Job interviews are nerve-racking and one that goes badly can turn even the most confident person into a sobbing mess. Hopefully, these 16 tips will help put your mind at ease, and make your next job interview not only bearable, but perhaps an enjoyable experience!
1. Be Confident.
It may seem obvious but confidence is definitely key. Even if your insides are like jello and you feel like you may throw up at any second, appear confident. Try not to look down at your lap, use too many ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’, or answer questions with only one word, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
2. Do your research.
You need the employer to think that you really want this job, and by bothering to do some background research on the company, it shows that you do. The employer is bound to ask you something along the lines of ‘So what do you know about us?’, and having a depth of knowledge will really make you stand out from the other candidates.
3. Dress appropriately.
Even if you have the most outstanding resume, and are the best person for the job, if you don’t look the part, you won’t have a chance to prove this to the employer. People make their judgments about you in the first few seconds of meeting you, and if you’re a woman and show too much leg or cleavage, chances are that your impressive resume won’t even get read. Also, even if the job is in a casual environment, it is always better to overdress, than underdress, so although it might to appropriate to wear sweats or jeans once you get the job, it is not for the interview.
4. Be on time.
If the interview is at 10am, make sure you get there ten minutes before. If necessary, take a trial trip the day before so you are certain of how long it will take you to get there. It is a really bad look, to be late for an interview, but if something happens, and it is unavoidable, at least call the workplace and let them know.
5. Turn off your cellphone.
And definitely do not answer it if you have left it on and it rings. Even if you’re out in the waiting room. The employer should not hear you talking to your best friend, boyfriend, mother etc, about last night’s antics and how drunk you got. Ever!
6. Don’t chew gum.
This is purely a manners thing. It is really distracting trying to talk to someone who is chewing gum, and is unprofessional in the workplace anyway.
7. Ask questions.
Come prepared with a few questions that you would like to know from the employer, which shows that you are serious about the position and your career. Some examples are; ‘What advancement opportunities exist in the company, and in what time frame?’, and ‘What would you like done differently by the next person to hold the position?’.
8. Bring a notepad.
Most people do not, and it is a very easy and subtle way to make you stand out, and it also shows that you’re serious about the job. But, make sure that you actually write notes in it.
9. Be passionate.
Make it seem as though you are passionate about the industry, even if you’re not. Let the employer know about journals or magazines you subscribe to, and books or blogs you read. It makes it seem as though you are keeping up with advancements in the industry, and thus, are keen to further your knowledge in the area.
10. Don’t bad mouth your former employer.
Even if they were the world’s worst boss, bad mouthing them to someone who you hope to be your next boss is a major no-no. It makes you come off as difficult to get along with and may be enough to make the interviewer discount you straight away.
11. Don’t fidget.
Try to keep your nervous habits in check. Don’t play with your hair, rub your face, click your pen, or tap your foot, as they all make you look like you’re nervous and lying.
12. Don’t make jokes.
Save that until you have the job and the employer knows you and your personality.
13. Make goals.
If you are asked about where you see yourself in 5-10 years, and you have nothing to say, you look unambitious and will make the employer think you will be a lazy employee. Even if you don’t see yourself in the same company, or even the same field, make something up to show that you will be a long term asset to the company.
14. Don’t flirt.
Obviously. But don’t.
15. Put all social media on a private setting.
An employer seeing a bunch of pictures of you getting trashed on facebook, or reading status updates you’ve written about hating your job or workmates can undo a good interview. If you can’t put your profile on private, then at least delete or block access to your photos and wall.
16. Send a thank you note.
It is easy to send a quick email after the interview, but a note will set you apart from the other candidates and is a nice gesture. It doesn’t need to be long, but make it sincere.