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When it comes to feeling nervous during a one-on-one conversation, interviewing for a new job ranks up there with going out on a first date. Part of the reason you might feel nervous during job interviews is the fact that you generally don’t know what to expect during the interviews. Learn how to identify interview traps and you can make the job interviews more relaxing and economically rewarding.
- You’ve probably heard it said several times already. Maybe your parents or grandparents told you that the way you dress can cause people to perceive you in certain ways, right or wrong. It’s no different when you go on a job interview. As a tip, dress in business attire (e.g. clean suit). However, some employers may permit you to dress more casually. What you don’t want to do is to dress provocatively or too casually. If you’re ever uncertain about what to wear to a job interview, ask the Recruiter who scheduled your interview whether you should dress in business attire or business casual.
- This goes without saying. Arrive at the job interview 15 minutes early. You never know; you might need the extra time to find a parking spot.
- Greet the interviewer with an authentic smile and a confident handshake. Look the person who is interviewing you in the eye when you meet her, but avoid staring.
- As tempting as it might be to ask about a company’s time off and benefits policies (e.g. sick days, vacation days, retirement plans), avoid doing so. Keep in mind that your earliest questions may be perceived as topics you’re most concerned about when considering the job. That said, if the interviewer communicates the company’s time-off policies with you, feel free to ask one to two questions about the policies that the interviewer has already discussed.
- Should a job interviewer point out types of work experience you might be lacking for a particular job, share community projects, college laboratory assignments, internships, etc. you worked on that allowed you to gain this experience.
- Interviewers should steer clear of questions that cause you to have to reveal your age, ethnicity, marital status, etc. But interviewers don’t always do this. That said, if a job interviewer asks you about your retirement plans (a question that might be used to find out your age) let the interviewer know how much you are looking forward to working, including how much you enjoy completing projects aligned with the job you’re interviewing for.
- Piggybacking on the previous tip, if a job interview asks you about your plans to expand or grow your family (a question that might be used to find out whether or not you’re going to be taking maternity leave soon), again let the interviewer know how much you are looking forward to working the job. For example, you might respond, “I’ve loved working in this field for years. When I was in college, I usually stayed at the lab until they turned the lights off. Fulfilling the requirements of your job is more than work to me; it’s what I’m passionate about. Someday down the road, I might expand my family but even then, my lifelong passion will still be [whatever your career passions are].”
- Be prepared for a mixture of questions. If you’re interviewing for a technical job, or one that requires specific qualifications or skill sets, then it’s likely that a few technical questions will be thrown in there, especially if you are being interviewed by someone with skills in that area. If you’re in web design, you might want to get up to speed on the latest Angular Interview Questions or talk about previous projects in technical detail. You probably already know your stuff but being in an interview situation can often make your mind go blank. It never hurts to practice.
- Remember to ask the interviewer two to three questions about the company (e.g. company culture, recent major business projects that were reported on in the news). Let the interviewer know that you studied the company and thoughtfully chose it as a future employer.
- Should an interviewer ask you what you’re expected pay is, ask the interviewer how much the job generally pays someone with your experience. Avoid pricing yourself out of an interview.
- If you’re conducting a telephone interview (they’re more common today than you might think), conduct the interview in a quiet place at your home. Alert your family to the fact that you’re doing a job interview so you won’t get interrupted. Wear business casual attire and speak clearly, as if you are connecting with the interviewer in person. This can help your professionalism to come across in your voice.
- Before the end of the day, send the interviewer a brief “thank you” note. Include your name and contact information (e.g. telephone number, email address) at the bottom of the “thank you” note.
If you’re serious about landing your dream job, a job that pays well and a job that you’re passionate about, you need to ace employer interviews. One way you can do this is to consider the aforementioned job interview traps to identify and avoid. Furthermore, and to help yourself stand out from the crowd, remember to send the interviewer a “thank you” note after you return home from the job interview.