So, you have a job interview?
When interviewing for a job, the smallest things can make a big difference. These interview tips cover all the basic information you need to know to ace a job interview:
1. Visit the Company Website
Do your homework about the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?” Try to relate what you have learned about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments, match them to what the company is looking for. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like, and who seem to be a good fit for the company culture.
2. Practice and Prepare
Practice your responses to the typical job interview questions and answers most employers ask. You should be able to speak about your work experience, involvement in related extracurricular activities and academic achievements. Think of concrete examples you can use to highlight your skills. The easiest way to do this is to make a list of the job requirements, and match them to your experience. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy.
3. Have Everything Ready
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, find a notepad and pen, and prepare examples of your work (if applicable). Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before. Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of company you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.
4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
HR would not have even extended the offer if they didn’t think you had potential. Who you are as a person and your values matter just as much as the school you went to or where you’re from. Keeping a positive/hopeful mindset is the BEST way to enter an interview.
5. Remain Calm
During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to exude confidence. Take a moment to regroup if you need it. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question (active listening) before you answer, and pay attention – you will be embarrassed if you forget the question.
6. Thoughtful Questions
Come prepared with two or three thoughtful questions prepared to ask the interviewer. An interview is a two-way street. My all-time favorite question is “What skills and attributes are you looking for in a potential candidate?” This opens so many doors for you to fill in gaps that you might have previously missed and gives you the opportunity to relate to the interviewer!
7. Arrive on Time
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Give yourself a few extra minutes to visit the rest room, check your outfit, and calm your nerves.
8. Follow Up
Within 24 hours of your interview, send a sincere thank you note or e-mail to the interviewer reiterating your interest in the position. Try to reference something you guys talked about to make it more personal and memorable. You can also include any details you may have forgotten to mention during your interview. If you interview with multiple people send each one a personal note.
Written By: Claire Cumbo