Job interviews are all about first impressions. You have about an hour to display if you’re an excellent candidate or a terrible fit for the job. So, how do you nail the job interview? Here are the top ten ways.
10. Dress Professionally
Coming to the interview with a T-shirt and jeans or simply casual wear won’t make a good first impression. Even for those applying to fast-food restaurants or similar companies, the way you dress says a lot about who you are. Presenting yourself in nice, clean-cut attire will certainly make a better statement.
09. Rehearse Common Questions
You can find a list of common job interview question in help books or all over the internet. For example:
Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths (and weaknesses)?
How did you hear about this opening?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Out of all the candidates, why should we choose you?
Rehearsing and instantly knowing your answers to these types of questions will, no doubt, prepare you in the best way possible. You don’t have to memorize your answers – but recognizing that you’ll say to commonly asked questions will help run the interview smoothly.
08. Practice Impromptu
You never know when a difficult question might be thrown your away. Or a weird question. You can practice rehearsing 100 common job interview questions, but employers or business owners will throw in their own unique questions. You need to be ready for those unforeseen questions and moments. Responding with an “ummm,” constant stuttering or long awkward silence won’t make the cut. Practice being able to answer questions right off the bat, so you can make an excellent comeback to those hard questions.
07. Research the Company and the CEO
Employers will definitely throw a “Why do you want to work for this company” at you. If you’re answering “Uh..because I like fast food” at an interview for Wendy’s, don’t. Even if you’re not applying to ‘big’ corporations, employers want to see someone who’s genuinely interested in working. Researching who you’re working for is definitely a bonus for nailing your interview. If you research the owner or CEO, perhaps you’ll find out he’s donated to many cancer research organizations after being a cancer-free survivor. Perhaps you can say “I want to work for this company because I admire the owner.” And, boom – you’ve scored a touchdown in your interview.
06. Be Passionate
No one wants to interview a dull or boring person. Be passionate about applying for the job. Even if it wasn’t your first option, show that you appreciate the opportunity. Employers look for people who consider they are working at more than just a job. Career-specific opportunities – like broadcasting news for the local news station, coaching a sports team, or even teaching college students are the types of jobs these job seekers will drool over. A coach for a sports team will share his passion for sports. A reporter will smile at the opportunity to work for the news station. And a college professor shares what he loves about enriching the minds of students.
05. Present a Portfolio
Presenting a portfolio of recent work and achievements is also a great way to nail your job interview. This shows how much experience you have and what you’ve been doing the past months (or years) to prepare for this kind of job opportunity. Frankly, it all goes down to what job you’re applying for. If you want to become a writer for a health magazine, a portfolio of work displaying articles you’ve done for health blogs, fitness magazines and you own website will look good to employers.
04. Offer Feedback
Any business or corporation is looking for ways to improve their services. Getting to know the company and even its flaws can allow you to offer feedback. That’s why it’s so important to research the company or CEO. Asking “What are they doing wrong? What haven’t they tried? What’s wrong with this picture?” allows you to come up with solutions. In an interview, offering feedback to the company, such as stating “I noticed this when I walked in, and I think your company should…” displays your keen observation and open mind.
03. Get Rid of Annoying Mannerisms
If you know someone that bites their nails, plays with their hair, or fidgets constantly when they’re nervous, you know how annoying this can be. No one is perfect, of course, but if you know you tend to bite your nails or succumb to bad habits when you’re under pressure – get rid of those poor mannerisms. They’re distracting, especially during interviews.
02. Show Your Personality
Job interviewers and employers look for people who shine out of the crowd. They ask questions like ‘What makes this person unique?’ So, do you have an answer? Do you know what makes you different from all the other people applying for the same position? It might be hard to differentiate from the others, but there is something about each and every one of us that distinguishes us from the crowd. Show your unique personality during the interview. Don’t be afraid to offer personal references, either. This allows employers to get to know you better rather than participating in a dry Q&A.
01. Follow Up
After you’ve done the interview, follow up with an email or thank you letter. Professional thanking the person for their time and effort shows you’re responsible, you care and you’ve got good manners.
The best advice on how to nail the job interview? Don’t sweat it. Enjoy it! Maybe Q&A’s aren’t you thing, but at the end of the day – it’s a chance for employers to get to know you better.