Here are 10 tips to help you ace your next job interview:
Study the Company. One of the most overlooked interview strategies is to study the current events of the company. Read through the “About Us” information on the company website. Pick out key corporate words and use them in your interview. Knowing this information will also help you ask pertinent questions. Asking relevant questions shows the interviewer you did your homework and have a genuine interest in the company.
Know Your Resume. Anything on your resume is fair game for a prospective employer. It is your responsibility to convince the interviewer that you can do the job. Speaking intelligently about each of your previous positions will help do this and speaks volumes about you.
Study the Job Description. Go to the company website and see if the full job description is posted. The job description should give you an idea of the essential functions and required qualifications. If the description calls for attention to detail, you will want to tailor your discussion accordingly. By knowing the job description, you can tailor your answers about your previous employment to exemplify required traits. Do this for each quality you identify in the job description. This tactic should also be used in your cover letter — make sure you address each quality in the job description and how you possess the qualities the employer is looking for.
Prepare an Interview Readiness Kit. Prepare for your job interview by putting together a “job interview kit.” Some of the items to include: extra copies of your resume, directions to the office, a bottle of water, eye drops, pens, and notepad. Only bring the extra copies of your resume into the office, preferably in a portfolio or folder.
Build Rapport. In a job interview, there is no such thing as a second chance to make a first impression. Build rapport by shaking hands, making eye contact and smiling. Do this when you first meet your interviewer and it will set a positive tone for the rest of the interview.
Make Eye Contact. Making eye contact is one of the best interview strategies to follow. Eye contact is one of the strongest forms of nonverbal communication. A person’s qualities and personality can be detected simply based on eye contact. Making direct eye contact communicates confidence and high self-esteem, two key qualities employers look for in candidates. It is important you make eye contact when you first meet the interviewer and shake hands. Continue to make eye contact during the interview, not only when you talk but also as you listen. Doing this one interview strategy will greatly help your chances of success in an interview.
Body Language. Just as eye contact speaks volumes about you, so does your body language. Proper body language conveys confidence and high self-esteem. Sitting up straight and keeping a pleasant demeanor on your face during the interview will project confidence. The interviewer will notice this, and will help you stand out in his/her mind.
Use Concrete Examples to Demonstrate Your Skills. When it comes to discussing skills, many candidates make the mistake of “telling” instead of “showing.” One of the best interview strategies is to use examples to demonstrate your skills to the interviewer. For example, if one of your skills is multi-tasking, provide an example of how you do that.
Be Yourself. It is important to be professional, but to also maintain your true essence during an interview. You might be surprised how easy it is to detect insincerity during an interview. Your sincerity and genuineness will be picked up by the interviewer. This is one of the best interview strategies to implement, and will go a long way in determining your success.
Follow Up Quickly. After the interview, send a quick thank you note to the interviewer. Traditionally a handwritten note is best, although these days an email is fine. Whatever method you choose, make sure to follow up promptly after the interview. The correspondence should be sent the next day.
You now have 10 best practices to follow. There are many aspects of a successful job interview. If you implement these tactics, your chances of success will increase. For additional information on preparing for an interview, visit www.illinoisworknet.com.
Kathi Weilbacher is a Career Specialist at the Southwestern Illinois workNet Center, located in the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo. She can be reached at 939-3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.