Going for a job interview can be incredibly nerve racking, no matter how prepared you are. However, you can minimize your anxiety by preparing yourself for every step of the process, beginning before you even set foot in the door. Above all else, you should always keep in mind that, if you’ve been called in for an interview, the company at the very least believes you’re qualified for the position on paper. Now you just have to show that your true persona matches the one on your resume.
1. Do your research
Throughout the days leading up to your interview, read up on everything you can find about the company. Read the website to understand the company’s mission, as well as its previous accomplishments. Check out the current employees’ profiles, as well as the type of clients you’ll be working with. Once you have a firm idea of what the company stands for, figure out how you fit into the mix. Remember: you might be qualified to do the job, but if your personality isn’t what the company’s looking for, you’re not guaranteed a position.
2. Dress confidently
Make sure you know what attire is expected for the interview. Regardless of what you’re expected to wear, make sure your clothes are ironed and spotless. Even if you know that you don’t have to dress too professionally on a regular workday, definitely do so for the job interview. Once you get the job, use discretion when “dressing down.” You don’t want to show up in jeans just because it’s Casual Friday, only to find out that just means you didn’t need to wear a tie. Besides, don’t you feel better when you’re all dressed up, anyway?
3. Come prepared
Don’t just come into the job interview with the shirt on your back. Bring extra copies of your resume and references, so that if you’re interviewing in front of a committee, each member has the necessary information in front of them. Also, bring a notepad so that you can write down any new information you learn throughout the process. It helps if your notepad is already full of the information you gleaned doing your own research, which will show you’ve done your homework before walking through the door.
4. Be punctual
The last thing you want to do is peel into the parking lot a minute or two before your interview is to begin. You should arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. This will show your prospective employer that you account for contingencies such as traffic, and are responsible enough to give up some of your time to ensure that you meet the company’s expectations. Use this time to check over your notes about the company, and to refresh in your mind the important points you want to stress about your abilities and accomplishments.
5. Be enthusiastic
During a job interview, you want to be Leslie Knope. Don’t be afraid of looking like a total geek. The interviewers want to know you’re dedicated wholeheartedly to the success of the company. Speak confidently about your abilities, goals, and aspirations. Make them confident that picking you for the position will be the best decision they could possibly make. Remember, they’ve already picked you to be interviewed based on your skills; show them you not only have the skills needed to perform the job, but you’re able to put these skills to good use.
There will also be times during the job interview that you’ll need to stay quiet and hear what the boss has to say. You want to be enthusiastic, but don’t be so excited that you jump the gun and interrupt them because you thought you knew what they were going to say. Show that you’re able to contain yourself and maintain a calm, collected persona even when your mind is racing with great ideas. This will show them that you’re a team player and not just out to make a name for yourself.
7. Ask questions
As mentioned before, you should have a list of questions prepared for the interviewer that you might have still had after doing your research. If you’ve been taking copious notes throughout the job interview, you probably have even more questions than when you began the process. Asking these questions is imperative. Find out how the company gauges success, what the previous person in the position you’ll possibly inherit is doing now, and what goals you’ll want to set upon being hired. This will solidify the notion that you already see yourself as a good fit in the company and want to hit the ground running as soon as possible.
8. Follow up
After the job interview is over, it’s essential that you reach out to each and every member of the interview committee to express your gratitude. Remember, they took time out of their busy schedule to get to know you better, so even if you don’t get the job, you still owe them for the opportunity they gave you. You also want to reach out to ensure that they know as much about you as possible. If you didn’t get a chance to mention an accomplishment or experience from your past that you think would help them make a decision, you have one chance left to wow ‘em. Make it count!
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