Next to a root canal appointment, few things in life are as nerve inducing as the interview. In this day and age, the face-to-face interview is typically the first time a prospective employee will speak to an actual person. This “actual” person literally has your career in the palm of their hand. They will determine, based on this portion of the hiring process, whether or not the process will continue or come to a screeching halt.
Below are ideas that will go a long way toward taking some of the pressure off of you and making the most of your time with the interviewer.
Think you know how to prepare for an interview? The difference between landing the job of your dreams and bombing the interview often boils down to one key element: how well you prepare.
It’s not possible to anticipate every question that will be asked. It is entirely possible (and advisable) to enter your interview with a strong sense of what to expect and how to approach each question! So, prepare well!
Like it or not, your appearance will be judged as an expression of who you are and your approach to your work. And before you get disillusioned and think interviews are just a beauty parade; they aren’t. However, the reality is that your clothes, hair and shoes will all be viewed as indicators of your status, self-confidence, self-care and self-worth.
Get the image right, and it will get you noticed. Your prospective employer will just feel that you “look right” and that they can see you in the job. However, get it wrong and you could find it difficult to overcome any negative preconceptions.
3. BE EARLY:
The big day is here. You’ve worked so hard to perfect your résumé and prepare for the interview.
To show you’re responsible and committed to this position, you decide to show up early.
But then you wonder, how early is too early?
We asked a few career experts and hiring managers the ideal time to show up for a job interview. The consensus was 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time.
4. PHONE OFF:
Most people turn their cell phones on vibrate to avoid appearing unprofessional. This makes a lot of sense, since you probably don’t want the interviewer to know that your ringtone is “Every Girl” by Lil Wayne.
Vibrate, however, is also bad. It may come as a surprise, but interviewers are not actually hard of hearing. They can hear the buzz, buzz, buzz sound coming from your pocket every time you get a phone call or text message. Your phone needs to be off completely.
- When your phone is off the interviewer cannot hear it vibrate or ring.
- When the phone is off, you will not be distracted by the vibrations.
- When your phone is off, your pocket won’t light up because someone is calling you.
Don’t just turn off your cell phone for the interviewer. Turn it off for you. It’s hard to avoid temptation to check the cell phone when you have a moment because you know someone called or sent a text message, but your interview is about you and the job, not about who is texting you. Keep your cell phone off at all times, so there is no motivation to check it before, during, or after your interview.
5. FIRM HANDSHAKE :
Handshakes in original strike a balance between a forceful grip and finalisation of the projects when it comes to the business works. Handshakes are the non-verbal form of communication which determines the engagement of one person with another communicating the strong impact.
Most interviewers will interpret a smile as a sign of confidence and will much prefer it to a visibly negative frown. Psychologically, when an interviewer is met with a smile, it makes them feel happier and encourages them to reciprocate the smile and is viewed as a sign of confidence. A smile will be very much preferred to a visibly negative frown.
Smiling encourages interviewers to get to know you better. If an interviewer is faced with a glum cold frowning face, they will be much less inclined to really get to know the candidate.
A natural smile can have a huge impact on you landing your ideal job. However a smile needs to be natural, timely and appropriate. Otherwise you may come across as overly nervous and lacking confidence which will have the opposite effect to what was intended.
7. BODY LANGUAGE:
Remembering a few things about effective body language can help you communicate a positive message to your interviewer. You can make a solid first impression with a firm, but not iron, handshake that accompanies eye contact and a smile. Keeping arms open and uncrossed will communicate a warm and friendly message, and sitting tall with your back against the back of the seat will communicate a message of confidence. Through keeping an interested expression and aiming to keep eye contact for 2/3 of the interview, you can convey that you are engaged and ready to take on the job. Many interviewers report that bad interviews most often contain little to no eye contact! However, locked eyes or too much eye contact can cause you to appear overly aggressive or creepy, so be sure to look away occasionally.
Furthermore, hand gestures can be an essential part of your message to the interviewer. Simple, infrequent hand gestures help emphasize what you are saying—however, avoid pointing or using too many hand gestures, as this can make you appear fidgety and disingenuous. Playing with your hair or touching your face can also make you appear unprofessional, so if you are unsure what to do with your hands, folding them together and holding them in your lap is an easy, neutral gesture that you can hold until the initial nervousness decreases and you begin to deliver those great answers that you prepared earlier. Just be sure to give another firm handshake, a smile, and eye contact once the interview is over!
8. WRITE NOTES:
The first benefit of taking notes during an interview is looking attentive. You have the chance of impressing an employer with your diligence. Additionally, taking notes will help you retain information and reflect on questions. A job interview is often a barrage of information, questions, and scenarios. Taking notes can mitigate some of the stress that comes with the interview process. You’ll be able to refer back to certain points that the hiring manager makes in real time, and review them after the interview concludes.
Note-taking during a job interview can be a distraction. It’s possible that your notes will interfere with the process. Some interviewers will want your undivided attention and may prefer you not take notes. As a professional, you always want to engage in active listening when it counts. If you’re not a proficient multi-tasker, interview notes may not be your best choice. Know your strengths, especially in a high-stakes scenario like a professional interview.
Overall, you should feel confident taking notes in an interview. This is almost always an acceptable practice, as long as you don’t let it interfere with the interview experience. Writing your thoughts and questions is a good way to keep yourself organized and on track. Also, this practice can be particularly helpful as you write your thank you interview note – you can mention specific points that came up during the meeting.
9. CURRICULUM VITAE:
Your CV is the first chance you get to make a good impression on a potential employer. A top-quality CV will considerably boost your chance of getting a face-to-face interview, so it is worth spending time and effort on the content and presentation. It will make all the difference in obtaining the position you want. You must therefore highlight your skills, expertise and value.
Make sure that you are concise and accurate. Your CV should not, generally, be longer than two pages, so make sure that you tailor it specifically to the job you are applying for and include the skills, qualifications and experience which are most suited to the job.
10. ASK QUESTIONS:
During your job search, it can be easy to get so focused on answering the employer’s questions that you forget about asking a few of your own. After all, you’re out of work and you need a job, and answering interview questions is part of the job search “game.”
But, that mindset can become a problem in the interview. Employers don’t want to hire someone who simply needs or wants a job. Employers want to hire the person who is most qualified for, and most wants that particular job at that particular company.
By asking questions in a job interview, you will accomplish three important things:
- You’ll show your qualifications and show curiosity about the job. Asking the right questions will demonstrate that you have the required expertise, and that you’re interested in how you’d use that expertise on the job.
- You’ll show your interest in the employer. Asking about the company, work flows, or other questions about the organization will show your interest in working at that employer.
- You’ll find out if the job and the company are right for you. Asking questions about goals and expectations for the job, about company culture, or about management styles will help you decide if the job and the company are a good fit for you. This, in turn, will help assure the employer that you’re concerned with being a good fit for the company.
“I want to make sure I always show off my smile and have a positive attitude the whole time, whether it’s during a performance, practice, or doing an interview. – Laurie Hernandez “
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