Going to a job interview is never simple and effortless. Some people just have a natural essence when it comes to the interview process, but the majority of us simply are just not equipped with those attributes and that confidence.
We can be well educated, have the experience and the means to do the job and do it well, but the entire idea of that official interview and the unknown frightens us and results in a mediocre interview that could have went so well.
What can I expect? What will I be asked? How can I better prepare myself to come out feeling like I really left a great impression. How can I nail this interview?
The truth is that there will always be questions that we couldn’t have predicted would be asked of us and better responses we could have given, but there two simple simple things that we can do to leave an unforgettable and personable impression.
Prepare for the interview
- Find out as much as possible on the company that you are interviewing for, who they are, their location(s), their history, key people in that company and department you are applying to work in, related press releases and the industry and market they are attached to. Search their website and latest news about the company and their accomplishments. If possible try talking to people who work for them. As much information as you can get, the greatest your interviewer will be impressed not only with what you know but the preparation and effort you have demonstrated.
- Read your resume closely to think about your strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments.
- Write a short opening statement on how you can help “_______” and how you would be an asset to them if you were to get the job. Practice your opening until you feel comfortable and confident enough saying it without having to read it. Prepare work samples to share with the hiring manager, if appropriate. depending on the position you’re applying for, these may be photos of cakes you’ve decorated, documents you’ve written, menus of foods, portfolio’s, descriptions of awards you’ve received or illustrations you’ve drawn. Prepare answers to questions often asked at interviews such as questions about your strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, work environment and previous opportunities you had had, as well as any questions that you may be asked based on the content of your resume.
- Write down some questions that you would like to ask the hiring manager at the interview. Questions that will show your interest in the company and position you are applying for such as, work hours and/or schedule, the position itself in more detail, benefits, salary and compensation, work environment and the company itself.
Make a good impression
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Being late may automatically disqualify you from any further consideration.
- Make sure to bring your resume and any work samples or portfolio.
- Dress for success. Wear clothes appropriate to the position and avoid excessive jewellery and perfume or cologne.
- Make sure your cell phone is off and tucked away.
- Be aware of your posture and tone of voice. It will show the hiring manager how you feel about yourself and them.
- Be clear when you speak, breath and pace yourself. You do not want to speak too fast leaving the hiring manager wondering what you said and appearing nervous.
- Express your enthusiasm and stay positive. Never criticize other individual other organizations or previous companies you worked for.
- Be attentive and listen carefully.
- Make good eye contact with each person you meet, especially the hiring manager. There could be a few people in the room during your interview. Do not let the amount of people there intimidate you. Share your opening statement at the appropriate time.
- Thank the hiring manager and any others for the opportunity to interview.
- Towards the end of the interview when the hiring manager has ended with all of their questionably, politely ask if there is a time for you to address questions that you have. If there is time, proceed with those questions.
- Engage in the hiring process and timeline. Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to meet with you and ask them when a decision will be made and how you will be notified.
- Remember to remain calm and just be yourself.
- Follow up the interview with a written thank you note/email. Restate your interest in the position and why you believe you are a strong candidate that will add value to the company.
After your interview go over the interview with yourself and make notes about the questions that you were asked and how well you answered them. They can come to great use in future, even if you get the position and are applying for a different job within that company in the near future.
The little things we can prepare for and have control over can be a huge boost on our confidence and how well we interview, as well as a deciding factor for the hiring manger between you and one other person.