It doesn’t matter if you are preparing for your first interview or your 100th; meeting your potential new bosses is always a nerve-wracking experience. While there is nothing that can completely alleviate these fears, the worst feeling always comes when you are underprepared. So, what should you be doing to ensure you give yourself the best chance of landing the job?
Research, Research, Research!
If you do nothing else before an interview, make sure you read up on the company so that you know who they are and what they do. The more you do, the better. Visiting the company website is a great start, but try to go beyond that. Check out social media feeds, forums, and try to find out who the key players are within the business. Look for anything that you can use to show that you are up to date and enthusiastic about the companies goals.
Be Prepared to Sell Yourself
You are heading into an interview to show how suitable you are for the job. Focus on your strengths, and try to spin any weaknesses into positives by expressing any gaps in your knowledge as possible learning experiences. Try to give the impression that you are looking to improve and will thrive on the chance to help the company.
Selling yourself doesn’t stop with what you say. Bring business cards, copies of your resume, and samples of your work. You never know who you might be talking to, and showing your skills and professionalism go a long way to making a positive impact.
Be Friendly and Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is contagious. If you show that you are excited about a job prospect, your interviewers are much more likely to be enthusiastic about hiring you. Talk positively about what you can bring to the company, and how you feel you will fit into the role. Personality is often more important to an interviewer than the skills you possess, so do everything you can to show you will fit in with the team.
Also, remember to be courteous and friendly. It is the company that has extended the opportunity to you, so it pays to be grateful. Aim to start as soon as you reach the premises. Receptionists, security guards, and even cleaners could all have an ear back to the hiring team, so be on the top of your game from the moment you arrive.
You are going to be doing the bulk of the talking during an interview. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be times when the interviewer takes the front seat in the conversation. When they do, you need to listen intently to what they say. Take a notepad and pen with you and jot down anything you think is relevant. Not only will it help you when you think back on the interview, but it also shows that you are organized and serious about the job opportunity.
Finish on a Positive Note
The last impression is often the one that sticks. When the interview finishes, thank the interviewers, and emphasize how excited you are about the company. It also pays to ask what happens next. Not only will this give you an idea of the time frame involved, but it also gives the impression that you are keen to get things moving. You might even get a glimpse into their thinking about you!
Always Follow Up
No matter how you think the interview went, always follow up a day or two later. There will be times when you feel that you’ve fallen flat on your face, when in fact you’ve given a great impression. Sending a quick email can take seconds and keeps you fresh in the mind of the employers. All you need to do is restate your interest in the job and ask if there is anything you can provide that might be useful to them.
Remember, everybody is in the same boat when it comes to a job interview. It is those that go the extra mile with the preparation and professionalism that usually end up getting the job. If you can prepare thoroughly, stay positive, and remain enthusiastic, you have an excellent chance of elevating yourself above the competition.