Interviewing is a two-way street and your success will depend on your ability to answer the questions asked and asking the right questions. You need to listen to what the interviewer is saying and respond with answers that will convince them that you are the right person for the job. Facial expressions, eye contact and keywords that match the job description are all very important in the interview process.When you show up unprepared for a job interview, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Recruiters and HR professionals are checking out everything from the way you’re dressed to whether you’ve researched the company, and they’re making mental – or actual – notes along the way. Assuming you understand the importance of a professional appearance and how critical it is to do your homework about a company before the day of your interview, here’s a look at some tips to utilize to maximize your chances of landing that dream job.
Suggested Reading: 21 Deadly Job Interview Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making
Focus on the Facts
If you cannot answer the questions raised at the interview, then why are you there? Make sure you read as much as possible. While you want to appear confident in your interview, you want to avoid coming off overly confident, because this could raise a red flag to the recruiter that you might not work well as part of a team. When you’re peppered with questions, answer them succinctly and factually, and avoid unnecessary fluff.
Stay Cool and Collected
If you’re the type of person who tends to ramble when you’re nervous, you’re not alone. Doing so can make the interviewer nervous, however, because they might expect you to behave in the same manner when dealing with their clients. The best way to calm those nerves is to show up thoroughly versed in the company, and prepared to answer whatever they ask. Conduct a mock interview for yourself, and prepare answers for the questions you’ll most likely be asked during the real deal.
Don’t Hesitate to Request More Time, if Necessary
Sometimes, recruiters and HR professionals will throw random or difficult questions at you that you hadn’t planned for in an attempt to see how you handle pressure. Rather than stutter until you come up with something, go ahead and ask for a little more time, or see if you can return to that particular question at the close of the interview.
Leave the Cigarettes at Home
You know the old saying – “you only get one change to make a good first impression”. Even if you regularly carry gum, mints, and perfume, leave those smokes at home. Many people consider smoking a repulsive habit, and even if they don’t, they may not want to hire someone who’s going to take hourly cigarette breaks.
Prepare Technologically, and Prepare Well
If a presentation is part of your interview process, make sure you’ve tested whatever technology you’re using, and that you know how to work it. Nothing looks more unprofessional than bumbling around with a machine while your interviewer looks on impatiently.
When to Have the Salary Talk
Bringing up salary during a primary interview is like going for a good night kiss at the beginning of a first date; most people generally aren’t receptive to it. Keep those questions to yourself for the time being—you don’t want to look like you’re interested in only one thing. It’s wise to get at least a rough idea of the salary a job offers before you show up for the interview. Not only can discussing salary with the interviewer be uncomfortable, but you may also find out that it’s not enough for your needs, in which case you’ve wasted both of your time.
By staying calm and collected during the interview process and making the aforementioned considerations, you’re that much more likely to receive the phone call – and the job offer – you’ve been looking for.
Career Tip of the Day: Planning for Your Job Search – Lesson 1
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Good luck in your search,