is a great way for interviewers to find out how serious you are about the job. You do not have to know every little fact, but you should know how the company got started, its current place in the market, hours of operation, etc… Most of this information is available right on the company website and with some quick Google searches.
Buy a Suit – if you want the part, you need to look the part. So many people lose the job right out of the gate simply because they do not dress professionally for their interview. Show up looking sharp and you are probably already ahead of half of the other interviewees.
Create a Checklist and Take Notes – your research should give you a good idea of what questions you need answered by the interviewer. At some point, they will ask you for questions or turn the interview completely over to you. If you have a checklist ready, you can check off the items they go over in their presentation and then ask the remaining questions when they open up the floor to you. By taking notes during the interview, you are also showing them that you are taking this seriously and getting as much information as possible to make your decision later.
Be On Time – this goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway, BE ON TIME! If you are late for an interview, you are already telling the interviewer that this position does not warrant enough of your focus to show up on time. If you are late, you might as well not show up because you are probably already on the bottom of the list.
Practice, Practice, Practice – more than likely, you have a list of dream jobs and jobs you would not take under any circumstances. Before you go on the top ranked interviews, use other companies to do some practice interviews. You can also attend job fairs where you will be able to interview multiple times in a single day. It does not matter if you want the job or not, you need to practice. You will be amazed at how your level of confidence improves over time as you get a better feel for how the process is conducted. And, you never know, you may get an offer from a company that you never expected!
Let Them Speak – nothing upsets an interviewer more than being interrupted while they are speaking. DO NOT finish his or her sentence for them. Wait until they are done and ask for your input. Something else to keep in check is your body language. If you are getting impatient, it will often show in getting fidgety. Stay in control and stay focused on your interview and what they are saying.
Say Thank You – when the interview is offer, offer a firm handshake and thank the interviewer for their time. You should also ask his or her for a business card so you can send a thank you note directly to them in a few days. DO NOT send an email! Take the time to type up a letter and sign it by hand. Very few people go this extra mile and it will make you stand out from the competition.
*Photo Courtesy of bpsusf via Creative Commons License