If you’re on the hunt for a new job or even just browsing jobs to brush up on your skills and see what other opportunities are out there, interviewing is a critically important skill. Not only is it an opportunity for you to showcase your skills and accomplishments, but it could be the deciding factor for whether or not you land the job.
Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking, especially when the job of your dreams is on the line. But with the right preparation and mindset, you can ace the interview and land that job. Here are 10 tips to help you shine in your next job interview.
1. Research the Company
Before your interview, do your research on the company. Look at their website, social media, and news articles to get a better understanding of what they do, their culture, and their values. This helps you demonstrate interest and shows you are genuinely interested in the job and company — and have taken the time to get to know the organization and its values.
Research can also work to your benefit during the interview. Understanding the company’s products or services can help you anticipate questions the interviewer might ask about why you want to work for the company and what you can bring to the table. Your knowledge will help you tailor your answers appropriately.
Research can also help you ask the right questions. Many people forget that they can — and should — ask questions during an interview. Use what you know about the company to ask targeted questions and get more information that can help you determine if it’s the right job for you.
2. Prepare Talking Points
Think about the questions you may be asked in the interview and prepare your answers in advance. Practice speaking out loud in front of a mirror. You may also practice by recording yourself or with a friend who might offer feedback. This will boost your confidence and help you feel more prepared during the interview.
Preparing talking points before an interview is important because it helps you to organize your thoughts so you can showcase your skills and experiences in a way that aligns with the requirements of the job. With the right planning, you can anticipate potential questions and think about how you want to respond. You’ll be able to better stay on topic and avoid rambling.
3. Dress Appropriately
Dressing appropriately for the interview can help you make a good first impression. Make sure your clothing is clean, pressed, and professional. Avoid wearing anything distracting or offensive.
If you’ve done your research, you may also get hints about what is appropriate to wear. For example, some offices have a culture that leans more casual while others require full business formal attire. Always dress business casual at a minimum to put your best foot forward.
While some might argue it’s impossible to overdress for an interview, consider the organization’s culture when deciding what to wear as dressing up too much might signal you don’t understand the company, culture, and environment.
4. Don’t Be Late
Being late for an interview can be a major turnoff for potential employers. When it comes to job interviews, if you’re on time, you’re late. Always aim to arrive 15 minutes early so you have time to park, find the right office, check in, and get settled.
Bake in extra commuting time in case there is traffic or an accident. “Plan for the worst but hope for the best” is a great mantra to follow when considering travel time.
5. Don’t Forget Your Resume
In many cases, you may have already submitted your resume online. It’s still a good idea to bring a few copies with you to the interview. This shows that you are prepared and organized and can be helpful if the interviewer didn’t have time to print a copy before meeting with you.
Be sure your printed copies are not bent, folded, or otherwise sloppy. Consider hiring a professional resume writer or designer to make your resume stand out.
6. Bring Your Confidence
Confidence is key in a job interview. Use positive self-talk and keep your unique accomplishments and strengths top of mind. This will improve your confidence and help you feel more comfortable during the interview.
Remember, you were asked to interview for a reason. Someone saw potential in you and considers you a top candidate. Speak clearly and calmly when answering questions and make eye contact with the interviewer.
7. Use Body Language to Your Advantage
Body language is a significant part of a job interview. Sit up straight, make eye contact, and use hand gestures when appropriate. This will show that you are engaged and enthusiastic about the job.
Avoid slouching and mumbling as this can signal a lack of awareness or interest. Always use body language that shows you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
8. Be Curious
Ask questions during your interview to demonstrate your interest in the job and your curiosity about the company. Prepare a few questions in advance, such as asking about the company culture or the day-to-day responsibilities of the job.
Don’t be afraid to get clarification on questions if you don’t understand them. Remember, you are also interviewing your prospective employer about why this is a good fit for you. Always be respectful when asking questions.
9. Follow Up
After the interview, send a thank-you note or email to the interviewer to express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the job. This can help keep you top-of-mind as they make their hiring decision.
10. Get In the Right Mindset
While research and prep work are critically important, so is taking care of yourself before an interview. This can bolster confidence and your feeling of readiness to tackle the interview.
Get enough rest, eat healthy meals, exercise, and do things that make you feel good. You might listen to your favorite song or even dance to bump up energy levels and get in a positive mindset.
While job interviews can be intimidating, there are always ways to improve your chances of getting the job of your dreams. Consider these 10 tips for your next interview and remember: someone sees potential in you!