Job interviews are nerve-racking to say the least. In many cases, this is the first “personal” connection you’ll have with someone at the company.
Your resume got you in the door. Now it’s up to you to show them your best self.
Here are 15 tips to help you make the most of your next job interview. You’ll notice that half of them involve planning in advance.
Before the Interview
- Plan more than enough time to get to in-person job interviews. Visit the location a day or two in advance to eliminate surprises.
- Use a landline whenever possible during phone interviews. If you must use your cell test the connection before your scheduled interview.
- If you are taking a phone interview at your office find a quiet, out-of-the-way place. Avoid the rest room, hallway, or stairs where someone from your office is likely to see you.
- Research the company in advance. Read through their website, it may give you come insight into the company culture.
- Review the company’s social media presence. What do they post? If there any interaction or just automatic posting?
- Research the people you’ll be interviewing with in advance. Many organizations have information on staff members. Take the time to look them up on LinkedIn too.
- Prepare answers to the most commonly asked interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake” and “What is your greatest weakness?”
- Have a few questions ready for when the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions?” The advance research you’ve done will help with this.
During the Interview
- Be nice to everyone you meet during the interview process. It’s not uncommon for the admin to be asked what he/she thought about you.
- Have a firm handshake. Somewhere between the “limp fish” and “grip of death.”
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. If you’re not comfortable making eye contact practice with a friend.
- Avoid fidgeting during job interviews. That includes glancing at your phone, looking out the window, playing with jewelry, etc. Interviewers do notice.
- Ask everyone you meet with for a business card so you will have their contact information and the correct spelling of their name.
After the Interview
- Send a thank you email within 24-hours of your interview. Follow up with a thank you note to really stand out.
- Use your thank you to continue to sell yourself. Provide a possible solution to a problem discussed during the interview or give them a preview of your 90 day plan.
Bonus tip: Calm jangled nerves before the interview with deep breathing or confidence-boosting exercises like the “Superman” stance.