You just received a call for a job interview and you couldn’t be more excited. This is the job of your dreams and an opportunity to take your career to the next level. You’ve won half the battle in landing the interview. The most important thing now is to have a successful interview and be offered the position.
Job interviews can be nerve-racking and intimidating. However, the interview process doesn’t have to be scary if you follow the right steps. Here are 13 tips to acing your next job interview!
1. Do your research
Researching a prospective employer and the position you are applying for gives you more knowledge to take into your interview. You can do your research by visiting the company website and reading about its history and mission. Also, make sure to locate the names and contact information of supervisors and hiring managers.
2. Practice potential interview questions
Practice really does make perfect. You can prepare for your interview by writing down and going over potential questions that will be asked. One way to accomplish this is by doing a mock interview.
In a mock interview, a person will ask you questions and you will answer them, as if you were actually on a job interview. I once did a mock interview with a friend and it turned out to be very effective. My friend ended up having a successful interview and was offered the position.
3. Get plenty of rest the night before your interview
Make sure to get enough rest the night before your interview. It’s easy to tell when someone is tired and lacking sleep. You want to give employers the impression that you are fully alert during your interview.
4. Don’t arrive to the interview on an empty stomach
You never want to show up to your interview on an empty stomach. It can become very uncomfortable and embarrassing when your stomach starts growling during an interview.
5. Dress professionally
First impressions are everything. You want to make sure you make a good impression with your interview attire. Dress appropriately according to the industry. You can still look stylish while keeping it professional.
6. Arrive on time
This goes without saying, but I want to stress the importance of not being late for your interview. Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early. It is beneficial to do a dry run to the interview location beforehand, to avoid getting lost on day of the interview.
7. Bring several copies of your resume
Many employers today conduct panel interviews where multiple people ask you questions. Make sure to bring hard copies of your resume, just in case someone needs a copy.
8. Give direct eye contact
Make sure you give good eye contact during your interview. In a panel interview, it is important that you give direct eye contact to the one panel member who asks you a question. You can spread your eye contact throughout when addressing everyone on the panel.
9. Have a pleasant demeanor
Make sure to smile and be pleasant during your interview. Be courteous to everyone that you interact with, including the receptionist who greets you.
10. Short pauses are okay
It’s fine to pause (briefly) and think before answering an interview question. You don’t want to answer a question too fast when you really don’t understand what is being asked or need clarity. As long as you don’t take too long to answer, employers appreciate a well thought out response.
11. Ask questions
Have a least three to five questions in mind to ask during the interview. Asking questions shows that you are really interested in knowing what the employer expects of you. It also shows employers that you are just as interested in determining if you are a good fit for the job.
12. Show your desire and enthusiasm for the job
Be sure to make it clearly known that you want the job during your interview. Many people lose interest in a job during the interview. After learning what the job really requires, some people decide that the job is not a good fit for them. You don’t want to leave any impression that you’ve lost interest in the job during your interview.
You can say something like, “I just want you to know that I would love to serve in this position and I am confident in my ability to add great value to your company.” If an employer has narrowed their decision between you and another candidate, your enthusiasm alone could be the one thing that makes them choose you.
13. Send a thank you letter after the interview
Writing a thank you letter is extremely important, but many people tend to skip this step. Not only does a thank you letter give you another opportunity to express your interest in the job, it also helps you stand out from other job candidates who didn’t bother to write a thank you letter.
If you were interviewed by a panel, try to send a thank you letter to each person who served on the panel. You can ask for the names of each person on the panel at the end of your interview. I know this is not always possible because of the size of the interview panel. At the very least, send a thank you letter to the supervisor who interviewed you. Here is a sample thank you letter.
You can do it!
You no longer have to fear the job interview process. By using these tips, you can walk into your next interview confident and prepared!