If a job interview is in your near future, congratulations! That’s a great step in the right direction to getting the job. However, you’re well aware that the interview is crucial to making a great impression and communicating with the employer why you’ll be the best candidate for the job. No pressure, right?
As important and stressful as an interview might be, there are plenty of tips to help you ace your interview, bringing you one step closer to your new job.
10 Interview Tips to Help You During an Interview
1. Do Your Research
It’s important to check out the company’s website, social media accounts, and any press before walking into your interview. Just as the recruiting team has been researching you, you should know all you can about the company. If you know who you are interviewing with, also check out their LinkedIn pages to learn more about the team members.
2. Know the Type of Interview.
Different companies interview prospective employees differently. Some do group interviews, some do traditional one-on-one interviews. Knowing which type of interview you will have will remove any element of surprise and help you be more prepared with proper questions and talking points.
3. Prepare Talking Points.
Even if you consider yourself an interview pro, spend time to really think about which skills and job experience will speak most to your hiring team. Consider the job description and what they are looking for so you can demonstrate how you will best fit their needs.
4. Consider Your Answers for Classic Questions.
You can easily find laundry lists of classic interview questions and rehearse your responses. This might seem like silly prep work, but it can set you apart from the crowd. If you have some idea of what you will say to questions like, “What’s your greatest weakness?” or “Tell me about yourself,” you won’t run into any awkward pauses or moments of panic.
5. Practice Your Responses.
Don’t just think about your answers, practice them. Rehearsing your responses aloud will help you develop clear and concise answers. You’ll get out filler words and tangents during these practice runs and head into the interview with a clear idea of what you want to say.
6. Know Where You’re Going & What You’re Wearing.
Prepare your interview outfit the night before so everything looks fresh and fits well. You should also know exactly the best directions to get to the company. Consider the time of day you’ll be traveling and whether you might need to budget in more time for traffic or construction. If you’ve never driven by the building, it wouldn’t hurt to do so before you have to get there. Some companies have different parking lots or it can be difficult to find the right entrance. It’s always better to be prepared and avoid any last-minute chaos before you interview for a job.
7. Print Extra Resumes & Pack Your Bag.
These are simple tips in preparation that can make a big difference. Having extra copies of your resume will come in handy if anyone asks for your resume or your interviewer forgot their own copy. Cleaning out and packing the bag or portfolio you will be taking with you is also important. You should not bring something that is tattered or dirty. You also don’t want wrappers or crumpled up paper to be falling out of your bag when you reach in for resume copies, notepads, or writing utensils.
8. Bring References & A Notebook.
As you pack your bag for the day of the interview, be sure to bring a few copies of your references list and a notebook. At the end of the interview, you can pass your references list to your interviewer in case they want to follow up with any previous supervisor. Your notebook (which should already have some notes and questions in it for the interview itself) should be used for keeping track of the names and contact info of the people you speak to. This will be especially helpful when writing your ‘Thank You’ emails.
9. Understand Your Body Language.
Take some time to consider your body language habits or tendencies. Talk to family or friends for input if you need it. Everything from tilting your head to crossing your legs, or fidgeting with your fingers sends a message. You want to be sure you’re sending the right one, even when you’re not speaking.
10. Be Yourself.
Thorough preparation is necessary before an interview, but don’t lose track of who you are and what you bring to the table. Try to be yourself while being calm and professional. The interviewer will want to get to know your true self and will see right through someone who is being fake.