Interviewing for a new job is never easy. Too many variables can crop up meaning that you can't get too many fixed answers. All too often the answer to your worries is a lackluster 'it depends'. However, there are a few key points that can not only give you an edge on the competition but also let you know if you're doing well! From what you should wear to how to prepare for your interview and even what to say during your interview, here is a guide of the 8 best tips and tricks to ensure you ace your next interview!
1. Dress to impress, but dress appropriately.
Getting a job today isn't the suit and tie affair it used to be. In fact, if you show up to most interviews in a suit and tie, you're likely to be seen as an outlier. Rather than donning your best suit and spending a good amount of cash on a great tie, take Scott Dobroski's (Glassdoor community expert) advice: Dress professionally, of course, but also dress to reflect the "company culture" of the business at which you're interviewing.
If you're uncertain about what sort of culture the company has, check out their Facebook or website. Usually, you can find some photos posted up of employees. You can also easily ask the company's recruiter what kind of dress code the company has, or even just scope out the place in person to get an idea of what to wear.
It's expected that you should dress a point above the job you're applying for. She says if you're going in for an interview to be president, dress like you're a board member.
2. Be approchable & employee good manners.
Dressing appropriately is important, but if you go in acting unprofessional and rude, the best outfit in the world won't save you. Behave professionally. This means speaking clearly, looking your interviewer in the eye, and shaking their hand. While being professional is important, don't forget to show your humanism, as well.
Be you, but be your best version. No cussing, dishing about Saturday night or coming up with pet names. Practicing what you'll say, questions you have, and potential questions you may be asked before your interview. This helps you comb out the inappropriate behavior.
3. Make sure you bring everything you need.
Experts have long since begged job seekers to show up at the interview with something. Bring a professional and well-cared-for zippered binder, briefcase, or purse and store the following items in it:
• Copies of your resume - 1 for your reference, and 1 for each of your interviewers.
• An equal number of copies of your cover letter.
• If the job requires this, bring copies of your professional clips or portfolio.
• A pen and notebook with which to take notes.
• A bottle of water to prevent dry mouth.
While it may be tempting to bring a snack or gum - skip it. Instead, eat a big breakfast and avoid anything with overpowering scents. Do not chew gum in an interview - it's horribly unprofessional. If your breath is absolutely terrible, simply brushing your teeth or popping in a breath mint before the interview is perfectly fine.
On a related note - avoid anything that might upset your stomach during the interview. You don't want their first impression of you to be one of sweaty remorse.
4. Ensure you show up at the perfect time.
Obviously, never show up late for an interview. It is perhaps the most unprofessional thing you can do, and it says all the wrong things. If they can't trust you to show up to the interview on time, how can they expect you to show up to work on time if you get the job? But you also don't want to be waiting there for an hour.
Aim to be there 10 to 15 minutes early. From there, speak with the receptionist to check in. To ensure that you make it there just a smidge early, check a service like Mapquest or Google Maps to see how bad the traffic is, that way you can plan your route accordingly.
5. How to handle phone interviews.
Phone interviews aren't as common, though they can be used to screen potential interview candidates, or if you're too far away to reasonable attend an in-person interview. However, it comes with its own unique set of challenges - including the dreaded dropped call.
One of the problems you may face is that you aren't able to make a personal connection over the phone. You may have trouble 'reading' your interviewer as you can't see their body language. You may even feel as though you're talking over your interviewer.
Before you engage in a phone interview, make sure that you have a nice quiet space with great reception. Also, ensure that you're familiar with the phone you're using. If you know that you have a phone interview coming up, getting that new phone should maybe wait until after. However, this type of interview doesn't have to be bad.
Print off your cheat sheets - your answer to most commonly asked questions, your resume, anything you may need. Dress to your own comfort, lock your pets up and send the kids with your spouse to do something fun while you do your interview.
6. Tackle video interviews like a pro.
Make sure that you're familiar with the program the interviewer wants to use for a video interview. Whether it's something like Google Hangouts or even Skype, familiarize yourself. Know how to fix small issues, make sure you have a sound connection, and make sure you have your headset or mic and speakers calibrated properly.
You also need to think about what your interviewer will be able to see. What's behind you? Posters? An open space? The kids' playroom? Make your background look professional and clean. Also, make sure that you're giving the illusion of eye contact by looking into the camera rather than at the images on your screen.
7. Look out for these signs that you're doing great.
Of course, if you're hired on the spot they liked you. But there are a few lesser signs that the interviewer has interest in you.
• They say that they enjoyed talking with you, or that they are looking forward to taking the next few steps with you.
• They introduce you to potential future co-workers on the way out. This means that they can at the very least picture you working there.
• If the interview runs long, you can be optimistic. For example, if your interview was supposed to last 30 minutes, but instead ran for 45, you can take comfort in the fact that it went really well.
8. Follow up with a thank-you note.
Sending a polite and simple thank-you note to express your deepest gratitude is a great idea. Thank your interviewer(s) for their time and let them know that you're looking forward to working with them.
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