You’ve done it. You looked fantastic on paper, and now your potential employers want to meet you face to face to discuss the possibility of you contributing to the company that they’ve spent years developing. What are you going to do to set yourself apart from all the other people who also looked good on paper? How can you make yourself stand out amongst others who share your qualifications? It’s simple, really. Serious preparation for an interview is what’s going to set you apart. Here are a few pieces of advice that will help you make a good first impression on day one:
Practice answering questions in advance.
In almost any job interview, there will be some standard questions that your interviewer is likely to ask. If you’re not sure what to expect, look up some of the more commonly asked questions in an interview. Most of these will be questioning your leadership skills, experience in the field, willingness to work with others, time management skills, etc. Having these answers ready will make the interview run smoother, making you seem like a natural addition to the company.
Get plenty of rest the night before.
Nothing makes you seem more disinterested in a job than half-closed eyes and yawns every five minutes. If you’re exhausted throughout your interview, you won’t be able to react appropriately. Your body language will seem bored and apathetic. If you make it seem like you’d rather sleep than be at work, your future employer will definitely pick a livelier candidate for the position.
Dress the part.
This could very well be the most important part of an interview. Your appearance is going to be the first thing an interviewer will notice when you walk into the room. Before you sit down, before you introduce yourself, and before you are able to answer questions, your appearance will be assessed. The type of job you’re interviewing for will determine the specifics required of your dress, but there are some universal guidelines for interview dress.
- Wear clothing that fits well. Things shouldn’t be hanging sloppily off of you, while at the same time, tight clothing can easily become inappropriate for a work setting as well.
- Wear clothes that are neat. You shouldn’t have rips in your pants, or stains on your shirt. Accidents can happen during your morning commute, just try to make sure that’s not the case on interview day.
- Be professional. Knowing what constitutes as “professional” is a big part of the dress. Play it safe and avoid jeans and sneakers. Ladies, don’t wear dresses and skirts that show too much skin.
Confidence can be a game-changer in the working world. Don’t be shy with your interviewer. You need to prove to them that you fit in well with the company, and you can be an asset in any role. Smile when you enter the room, shake their hand (don’t limp fish them), and be conscious of your posture. Body language says a lot about your comfort level. Try to avoid fidgeting and squirming in your seat. Make eye contact and speak clearly. Be at ease in your surroundings; tell yourself that you belong there.
Always, always, always follow up with the company. Never consider following up as annoying or unnecessary. Taking the time out of your day to reach out to the potential employer will show them how serious you are about this job, and it just might be the thing to put you ahead of your competition.
The interview process can be really stressful. It could very well be the first step in your future career, or it could be what stands in the way of that future. The key is to always be prepared. Answer questions fully, honestly, and concisely. Be confident and articulate, and don’t be afraid to mess up. Interviewers can tell when your nervous. Just relax and handle your business. Play your cards right, and some day, you might just be on the other side of that desk.
Written by Haylee Thompson, Account Executive at Imagewest