Interviews can be the most stressful part of getting a job, with your future employment dependent on the impression you leave with a total stranger. The key to having a great interview and landing the job is being proactive and confident.
Here are five tips for having a successful interview:
Research. Read up on the company before the interview. Make sure you know exactly what position you are interviewing for and learn about the company’s history and values. This will help you stand out from the beginning of the interview. Bonus points if you learn the names of your interviewer and the higher-ups in the company.
Dress for success. Make sure the clothes you wear to the interview are clean, wrinkle-free and professional. Think you’re under-dressed? Call ahead of time and find out the company’s dress code and use that as a guideline for what to wear to the interview.
Arrive on time. Do not be late, but also don’t arrive too early. Aim to walk into the office five minutes before your interview. Not parking five minutes before, but in the office and ready to shine five minutes before your scheduled interview time.
Come prepared. Review common interview questions and have answers ready. Consider practicing a mock interview with a friend or family member. Bring multiple copies of your resume, a notebook and a pen. Also consider bringing a list of questions you have for the company. Employers tend to ask at the end of the interview if you have questions for them. Make sure you ask something thoughtful like where they see the company going in the next five years — but leave the conversation about salary for the follow-up!
Send a thank you. Follow up with the interviewer by sending a thank you note. An email is adequate, however a handwritten note adds a personal touch and will help you stand out. The best advice I ever received was to write the thank you note BEFORE the interview, and slip it in the company’s mailbox on your way out!
Want more tips for nailing your interview and getting your dream job? Take the Next Step Academy course “Interviewing Skills” to learn more.