Finding a job can almost feel like a job itself. Updating your resume and filling out applications can be stressful enough. But that’s usually the easy part compared to what comes next: the interview.
A good interview can start the next chapter in your life, but a bad one can cut your search short.
Check out these tips to ensure that your next interview leads you to your next career.
- Learn what you can about the company to ensure that it’ll be the right fit for you and that you’d be a good fit for them.
- Find out who you will be interviewing with and who your potential supervisor will be.
- Make a “test” trip to the job site beforehand to ensure you’ll be able to make it to the interview on time and to imagine what your average commute may be like.
- Dress appropriately. Make sure you arrive dressed how you would if you had the job. Learn the work site’s dress code beforehand.
- Bring multiple copies of your resume, references, and/or portfolio as well as a few pens and something to take notes on.
- Switch off your cellphone and other electronic devices before entering.
- Try not to smoke right before the interview. If possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash beforehand. Spit out any gum before the interview.
- Look up common interview questions. Sit down with a friend and have them ask you those questions.
- Don’t memorize answers, but formulate your thoughts and develop talking points.
- Prepare to give anecdotal, story-based answers instead of short, one-word answers.
- Make small talk with the interviewer, try to get to know them as a person and give them a chance to get to know you.
- Ask insightful questions about the company to show that you are legitimately interested in the job and have done your research.
- Thank your interviewer in person before leaving, and the follow up by phone or email.
- Stand tall and proud. Make firm handshakes. Wear clothes that fit and are comfortable.
- Remind yourself that, no matter what anyone else says, you have value. You are worth it.
- Don’t try to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate. Convince them that you are the only candidate.
While research, practice, preparation, and more can help you have a good interview, the only thing that can truly guarantee a great interview is effort. Apply these tips and work hard toward your goals to finally land that dream job.