Five Tips for Interview Success
Interviewing can be stressful, especially if you are just starting in your career, if you are re-joining the workforce after a long period or if you are just interested in seeking a different role. Below are five tips you should think about as you begin your journey.
Do your research. Understand the company you are interviewing with. Spend a few hours learning anything and everything about the company you want to work for by reviewing the company website, social media, and news releases. Talk to friends or contacts that can give you a sense of “who” the company is and how they operate. Also, look to see if the person(s) you are interviewing with is on LinkedIn. Review their profile to get a brief understanding of their background and experience so you have an idea of who you are talking too, and how you may relate to them.
Review typical job interview questions employers ask and practice your answers. Strong answers are specific and concise that highlight your skills and experience that back up your resume. Your answer should highlight the skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. It is also important to listen during the interview to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are seeking. Role-play the interview with a friend or family member. Do it as many times as you can until you feel confident.
Be on time
As an interviewer, this is a big pet peeve of mine. Never…be…late. I always follow the mantra, to be early is to be on time…to be on time is to be late. Always arrive five to ten minutes early for the interview. Know the location and how long it will take to get there. Give yourself extra time to pull yourself together, gather your thoughts, and calm your nerves. You don’t want to show up disheveled and appear to be disorganized. You want to portray yourself as calm, poised, and confident.
Interviews can be daunting, especially if you are in front of a panel of people. Always remember to make eye contact with the interviewer asking the questions. Your eyes are the windows of the soul. They show trust, distrust, fear, and uncertainty, but can also convey strength, thoughtfulness, and happiness. Employers are looking for unspoken clues about you as the candidate through all various means. Also, be aware of your body language. Body language speaks volumes and can help communicate a positive message to your interviewer. You don’t want to come off as sloppy or stiff. Think about your posture. Sitting straight conveys you are comfortable and confident while slouching or being hunched over may give an impression of nervousness or low self-esteem.
Know your audience and carefully read the room. Be energetic but not overconfident. Make sure to pay attention to all questions being asked using active listening techniques. Tips for active listening include interrupting a question, summarizing and repeating back what you heard, and just simply concentrating on what is being said rather than just “hearing” what is being said. Remember, believe in yourself…and smile.