An intimidating event which leaves us feeling like we’re walking in a minefield. It’s a formal meeting where an employer and job candidate meet to evaluate each other. Job interviews are generally the first step in the professional hiring process, so it’s important to prepare in advance and create a good first impression.
The purpose of a job interview is to give the employer a chance to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications, skills, and how they may fit into the role. It’s also a chance for the candidate to ask questions and learn more about the company and job they are interviewing for. To nail a job interview and take a step closer to the job you want, it’s important to be prepared and understand the company’s goals and values. All this requires some preparation and careful consideration so that you make sure you shine at the job interview.
Preparing for the Interview
A. Research the Company – In this digital age, there is no excuse for not being as informed as possible about the company you’re interviewing with. It’s impressive if you can mention something specific that you’ve noticed about the company and how your skill set can be beneficial. Knowing about their products, services, competitors and news is a great way to start your research.
B. Understand the Job Description – Read the job description closely and try to imagine what you’d do in the role and how you could add value. This can help you build some points you can use during the interview that demonstrate why you’re a great fit. It will also help you determine the types of questions you’ll need to prepare for.
C. Practice Common Interview Questions – There are a few questions that you can almost guarantee will come up in your interview. Preparing beforehand can help you give more effective, thoughtful responses that make you stand out. Spend some time working on a few key questions and practice in the mirror, or with a friend or family member.
D. Choose Your Outfit – Most interviews call for a more professional attire to make a good first impression. Make sure your outfit is clean, pressed and fitted correctly. Simple colors are typically the best choice, with one item that adds a nice pop of color can work well, too. Make sure you go for comfortable shoes because being on your feet for awhile can be a challenge.
Making a Good Impression During the Interview
A. Be Punctual and Professional
The first and most important step in making a good impression during an interview is to be punctual and professional. Aim to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier than the proposed time of the interview, to allow yourself time to settle and gather your thoughts. As soon as you arrive, make sure you have a firm handshake ready, that your appearance is tidy and presentable, and that you’re ready to project confidence. All of this goes a long way to help make a good first impression on the interviewer.
B. Maintain Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact throughout the interview is essential to gaining the interviewer’s trust and building your credibility. Don’t be afraid to meet their eyes and look directly into them with a smile when greeting them. When the interviewer is speaking, ensure to make direct eye contact to show you’re actively listening and that you’re genuine and engaged in the conversation.
C. Show Enthusiasm
During the interview, try to remain upbeat and be sure to express your excitement for the role. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm to the interviewer and make sure they can identify your passion for the job. Relevant stories and answers are a great way to show your enthusiasm and your eagerness to take on the task.
D. Avoid Negativity
When discussing a potential role, it is essential to remain positive and refrain from speaking negatively of yourself or your previous work experiences. Even if you have encountered a tricky situation in the past, describing it in a positive way and focusing on the impact you made can go a long way with the interviewer. As difficult as it may be, try not to focus on the mistakes you have made and instead talk about the lessons you have learnt and any progress you have made.
Following Up on the Interview
A. Send a Thank-You Note
It’s an important thing to do – sending a thank-you note after an interview. Doing so will show your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and effort, as well as the opportunity to discuss the job. It will also give you the chance to reiterate why you are the perfect fit for the job and what you can contribute. This is a great way to ensure the interview stays fresh in the interviewer’s mind, and could ultimately help sway their decision.
B. Follow Up With the Interviewer
Following up with the interviewer after the interview can also be beneficial. Not only will it show them that you are earnestly interested in the position, but it can also be another great chance to let the interviewer get to know you a bit better outside of the interview setting. Additionally, this is an opportunity to find out what the next steps are in the hiring process, which can be invaluable information.
C. Reach Out to the Interview Team
Finally, if the interviewer is part of a team, it’s definitely worth reaching out to the others on the team as well. This is especially beneficial if you felt like you didn’t make the best impression with them in the interview. Writing a quick email showing your appreciation for their time and expressing your interest in the job could be just the thing to turn them in your favor.
In this article, we discussed the importance of properly preparing for a job interview. We looked at ways to create a checklist of items to look into when researching the job, ways to plan and practice what you’re going to say, and also how to pick out your outfit and practice in it.
Additionally, we looked at the importance of practising your posture, tone, and facial expressions in order to make sure you make a great first impression during the interview. We also discussed ways to use body language to make sure you display poise and confidence during the interview process.
Job interviews involve a lot of preparation, however, it can be done! From researching the job to picking an appropriate outfit to practicing your facial expressions, all of these elements can come together to help you shine during the interview. Even if you don’t feel 100% confident in what you’re saying, showing up prepared and being ready to answer questions can make all the difference.
At the end of the day, the pressure is on, but having a plan and taking the time to prepare can help make sure you make a lasting, positive impression. With the right attitude and preparation, you’ll be sure to shine at the job interview.