Out on the job market, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of things. In these tough times, it’s difficult to land an interview much less a new job, so it’s important to be on point throughout the process. So, what should interviewees do to stand out to potential employers?
You just got that call or email asking to come in for an interview. While this is exciting news, it’s important to do your homework beforehand to ensure the interview runs smoothly.
New duds – It’s important to look the part when going into an interview. So, invest in a new suit or slacks and button-down shirt.
Look Sharp – Well-groomed. Men, get a fresh haircut, women consider going to the salon.
Clean shoes- Make sure your shoes are clean, look professional and polished.
Know your stuff; spend some time on google, complete background checks on your interview, rehearse.
Always be sure to double-check that you have everything you need before entering the interview. This includes copies of your resume, a pen and paper and of course a professional attitude.
Don’t be late – Arrive a few minutes early to allow for travel delays.
Turn off your cell phone and completely avoid using it during the interview.
Be nice – Be kind to everyone. From the moment you walk in the building, smile, be respectful, personable and professional at all times. You want anyone you interact with to remember you in a positive way.
Shake on it – Always shake hands when you meet the hiring manager or interviewer and shake again when the interview is over. Make sure your handshake isn’t too strong or too weak.
Keep responses short and focused on each question, be engaging and thorough. Remember to include real-life examples of circumstances and outcomes in your responses.
The job interview isn’t the time to sell your life story. The goal is for you to show you would contribute value to the company.
Sit up – Moderate posture and keep gesturing basic. These are natural ways to conduct yourself in an interview. Avoid touching your face and hair as they appear as nervous gestures.
Eye contact – This one is simple. Don’t dart your eyes around the room as it comes across as untrustworthy. Maintain moderate eye contact throughout the interview.
Listen up – You’re probably understandably nervous, so your inclination might be to focus on giving a good answer; instead, focus on the question you’re being asking and its context to ensure you give a proper response.
Be prepared for the types of questions you may get:
Here is an overview of typical questions and how to answer them
What to avoid? Trash talk, it’s a small world so you don’t want to burn any bridges. Never badmouth a former supervisor, coworker or organisation in an interview. Tell the truth, never lie. Keep your answers truthful and succinct.
Don’t jump the gun! Don’t ask about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement or other benefits until you’ve received an offer. Although you should be prepared to answer a question about salary requirements, try to delay discussing salary until there’s an offer on the table.
Following up an interview with a thank-you note can leave a lasting impression, so don’t forget to send one. It could seal the deal. Also, send a thank you note regardless of an outcome. A nice touch is handwriting this thank you note.