If you’ve participated in a job hunt before, you already have an idea of how stressful the interview process is. The pressure can leave you all wound up if you’re not feeling prepared. Following these simple tips will help you get past your nervousness and put your best foot forward in your next professional job interview.
Doing research will both help your confidence levels and your credibility. Find out everything you can about the company, the position itself, and relevant industry trends (especially if it’s a new career path). Make a list of your qualifications that best fit the job description.
While you research, think about what questions you could ask your interviewer at the end of your interview. This will show them that you’ve done your homework on the organization. Don’t be afraid to get creative; this is just another chance to stand out and blow them away.
Another essential pre-interview task is to practice. Rehearse your answers to the most common interview questions
, as well as some personal situational anecdotes that showcase your strengths and match the company's specific needs.
As you practice your answers, watch yourself in the mirror. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes to see and hear yourself speaking out loud. Extra points if you:
- Recruit a friend to do a mock interview with you.
- Research and practice the toughest interview questions.
- Videotape yourself and assess your body language.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Know the company culture and choose your outfit based on it.
Dress slightly nicer than the dress code of the company. Make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your get-up, and get it ready the night before to avoid any last minute problems.
Be sure to leave the gum, cell phone, and any other unprofessional distractions in the car.
A confident presence scores major points. Stand up straight and exude poise and body language that says “I deserve this job”. These subtleties will leave an impression.
Always be positive during your job interview. Employers want team members who have an upbeat attitude and are enjoyable to be around. Never make negative comments about your current position or bash any of your past employers.
Be relaxed and let your personality shine through, but always keep in mind the professional setting you’re in. Try to mimic the interviewer’s demeanor.
5. Interview Close And Follow Up
Ending the job interview strong is as important as starting strong – it’s your last chance to leave the interviewer with a positive impression of you as a solid candidate. Have a closing statement prepared that summarizes your strengths, qualifications, and interest in the job.
Timely (no later than 24 hours post-interview), thoughtful thank you notes
are sometimes the deciding factor for hiring managers. Express your sincere interest in the opportunity, and inquire about next steps.
Now go forth and land that job.