After you’ve put together your resume and cover letter and applied for a job, a job interview can be the final obstacle in the way of you landing a new job. It goes without saying that an impressive performance in a job interview can be the difference between success and failure in your job search. A job interview is always a nervy affair. You want to be honest without portraying flaws. You want to be confident while at the same time remaining humble. You want to seem knowledgable but also inquisitive. The short period of time that makes up the duration of a job interview can be the difference between you starting a new career or continuing your job search.
Many of the factors affecting the outcome of a job interview are out of your control. Your personality may or may not synch up with that of your interviewer. You may be feeling on the ball on that particular day, or you may be feeling under the weather. Maybe the preparation and research you’ve done will cover the questions that you’re asked, but it’s possible that there will be gaps in your knowledge and you’ll be caught off guard. No matter what you’re interview is like, there are concrete steps you can take before every interview to make sure that you’re feeling confident and as prepared as you can possibly be.
Tips for a Successful Job Interview – 2018 Tips
Research, Research, Research
The last thing you want is to sit down for an interview and realize that you don’t know exactly what your perspective employer does, or the history of the company. The more you know about the job, your potential position, and the person interviewing you, the more natural you’ll be in conversation. You won’t have sit nervously hoping you won’t get a tricky question. More importantly, you’ll be able to fire questions back at your interviewer, which is considered to be one of the things looked for in a successful interview. Insightful questions show your employer that you’ve done your research, and that you’re interested in more than the salary. Use the company’s website, search engines, and whatever professional or personal contacts you have to amass as much knowledge as you can before the interview rolls around.
Dress for the Job
When you’re doing your research, you should get some kind of an idea what the vibe of the company is with regards to how you should dress. Showing up underdressed to an interview immediately puts you in a hole that you’ll be trying to dig yourself out of. Your interviewer will be paying attention to what you’re wearing, and if you’re not dressed appropriately, you’ll have to really shine in other areas. At the same time, being overdressed can leave you feeling uncomfortable and like you’ve misunderstood the situation. If you’re unsure how formally you should dress, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Doing some simple research of the company and making smart choices based on your wardrobe can help you make a good decision about what to wear. It’s important to remember that at some modern workplaces, employers dress very casually. This does not mean you should necessarily dress very casually as well in the interview.
Research Some Common Interview Questions
In a job interview, interviewers are looking to give you stimulating and revealing questions that will make you think on your feet. While you’ll likely have to do some talking off the top of your head, you can prepare yourself for the more common interview questions like “where do you see yourself in five years” or “what would you say is your greatest weakness.” Using search engines, you can find countless lists of the most common questions that interviewers will spring on interviewees. Some of these lists are even composed by former recruiters or employers, which will truly give you an inside edge.
Don’t Talk Too Much
One of the most important things to do in a job interview happens to be one of the most important things to do in life generally: listen. You interviewer will be giving you information throughout the interview that you can use to show that you’re paying attention. Your questions and comments should build upon what has already been said; they shouldn’t seem to come out of nowhere. To answer questions as well as you possibly can, you need to be paying attention to exactly how questions have been phrased. The best way to do this is not to fill the room with your own voice too much; focus on listening.
Arrive on Time
Of course you’ll make an effort not to be late for a job interview, but you need to take extra precautions for such an important occasion. If you’re even a few minutes late for a job interview, it’ll reflect poorly on your professionalism which no amount of apologizing can really correct. Make sure you’ve got your clothes picked out and your research done well in advance. Give yourself a cushion of time so even if you miss the bus or get stuck in traffic, you won’t be late. Most importantly, make sure you know where the location is so you don’t waste time getting lost. For especially important interviews, you may want to make the journey there a day or two in advance so that you’ll know exactly where you’re going.
This one may make you feel a little silly, but it works. Get a friend or family member to role play interview questions with you. Get them to ask you difficult questions, with them posing as the interviewee. You can even have them practice potential problem situations, such as you running late or an awkward moment in an interview. It may feel strange to be interviewed by a friend, but it’ll pay off when you’re in an interview after you’ve prepared some answers to difficult questions. You can also use a practice interview as a time to practice your body language, which is a subtle but important factor in interviews. Get your friend to write down a review of the things you did well or could use improvement on.
After your interview, hopefully you’ll have projected a positive image of yourself and thanked your interviewer graciously. Send an email or letter to your interviewer a day or two after the interview, thanking them for the interview, restating your interest, and possibly providing information that you forgot to mention in the interview. A good follow up will never be enough to get you a job on its own. However, in a competitive field, it can set you apart from the other candidates who didn’t bother to follow up.
A job interview is a complex, stressful occasion. Both you and your employer will be sizing each other up, trying to get as much information as possible without giving too much away. You’ll be trying to demonstrate your value and assets without appearing to boast, while remaining as honest as possible. Throughout all this, the most important thing is to remain calm and gracious. Thank everyone you encounter warmly, and don’t let yourself get agitated or overwhelmed if you can. Projecting a calm, composed demeanour will go a long way in making yourself appear to be the best candidate for a given job.