You perfected your resume, you perfected your cover letter and now you are invited for an interview. You worked so hard to get that interview and now it’s your chance to make the best impression and land the job.
Interviews are always stressful because you can’t know the exact things the interviewer will talk to you about or ask you but all you can do is prepare.
- Dress appropriately The way you dress to your interview is an important part of the first impression. That’s the first thing the interviewer will see and therefore you don’t want to over or underdress. If it’s not explicitly mentioned in the interview set up emails, then use your best judgement to obey the attire for the specific industry.
- Ask the employer questions Asking the employer questions makes it more of a conversation as opposed to it being one sided. This will also show that you have done prior research about the company and that you are genuinely interested in working for them.
- Research One of the ways you can, differentiate yourself from other candidates is by showing the interviewer you are familiar with the company. Look at the company’s website, social media, blog etc. and take out key aspects that are more than just the “About” page. For example, read some of their blog posts or find any current projects and then prepare an opinion on the topic or project so that you can bring it up in the interview if the opportunity presents itself.
- Have common interview questions prepared There are certain questions that come up in interviews more often than others. Think about them and how you want to answer them, but make sure that when you are in the interview your answer does not sound rehearsed. Some common interview questions are “Tell me about yourself”, “What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Why should we hire you?”, “Why do you want the job?”.
- Send a thank you card or email With this a little goes a long way. Sending a thank you card or email after you were interviewed shows that you are really interested in the company and it makes you memorable. This step can be the difference between landing the job or not so make sure you follow up!
- Don’t be late When you are late you give the interviewer the perception of someone that is unreliable and unorganized. Also, being in a rush with only increase your nerves during the interview. Part of the preparation for the interview is to know where you are going and arrive there 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time to give yourself an opportunity to get organized and contain your nerves.
- Make sure your phone is turned off This may be a very simple DON’T but if your phone goes off during the interview it can bring back your nerves and interrupts you or the interviewer. I think it’s simple to be proactive in this situation and just turn off/ silent your phone before the interview.
- Don’t lie about the skills You should never lie during your interview about anything, especially your skills. If you talk about a certain skill that you don’t possess, or exaggerate, it opens the opportunity for the interviewer to ask more in-depth questions about it and if you cannot answer those questions it will not leave a good impression and frankly it will be embarrassing.
- Don’t bring up salary When the interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of the interview, do not bring up salary. If salary is not in the job posting or it’s not brought up during the interview you should avoid asking the question. A good time to discuss it is when you have received the job offer.
- Don’t ramble Effective communication skills are an often-seen job requirement so it’s important you show you can answer questions clearly and concisely. Be conscious that when you ramble on you might go off topic and waste the interviewers time.