Once you have been invited for a job interview, be sure to prepare yourself so you make a fantastic impression. The interview is an opportunity for you to shine and really show the employer what you are capable of if you’re hired. Below are 19 job interview tips that will set you apart from the competition and give you the best shot at receiving a job offer.
- Get clear directions to the interview site and arrive on time—or early—for your meeting.
- Be sure you are dressed appropriately for the interview. Dress professionally and conservatively (this also applies to makeup), avoid wearing perfume, and wear close-toed shoes
- When you pack your bag for the interview, be sure to put in a few copies of your resume, a pen, note pad, and that list of questions you want to ask. Also bring samples of your work, if you have any that is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- Your job interview starts the minute you walk in the company’s front door and lasts until you exit that door. Keep your best foot forward from start to finish. Be kind to everyone you meet. When introduced to potential co-workers, be friendly. Your interviewer may be watching to see how you interact with the staff and may later ask employees how they liked you.
- Smile, especially when you first meet the interviewer. That first impression will stick in the manager’s mind for a long time.
- There is nothing like a confident handshake! The right amount of tension in your grip is important—not too tight, not too limp.
- Eye contact is a form of communication and it has a magical ability to build rapport. Make eye contact with your interviewers, both when you’re talking and when they are talking.
- Try to have good posture that shows you are alert and focused. Avoid negative body language. In other words, don’t cross your arms over your chest, don’t clench your fists, don’t clutch your purse or briefcase tightly, or do anything that might indicate insecurity, hostility, or resistance to change.
- Listen carefully to everything the interviewer says and ask questions when you don’t understand something. Understanding each question will help you give the best response.
- Answer questions with the right balance between confidence and humility.
- Respond with answers based on PAR (Problem, Action, Result): What was a problem you faced? What action did you take to solve it? What was the result?
- Shift your interview from an interrogation to a dialog by occasionally finishing your answers with a relevant leading question.
- Occasionally, answer a question by saying what somebody else has said about you. For example, “My supervisor always used to say, ‘Bob’s the one you want around when it’s time to launch a new product.’”
- It’s okay to be quiet for a minute before you answer a question. It will help you gather your ideas and give a good answer. The employer will appreciate the fact that you’re thoughtful.
- Be honest, even if that means saying you don’t know something, or you don’t have a particular experience. At some point, you may need to say something like: “No, I’ve never done that, but here’s why I know I can do it or why I think I’d be very good at it.”
- Be prepared to tell stories that show how you work with people, as the interviewer is undoubtedly curious as to how you’ll fit in with the staff. Remember to weave your stories into the answers of pertinent questions.
- A terrific way to build rapport is to use your interviewer’s name when you answer a question. So, learn his or her name, and, if it’s a tricky one, practice the pronunciation beforehand so it’ll roll off your tongue during your interview.
- Delay talking about salary history and expectations until you fully understand what is entailed in the job and you have had time to think about what is fair.
- Send a thank you letter as soon as your job interview is complete. The interviewers took time out of their day to give you a chance at a job, so this is the time for you to say “thanks” in writing.
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