Job interviews can be stressful experiences, but they definitely don’t have to be. If you’re well prepared then the interview process can actually be really fun and exciting, especially when you realize you’re winning them over. In this article we’ll cover three great job interview tips which will help you land a job.
1. Pay attention to your non-verbal messages.
Punctuality, Presentation, Posture.
These are the primary non-verbal signals that your interviewer will use to build their overall impression of you. It’s important to show prospective employers your calmness, confidence, and dependability.
Arrive on time for your interview. By on time, I mean 15 minutes early. Be sure to factor in conditions that may slow you on your trip. If you know you’re facing a long and hot walk to the interview location, then try and find an air conditioned café outside to cool off at. The 15 minutes wait in the reception of the business is not the place to cool off.
Be dressed appropriately for the interview. At a minimum you should be wearing the type of clothing that you’ll be expected to wear to work, although it is generally better to dress to a higher standard than this. If unsure, wear a full business suit that is neatly pressed and free from any wear and tear. Don’t be the person wearing white socks with black pants and black shoes. Your choice of clothing for your job search speaks volumes about your personality.
Stand tall, sit straight, and don’t fidget. If you lean forwards slightly then it will convey the impression that you’re interested in what the interviewer/s are saying. Your hands should be either on your lap or on the desk in front of you. However, if it feels comfortable then use your hands when you’re speaking to illustrate what you’re saying; hand gestures make what you are saying more interesting.
Shake hands firmly; nothing is worse than a dead fish handshake. It may seem like a small thing, but many people place a lot of emphasis on handshakes, so be firm but not crushing. You should also shake hands regardless of whether you are male or female or whether the interviewers are male or female.
Always maintain a good level of eye contact. You should be looking your interviewer in the eye when you are speaking and listening. Conversely, eye contact that is unbroken for more than 10 seconds may be considered excessively long, and even somewhat creepy. So break it up a little bit with some casual glances away before establishing eye contact again. If you are being interviewed by more than one person then the solution is simple – look at the other person.
2. Be prepared – research everything!
Be sure to have done some research on the company you’re applying to. Think about the type of questions commonly asked at interviews and have your answers prepared. You will probably be asked why you want the job. Be sure to have a good answer to this question or you will convey an image of being disinterested.
Re-read your CV before the interview. If you have simply been adding to your CV over the years then there may be things written in there that you have forgotten about. Interviewers will often ask you questions about your previous jobs. They will want to hear specifics about your prior experiences, skills, and responsibilities. In preparing for your interview, mentally recite situations and anecdotes that will help you project the best image to the employer.
3. Remember that you’re interviewing them as well.
Understand that there is no power that this company holds over you. The employer-employee relationship is synergistic in nature; you are bringing half of the value to the table. The process for a job hiring works as follows:
1. The company offers you a job – they will commit to this in writing.
2. You accept or refuse the job offer – you may also ask for an alteration of the job offer, such as more pay.
So in fact, the ultimate and final power actually belongs to you. As such, pay very careful attention to the questions the interviewer is asking you because they may reveal things about the company or job that are important for you to know.
For example, the employer may ask you a question about how you would deal with a difficult person on your team or someone on your team who performs poorly. Answer the question, but you may wish to counter-question the employer with your own question – “will there be poor performers or difficult people on my team?”
Hopefully you are being interviewed by your potential direct boss and you will have a chance to assess their character. Is there a mean-spirited, snarling monster behind the cordial exterior you are being presented with? Ask why the last staff member left. How long were they there for? What about the staff member before that?
Remember, your choice of job has a big influence on your life, so contemplate the situation carefully and make a wise choice about your future employment.
Lastly – make sure to relax and have some fun! If you’ve got the right set of skills and competences for the job, then chances are they’ll be falling all over themselves to hire you. Good luck!
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Guest Bio: Nathan Savalas is a human resources enthusiast and member of the HirePulse team.