- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Going to a job interview can cause you to feel fear, excitement, anxiety, or all of the above. The uncertainty alone can make you very uncomfortable and potentially cause you to flunk the interview.
It pays to know how to handle these situations, as you stand a better chance of conducting yourself professionally. If you have trouble with interviews for any number of reasons, you’ll want to stick around.
Thankfully, there are some effective tips that you can use to better your chances of doing well when the time comes. With a little practice and planning, you can walk into your job interview with confidence.
YOU ARE BEING INTERVIEWED FROM THE MOMENT YOU WALK IN
Long before you shake hands with the interviewer, you are under the microscope. It is important to conduct yourself in the highest standard from the moment you arrive.
Try to be as friendly and professional to everyone you come into contact with because you never know who is watching. If you are greeted by someone, assume that they are the manager and this will ensure that you project the proper attitude.
Try not to play on your phone while you are waiting. So make sure that you turn it off before stepping foot into the building. Take this time to study your surroundings and make small talk with those around you. If you look like you’re interested in being there, you will be more likely to win over the staff.
MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION
You’ve likely heard the old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is especially true when coming in for a job interview. The time you have with your hiring manager is critical to whether you’ll land the job.
They are going to remember the impact you had on them when they are considering all of their candidates. So you want to try to do whatever you can to stand out to them professionally.
This means dressing nicely, having excellent hygiene, and having a great attitude at all times. Be cheerful, charismatic, and thankful for the time you are given.
I had a friend in high school who dressed in a suit and tie for an interview at McDonald’s. I remember a few kids laughed at him for dressing so nicely, but guess what? He got the job.
LEARN TO MAKE SMALL TALK
Knowing how to make engaging small talk is an art unto itself. If you aren’t the best at it, try practicing with friends and family. You’ll be amazed at how much this can help you.
There are often specific questions that staff will ask you, so try to practice giving your best answers that relate to your home life and past job experience.
Try adding in your own unique flavor that will stand out from the crowd. More often than not, you are going to be asked the same small talk questions that all of the other candidates were asked.
So if you are able to put a clever spin on the normal answers, you have gone a long way in helping the hiring manager remember you when it comes time for them to make a hiring decision.
RESEARCH THE COMPANY YOU ARE APPLYING TO
The more you know about the company you want to work for, the better your interview will go. This includes studying their website, company history, accomplishments, and more.
It pays to know what their goals are and how they plan on getting there. You might find this information in interviews, press releases, and news stories.
By knowing the background of the business, you will stand out from other job candidates. During the interview, you should try to interject your knowledge in a clever and unassuming way.
Hiring managers love candidates who show a keen interest in their company. So brush up on as much information that you can get your hands on and it will serve you well during your interview.
BRUSH UP ON YOUR RESUME
Another area of study that is often overlooked is your CV or resume. There is nothing more embarrassing than being asked a question about either and not knowing the question.
Not only will it look like you may have lied about your history, but it will also show that you may not be a good fit for the job.
Take the time to thoroughly research your job history. Make notes about certain time periods and study them to ensure that you have an answer for the hiring manager.
You can count on being asked about the information you’ve submitted, so make sure that you know it like the back of your hand.
This will go a long way in your job interview going smoothly. When you have confidence in your CV or resume, the hiring manager will be able to see it.
Almost every job interview ends with the hiring manager asking if you have any questions for them. This is a great time to show that you are interested in the job. Sadly, many people pass this up and leave the interview without seeking additional information.
It also helps to take notes during the interview. Simply ask if it is alright for you to do so before the interview starts. Most hiring managers actually like this, as it shows initiative and interest on your part.
You might want to consider asking about goals, salary, and the potential for advancement. By inquiring about details like these, you will stand out from most other candidates.
Try to limit yourself to three or four quick questions. If you’ve gone over your scheduled interview time, consider condensing your questions to just two.
By knowing how to conduct yourself before and during your job interview, you will be better prepared to act professionally. Be sure to get in as much practice with friends and family, too, as this will help you to be more confident when the day of the interview arrives.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell