Anyone who has ventured out for a new job knows that the search and hiring process is a tedious, time-consuming, and nerve-racking experience. Although at times it may seem as if the endless amounts of submitted job applications are going nowhere, one day there will finally be a recruiter who takes a liking to your resume and gives you a call to schedule an interview.
So now that you have a job interview coming up, you may ask yourself, “What do I do now?” First, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! An employer picked you from a whole slew of applications in hopes that you will be the perfect fit for the position. All that’s left for you to do is prove you are the job-worthy candidate you already presented yourself to be on paper.
“Well, how do I do that?” Don’t sweat it! Just keep in mind these helpful tips on the day of your interview:
Arrive On Time & Prepared
First and foremost, get to your interview on time! “On time” for an interview typically means arriving 5-10 minutes before. Generally, coming in 5-10 minutes early gives you enough time to get settled and fill out any necessary paperwork. Arriving 15-20 minutes beforehand can be excessive, and might interfere with any tasks the interviewer had planned before your time together. As far as preparedness, be sure to have an extra copy of your resume, cover letter, and any other necessary documents (portfolio, work samples) all printed and organized in a folder the night before.
Dress To Impress
Your attire of choice is an essential part of your interview. First impressions matter, and you don’t want to come off as that person who doesn’t know how to dress neatly and professionally. A safe bet for men is typically khakis, a dress shirt or polo, and dress shoes. For women, a modest dress, slacks or a knee-length skirt paired up with a nice blouse is a smart choice. For more suggestions on interview attire, check out this article!
The content of your words are of course essential and meaningful, but your body language also plays a large role as well. Genuine smiling, a firm handshake, sitting up straight, nodding, and making natural eye contact are key components of desirable body language. It’s also helpful to resist acting upon bad habits. These might include nail biting, hair twirling/touching, fidgeting, staring off into the distance, or gum chewing.
Research the Company & Job Position
Most job interviews will begin with the employer asking your general knowledge about the type of work the company does and the type of role you would be playing if you were hired. This doesn’t mean you need to know every specific fact about the company, but it’s smart to be able to formulate a brief sentence about the company.
Present Yourself With Confidence & Authenticity
When answering questions, respond truthfully and with an upbeat attitude. The goal is to provide answers that exemplify your skills, accomplishments, and experience in a concise response. Keeping your answers short and sweet is key because you don’t want to get caught up in a whirlwind of rambling and confusion. Sell your great qualities with genuine enthusiasm and your interview will continue seamlessly!
Employers love when you sound excited about the company or the job position. Before you begin the interview, formulate a few questions you could potentially ask at some point. It’s important to prepare for this because it’s common to go blank when an interviewer asks if you have any questions. Asking a question exemplifies that you are engaged and interested in not only the job but the conversation.
Follow Up With a Thank You
After your interview is complete, be sure to thank the interviewer either through e-mail or LinkedIn within the next 24 hours. By sending a brief message thanking the interviewer for their time, you are proving your interest in the job and creating a lasting imprint in their mind about you as a potential candidate. This is a crucial element of the interview process that will make you stand out from the crowd!