Interview Tips We Should All Know
Even though your resume is step one in getting a job, your interview is just about the last step you can take in either landing a job, or losing an opportunity. Your very last step is probably your follow-up and your thank-you letter, but most of your luck is going to be riding on that interview no matter what. If you finally do get a call and have the chance to talk to an employer, what are some tips for preparation and for that important day which can help you get off on the right foot?
Arrive early, but not too early.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that the earlier they show up for their interview the better. While it's definitely good to demonstrate that you care enough to be on time, it's not actually a good idea to be earlier than 5-10 minutes. If you are, you will make the hiring manager feel pressured to talk to you. This can get things off to a rushed start and can make the hiring manager uncomfortable. This is a bad way to start an interview, so make sure you show up in that small time window. If you're earlier than that, hover around outside the building or check your appearance in the restroom until you are within the appropriate window.
Dress nice but not too nice.
This is another one that a lot of people mess up. You may think that you should dress as professionally and formally as possible for your interview, but this is another area where overkill can actually damage your chances of success. Figure out what you would wear on a typical work day at the new job, and then dress just one step more formal than that. Any more than that and you'll come across as intimidating.
Keep the conversation moving.
Employers will ask you uncomfortable questions or surprising questions just to see how you respond. If you get hung up on an answer, you will only draw attention to any deficiencies you might have. Keep things moving along and focused on the positive aspects of your professional life. Don't draw attention to negatives.
Try to strike up a rapport.
Pay attention to the way the hiring manager speaks and behaves, and attempt to follow cue. If a hiring manager is very somber and serious, it's best to match that manner. If a hiring manager is jovial and light-hearted, you might take a more light-hearted approach to your interview as well—but stay a little more serious than the hiring manager in this case. You need to prove that you're focused and dedicated, but also that you have some life in you and will fit into the workplace.
All of these tips should help you make a good impression on the hiring manager. Never forget though that this interview is for your benefit as well. Learn all you can about the job and the workplace, and ask questions if you have them. Just as a hiring manager has the power to accept or reject you, you have a choice about each job you interview for.