Resumes, CVs, cover letters and emails…oh my! If you feel as if you’re spending more time forwarding documents to prospective employers than landing actual jobs, you‘re probably feeling pretty burned out, too. Something’s gotta give, right? When you get that all-important phone call and finally have an interview, it’s time to take your game to the next level and make a stellar impression. Here are a few ways to ace your interview and land your dream job the first time — without laying in a puddle of stressed-out emotion in the process.
The art of acing the interview: it’s complex, sure, but it isn’t impossible. Keep them interested in learning more about you by selling yourself in the right way. From knowing what not to wear and what not to say to preventing the embarrassment of a big, fat “no,” we have the insider secrets recruiters use to find the very best of the best. So, come on a learning adventure with us and lock down your interview skills; all you need is just a few minutes of free time.
Can’t Seem to Win in Interviews? You Need THIS Info!
What Not to Wear
Don’t dress too casually for interviews. Yes, that means stretch pants are out! With most job interviews, you can safely adopt a “business casual” look — but you may need to choose semi-formal business attire if the interview is at an upscale corporate office. Study the company’s history and know what they do (and how they do it) before walking into the building. Your goal is to blend in with the rest of the staff and look like you belong there.
Not sure what they wear, or can’t gain early access? Call and ask! Most businesses love when a prospective employee shows initiative like that, and you’ll at least be more prepared.
Bring along a Copy of Your Resume or CV
Don’t arrive at the interview without a copy of your resume. If you fill out an application, having your resume and CV on hand will save precious minutes and give you something to reference. It’s also just fine to glance at your resume for date ranges, specific jobs, and other fine details if the interviewer asks about prior employment experiences.
Also, another great tip: if your interviewer comes in without a resume or CV, offer them one. It shows initiative and helps you to lock down evidence of your skills right in the same meeting.
Keep Electronic Devices Off
Don’t have your phone ringer on — period! Keep your phone in your purse or jacket during the interview. Checking it implies you’re not focused and the interviewer may feel you‘re wasting their time. Instead, stay focused on the person interviewing you at all times. Engage in conversation and answer questions with eloquence and conciseness. Your goal is to be professionally interesting and even a little bit entertaining without verging into silliness.
Maintain a Professional Demeanor
Don’t lose track of business etiquette. Practice a firm handshake along with a professional introduction. Avoid sitting down right away; wait for an invite to sit instead. Keep your eyes on the person interviewing you (but don’t stare). Be mindful of your verbal communication and try your best to avoid highlighting your flaws.
Show off confident body language. What does this mean? Avoid slouching and fidgeting. Lean forward slightly to “focus” your body on the other person (but don’t invade their personal space). Simple actions like crossing a leg in the direction of the interviewer can say a lot about your focus (which, as we stated, should be on them).
Be Honest — But Be Positive, Too
Answer job history questions in a positive light. Everyone has negative past experiences; it’s all about how you paint those experiences and describe them. For example, if you were fired from your first job because you slacked off or made careless errors, explain what you learned from the experience and how it motivated you to change your attitude.
This one is a big one: don’t lie, even if you think it will help you land the job. Employers can and will find out, and when they do, they’ll fire you for defrauding them. The vast majority of good employers far prefer honesty and willingness to change over lies and pretense.
The key to any successful interview is to stay positive and answer questions to the best of your ability. Remind yourself that you have the situation under control and go with the flow. The best part is getting that phone call later that you can start work on Monday morning!
~Here’s to Your Success