Your resume has been selected, and your recruiter has set you up for an interview. Now, it’s time to breeze through the interview and make the employer’s hiring choice simple and in your favor. Here, I break down a few strategies that will help you prepare for and succeed during your job interview. Good luck!
Interviewers can tell when an applicant is terrified. Relax! Interviews are meant to allow an interview the chance to understand who you are as a person. Odds are, they won’t subject you to an interrogation or be rude! Interviews are also an opportunity for you to get a sense of the company culture and assess whether you would feel comfortable in their working environment. Be open minded – and know that the experience is probably as stilted for the interviewer as it is for you.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Would you hire someone who knew nothing about the company and stammered through your questions? Of course not! They key to impressing an employer lies in practice. Common interview questions can be readily found online and practiced. Write down your answers beforehand, then try running a practice session with one or more friends to simulate the interview experience. Remember, the best answers are succinct and personable.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
Dress above the level of the job. When in doubt, suit up. If it’s a video interview, make sure the background is appropriate and that the webcam is raised to be at your eye level. A squarely-framed blank wall will always look better than a tilted view of a messy bedroom.
Confidence is Key
Body language could spell your downfall in a face-to-face or video interview. Sit up straight and try not to telegraph your anxiety by folding your arms or tapping your fingers. Finding the right balance between confidence and composure will let the hiring manager know you can stay cool under pressure and handle anything they throw at you.
Do Your Research
In the age of the Internet, there is no excuse for not being fully prepared before you interview with a company. Visit the company’s website to read their mission statement, and check sites like Glassdoor to learn more about what the employee experience is like. While these might not be discussed during the interview, they will help you contextualize your prepared answers and allow you the chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the company.
Plan For The Unexpected
Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Everyone has an unlucky day now and again, but you never want that day to fall on an interview. Bring a second tie. Don’t eat toast with jelly at breakfast before the interview. Plan your route so you’re not late due to traffic. Arrive 15 minutes early at a minimum.
Getting through the first line of resumes and through the recruiter has been the hard part. The interview should be a breeze if you pay attention to the details and are calm and collected throughout.