You sent in the perfect application and cover letter — and you scored an interview! The hard work begins now, because a good interview is the natural result of thorough preparation. Detailed below are several job interview tips you can implement before, during and after the interview to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Interview preparation includes everything from practicing with a friend to dressing the part. Be sure to:
- Do your research. You should have a thorough understanding of the company long before you arrive for the interview.
- Practice as often as possible. Create a list of interview questions you expect to be asked and rehearse your responses.
- Have a friend record a mock interview and then watch yourself, looking carefully for awkward phrasing or body language.
- Have a plan for when and how you’ll get to the interview site. The more detailed your itinerary, the less likely you are to arrive late.
- Choose your interview outfit carefully. You could have great body language and even better answers, but if you arrive in unprofessional garb, your positive qualities won’t matter.
There is a lot to think about when answering interview questions, but by following the suggestions listed above, you’ll be prepared for a variety of challenges. After you arrive at the interview site, relax, be confident, and keep these suggestions in mind:
- Keep your cell phone turned off. Few things are more embarrassing than hearing your cheesy ringtone while you’re answering an important question.
- Project confidence. If you don’t feel confident about your job prospects, fake it until you make it. Adopt the projection and body language of a more confident individual.
- Maintain eye contact, but look away occasionally. This will give you a sense of authority without making interviewers feel uneasy.
- Be concise. Your answers should tell interviewers exactly what they need to hear, and nothing more. Long-winded answers are boring and distracting.
- Politely ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question. This will not harm your job prospects, but a poor answer could.
Did you bomb your interview? No worries — you can play damage control with the right response. Conversely, poor behavior following a stellar interview could kill your chances of securing employment.
- Maintain your composure until you’re home. Any post-interview small talk should be positive and professional.
- Send a thoughtful note to all interviewers within 24 hours of meeting. This will leave a positive final impression and increase your likelihood of landing the job.
- If the interview didn’t go well, determine where you faltered and take steps to correct the problem before your next interview.
Careful preparation and a positive attitude can make a world of difference. Put in the effort ahead of time and you’ll reap the reward of a great job offer!