My friend is going to a job interview soon and it inspired me to share my tips to ace a job interview. Here are my ten tips to rock your next interview and get that dream job you’ve always wanted!
1. Have your resume handy. Make sure your resume is perfect! Ensure that the information is up to date, presentation is clean, and it’s printed and ready to go. I recommend having multiple copies of your resume available in case anything happens. If you know the number of people you’ll be interviewing with haves copy for each person plus three extra copies as backup. If you don’t know the number of people you are interviewing with, having three copies of your resume should suffice.
2. Research, research, RESEARCH. If this is really you’re dream job and you’re serious about getting this position, researching the company beforehand is a must! Nothing is more embarrassing than going to your supposed dream job/prospective employer and not knowing the background facts. Do your homework! Before you even step foot in the building read the job description again, the company’s history, and mission.
3. Know your resume inside and out. Don’t go into the interview stumbling and mumbling. There are some questions that are standard for an interview. You should practice the answers for those before the interview. Such questions are:
Tell me about yourself
How has your experience prepared you for this job?
What is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest weakness? (Tip: Don’t say the infamous “I’m a perfectionist” answer. However, whatever you say as your weakness, make sure to always present it as something that you’re “working on.” For example, “I’m working on talking less when I am nervous.”)
Why do you want this job?
4. Dress to impress! Since you should’ve researched the company beforehand (see #2) you’ll have a feel of the company culture which will ultimately help you decide what to wear. For instance, if you’re interviewing for an artistic company you may want to wear something to reflect your creativity. In any case, I recommend dressing somewhere between business to business casual because no matter how casual you may think the company is, always err on the on the side of dressing professionally. I always say “dress the way you want to be perceived”.
5. Arrive on time. This should be a no brainer… No one will take you serious if you arrive late, even ONE minute late. Showing up late gives the impression that you aren’t serious about the position, don’t take other people’s time seriously, and it’s disrespectful. With that in mind always arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time of your interview. But don’t show up too early (you may look a little too eager; YES THAT’S POSSIBLE).
6. Make an awesome first impression. The first thing you should do when you meet your interviewer is smile, make eye contact, then give a firm, strong handshake. This shows that you are self-assured and it makes a lasting impression. Also, make eye contact and be polite and energetic to everyone in the office even the receptionist or an assistant. People can feel positive vibes and you never know who might put in a good word for you!
7. Have good posture and body language. Never, EVER slump during an interview. Good posture makes you look self-assured and confident. Another thing to keep in mind is leaning during conversations because it can be mistaken for being overbearing. Try to sit up straight, engage in eye contact, and smile.
8. Prepare questions and answers for the interviewer. Since you should’ve done some background research (see #2) on the company previous to the interview make sure you use that knowledge and go in with questions.This will show that you’re truly interested in the position and ready to put in the work. Some questions that I think are always appropriate are:
What qualities would the best candidate possess for this position?
Why is this position open?
Is there an opportunity for growth with this position? If so, where does it lead?
What was your career path to this job?
Also make sure to keep a running list of questions during the interview that can ask at the end. This shows you were paying attention and engaged during the interview.
9. Next steps. At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer what the next steps will be in the process. Re-emphasize your interest in the position, and ask when it would be appropriate for you to follow up. And if your comfortable, ask when they’re thinking about making a decision.
10. Thank you note. No one really sends a handwritten note via snail mail anymore, but it’s actually the best thing to do! The moment you get home from the interview, write a handwritten thank you note and send it out immediately. An old-fashioned thank you note will show the company that you are polite and professional, it will keep you on their radar, and its a keepsake they can keep on their desk. If a handwritten note is not applicable, a follow-up email with the same content will do.
BONUS TIP: Leave your cell phone at home! Although people need their cell phones for emergencies, etc please PLEASE don’t go into an interview with your cell phone on let alone texting. Having your cell phone go off during the interview leaves a bad taste in the interviewers mouth. And don’t EVER answer your phone or even glance at it in front of the interviewer. That is just a sign of disrespect. You should always turn your phone off and keep it hidden during an interview.
Are you going to use any of these tips during your next interview?