The difference between landing the job of your dreams and bombing the interview often boils down to one key element: how well you prepare.
It’s not possible to anticipate every question that will be asked. However, it IS entirely possible to enter your interview with a strong sense of what to expect and how to approach each question!
In the first part of this discussion, we covered analyzing the job, researching the company, practicing interview questions, and getting your interview clothes ready.
Here are a few other tips that will boost your confidence and enable you to leave feeling sure that you have aced the interview and presented your best self:
- What to Bring to a Job Interview
- Practice Interview Etiquette
- Get Directions
- Listen and Ask Questions
- Follow Up With a Thank You Note
It’s important to know what to bring (and what not to bring) to a job interview. Items you should bring include extra copies of your resume, a list of references, a list of questions to ask the interviewer, and something to write with and upon.
It’s also important to know what not to bring, including your cellphone, a cup of coffee, gum, or anything else beyond yourself and your credentials.
Proper interview etiquette is important. You want to remember to greet the receptionist, your interviewer, and everyone else you meet, all done politely, pleasantly and enthusiastically. (In fact, MOST of the people you meet – including the receptionist – will likely provide input to the decision-makers!)
At the start of an interview, you want to make sure to shake hands firmly and professionally. During an interview, you should make frequent eye contact (without staring!) as you articulate your points clearly and without rambling. Pay attention, be attentive, and look interested. This is something you can work on in your practice interviews.
It’s important to know where you need to go for your job interview, to avoid running late. Use Google Maps or another app to get directions if you’re not entirely sure where you are going.
If you have the time, it’s a good idea to do a practice run to the site before the interview. That way, you’ll be sure about where you are going, how long it will take to get there, and how easily it is to park. Give yourself a few extra minutes and arrive a little early (no more than 5-10 minutes) to the interview.
The interview is an opportunity to show how interested and well-prepared you can be. It’s important to listen to the interviewer, to pay attention, and to take time, if you need it, to compose an appropriate answer. It’s also important to discuss your qualifications in a way that will impress the interviewer.
Also, be ready to engage the interviewer by having your own set of questions ready to ask them. You want there to be a give-and-take in the conversation. Remember, you’re building a relationship with the interviewer rather than just providing mechanical responses to questions. And it’s an opportunity for you to get a better feel for the culture and your potential colleagues.
Follow up every job interview with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the job.
Think of the thank you note as follow up “sales” letter. Reemphasize why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on. The thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you felt you neglected to answer as thoroughly as you would have liked.
Always remember that first impressions last forever. These job interview tips will help you make the best impression on the hiring manager, hopefully landing you the dream job you’ve been searching for.
(written by: wc)