Finding the right job in a tight economy can be tough. A couple of hundred résumés may be submitted to an employer advertising a single opening – and you want yours to stand out. A well-crafted résumé might get your foot in the door, but your interview may be the tipping point that lands the job you’ve been seeking – if you look and sound good during that all-important face time.
So, here are some tips to get you ready to meet the company owner, or the head of HR – tips that should enable you to look your best and stand out from the rest.
1. Do your research. Once you receive a call to set up an interview appointment, it’s time to do some homework. Use the Internet to find the company website and learn all you can about what the company does, what products or services it delivers, how long it’s been in business – anything and everything you can learn about the company to prepare yourself for routine interview questions.
2. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked based on your research. Prepare a list of questions you expect to be asked. Develop your answers so they sound natural, insightful and authoritative.
3. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice answering questions in front of a mirror. Practice builds confidence, and a confident applicant is just what employers are looking for.
4. Do a dry run. The day before the interview, take a drive to the company location so you know how to get there, how long the drive is, what traffic is like, and so on. If you know where you’re going, you’ll be more comfortable and relaxed getting there on the day of the actual interview.
5. Get to the area early. Leave plenty of time to get to the area of the prospective employer’s company. Then, find a place to sit quietly, enjoy a cup of coffee and collect your thoughts. Use this time to review your notes on the company and your planned responses to anticipated questions. You don’t want to look rushed when you arrive. You want to look prepared.
6. Look your best. Dress the part so you look like the right person for this new job opening. If you’re unsure what to wear, ask a trusted friend for advice, and be sure to look at yourself from all angles before leaving the house. Don’t wear cologne or perfume, don’t overdo the make-up, and make sure your hair cut and color are just right. Once again, little things count.
7. Arrive five minutes early. Don’t get there too early and never, ever be late for a job interview – another reason to do a dry run, and get to the area in plenty of time to collect your thoughts and arrive at the interview location at just the right time.
8. Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile. A firm handshake and a smile exude confidence. Make sure to make eye contact. Also, call the interviewer by the name he or she uses during introductions. If the interviewer says, “Hello, I’m Ms. Smith,” call her “Ms. Smith,” even if her desk nameplate says Doris Smith. Don’t overstep the bounds of propriety.
9. Ask questions. A job interview isn’t a one-way street or an interrogation. Come prepared with a list of questions related to the job opening. Ask about responsibilities, hierarchy, opportunities to contribute to company growth and corporate culture. What’s it like to work here? However, don’t ever bring up salary or benefits during a job interview.
10. Know when to leave. The interviewer will give you signs that he or she has all the information needed from you. When the interviewer stands up and offers their hand, that’s your cue to shake hands, look the interviewer in the eye, thank him or her for their time and leave. Be sure to leave behind a copy of your résumé and copies of any licenses or certifications required for the position.
Landing the right job is a lot easier if you ace that job interview with research, preparation and an understanding of the purpose of the interview – to see you in person before making that hiring decision.
Do your homework, give yourself plenty of time to relax and collect your thoughts, and be confident that you’re the right person for the job.
That’s how you can ace that next job interview.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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