How to make the best impression at your next job interview
Job interviews are not the most comfortable experience for everyone. You worry about what to say, how to say it, if you wore the right clothes, and whether your industry experience will be accurately reflected through your interview. It may feel overwhelming, but we can help. Keep reading to learn more about the best ways you can make a great impression at your next job interview and land your next career.
The devil’s in the details
If you’re running out for a late-night snack, you’d probably wear your favorite sweats. But for a job interview, casual is not the way to go. Plan your appearance carefully. You don’t need to look fake or not like yourself; you just want to give yourself a leg up for the job by demonstrating your care for detail through your appearance. Iron your clothes. Wash your face. Run a comb through your hair a few times. It may sound obvious, but it also requires planning, so be sure to have your outfit all ready to go before your interview day.
Research, research, research
You may have found out about this job opportunity through a job board or a friend, but now you have to take the next step: researching the company you’re interviewing for. A quick scroll through their website is a nice idea, but it’s not really that helpful. Peruse the website carefully, making note of anything you think will aid you in showing why you are right for the job. You don’t have to bring notes to the interview, but looking at them as a study guide is a good idea.
Have some questions…
Many interviewers ask the interviewee which questions they have about the job or company. And many interviewees find themselves with no response, unsure of what to ask or if they even have questions. This is another chance for you to plan ahead. Write down multiple questions that you have about the company. Even if the person interviewing you answers them all before you get the chance to ask, you will be prepared. Be bold with your questions—if you want to know, ask! Just do so politely.
…and have some answers
It’s impossible to predict what employers may ask in your interview, so it’s smart to have answers to some of the basic questions. They may ask you to tell them about yourself—what will you say? Why do you want to work there? How do you think your experience will aid you in working the job? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Thinking of answers for these questions and practicing them with friends or family before your interview will convey the confident professionalism you’re sure to bring to the table if you get the job.
Be on time
Have you heard the saying “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable”? Take this advice to heart when arriving for a job interview. Plan your day and route carefully to ensure you aren’t caught in unexpected traffic. You can even make a practice run on an earlier day, just to make sure you know where the building is. And once you’re in the building, you need to make sure you can find your way to the right place for your interview. Preparation is key for good impressions!
Know your value
If you are a perfect fit for this job and you know it, you need to show it. We’re not encouraging you to be arrogant or rude in your interview, but don’t shy away from answering (or asking) questions that display your considerable skill. You may be up against multiple other applicants, so you want to stand out. What better way to do that than to show a potential employer why you would be a great hire?
Observe basic etiquette
Again, this may seem obvious. But it’s always good to have a reminder, right? Observe the basic rules of etiquette during your job interview to make a great impression. Make and maintain eye contact when speaking with your interviewer. Say “please” and “thank you” when needed. After the interview, be sure to thank the person you spoke with—and maybe send them an actual thank you card in the mail when you get home. Utilizing these niceties is just one more way to show this company why you’re such a great fit for the role you want.
Now have what you need—go forth and be interviewed! Prepare ahead of time, remember why you want this job, and walk into every interview with the confidence that you are exactly who they have been looking for.
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