You have just received a call that you have an interview with one of the jobs you applied for. Once off the phone, you break into your happy dance and then the reality of going to your first job interview starts to sink in. You start thinking: What am I going to wear? How early should I leave my place to get there on time? What if the interviewer and I don’t hit it off? What questions is the interviewer going to ask me?
These are all totally normal questions to have, but don’t stress. The tips below will help you dominate your interview and hopefully a call back with a job offer.
Monitor your Social Media profile:
93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile. That’s a huge percentage. Make sure everything on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social platforms you are on are work appropriate. If you see any posts or pictures that may seem “iffy” delete them. You can also change you privacy settings from “Public” to “Friends” just to be on the safe side. You don’t want one picture from a “fun” weekend to ruin your chance at a job.
First impressions matter:
When the interviewer walks up to meet you, make sure you make eye contact, smile and give a strong/confident hand shake. 67% of interviewers stated that they were able to make a decision in less than 2 minutes if they would hire a candidate or not based on eye contact. This may all seem like a no brainer but when you are nervous you can quickly forget the basics, and as the numbers show these things are important to employers.
Dress for the job:
This sometimes can be a tough one. Some companies dress policy is very business professional, while others are more business casual or even more casual than that. The important thing to remember is that you look neat and well dressed. This shows you respect the company and the job position you wish to acquire. Something my mom told me when I was getting ready for job interviews was: “Dress for the job you want.”
Need some ideas? Check these out:
Do your research:
Take some time to browse through the company’s website (if they have one) and familiarize yourself with a little company history, what they do, and the position you are applying for. Some interviewers will ask you what you know about the company. Or why you think you would be a good fit for the company. You don’t want to answer with a blank stare. Research and then show what you know!
Prepare for interview questions:
There are ton of websites that list common interview questions. Take a look at them, think about which questions you will most likely encounter, then prepare some answers so on the day of the interview you are not frantically coming up with answers. You may get questions you were not expecting, but don’t freak out, just take a few minutes to think about the question and then answer as best you can. One of the hardest questions I was asked was, “What would you like to accomplish in the first 90 days on the job?” I honestly had no idea, but I remembered reading some of the skill sets mentioned in the job description so I used those as leverage to talk about how I could use those skills to better the company.
Prepare questions to ask:
Come to the interview with some questions for the interviewer that demonstrates you have researched the company as well as your serious interest in the position. Interviewers ALWAYS ask if you have any questions. Have one or two prepared just to show that you are truly interested in the position. For example you could ask: “What is the best thing about working here?” or “What is your least favorite thing about working here?” You might have job specific questions that pop into your head during the interview as well. Keep them in the back of your mind and then ask when appropriate.
Leave on a positive note:
Let the interviewer know how much you like the sound of the job! (If that is how you feel after the interview) Let he/she know how excited you were about it before the interview and are even more excited now, and that you know you would like working in that company. This lets the interviewer know you are serious about the position and would accept it if offered. You never know how many others are interviewing for that same position.
Once you leave the doors of that interview room, there is no more you can do… so just relax. Go out to dinner with some friends or just go home and veg on the couch.You’ve earned it! Plus, if you follow these tips you will be a well prepared candidate for any interviewer. Good luck!
What has been your interview experience? Any advice?