We all know how important it is to appear professional, experienced and eager to work when we arrive for a job interview. But how many of us actually follow all the common sense rules? Having a successful job interview is much more than simply dressing nice, sitting up straight and showing a good résumé. There are many tips and strategies that should be used and taken advantage of in order to increase your chances of getting the job. Follow these tips, and it’s possible you can even beat out candidates who might have been better suited for the position, but just didn’t do as well during the interview process.
1. Know the Company and Do Your Research:
You wouldn’t purchase a new car, buy a house, or invest in stock without first doing a little research (hopefully), and you shouldn’t go to a job interview without researching the company either. Knowing about the company, and showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about some of the company’s successes shows your eagerness and desire to work for that particular company. Employers don’t want to hire just anyone; they want someone who showcases an interest in the business.
2. Prepare Your Answers:
You don’t want to be caught on the spot when the interviewer asks you a question. Hesitating before answering, or giving an unsatisfactory answer can cost you the job, no matter how experienced you are. Many interviewers often ask the same questions, such as “Why are you interested in working for this company?” You can do an Internet search to find a much more expansive list of common interview questions. Try to have prepared answers for as many of these as possible so that you can answer confidently and without hesitation. Take a look at common interview questions and prepare your answers.
3. Ask Questions:
Asking questions, like researching the company, also shows your interest in acquiring the position, as well as showcases that you want to make an informed decision. Interviewers will ALWAYS ask if you have any questions. Make sure that you do, and make sure that the questions you ask aren’t about salary or benefits. That can be discussed later.
4. Exhibit a Professional Demeanor:
It’s okay to be a little nervous at an interview, but you want to be especially aware of your behavior if you have a habit of being fidgety or looking unsure of yourself when interviewing. If you need to, practice with friends or family until you can successfully achieve a calm, confident, yet energetic and motivated demeanor. Your overall attitude during the interview process can speak volumes, and interviewers will we taking mental notes of how you behave.
5. Bring Your Resume and Take Notes:
You might be wondering why you need to bring a resume when you’ve already sent one, but you’d be surprised how many interviewers ask you if you’ve brought one when you show up for the interview. It exhibits preparedness, and saves time for busy interviewers who may not be especially organized.
Additionally, carry a pen and notepad with you so that you can take notes. An interview isn’t just an opportunity for a potential employer to learn about you; it is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company you may be working for. The interviewer will likely tell you a bit about the company. Jotting down a few notes shows that you care about the information. At the very least, you’ll want to write down name and contact info so that you can follow up, which brings us to our next tip…
6. Follow Up
You don’t get much in this world without first asking for it, and the same applies to jobs. Don’t think that just because the interview is over all you need to do is wait and see. The follow up is an integral part of the interview process. Sometimes all that is required is a short email thanking the person for the opportunity to interview with the company. Other times a phone call may be warranted to inquire as to how the interview process is going if a length of time has gone by.
Following up is professional, showcases a go-getter attitude, and could be the clincher that reminds the interviewer who you are and gets you the job.
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,