Tips for a Successful Interview
Congratulations! You did it – your resume wowed a potential employer, and you landed an interview. Now it’s time to focus on how to make that interview a success. Keep reading for some tips on how to make that happen.
Before the Interview
The first steps to having a successful interview come way before the interview even begins.
It takes preparation and a big chunk of time researching your future employer. Be sure to clean up your social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to ensure that everything posted is something that you’d want your employer to see. There are many resources on the internet for practice questions and even sample answers to turn a negative question into a positive response.
It’s important to feel comfortable, so dress for the part. Try to find photographs of employees to see how they dress and get a feel for the company’s culture. If you’re unsure of the company’s dress code, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Once you have a feel for what you’re going to wear, lay your clothes out the night before, along with a copy of your resume and a portfolio, if necessary.
During the Interview
Bring a notepad and pen to the interview, along with questions that you want to ask the interviewer at the end. Arrive early, and if you’re nervous, try listening to some music or walking around the block.
So, now it’s finally time! Walk into the interview with confidence, give a firm handshake, and formally introduce yourself. Answer each question calmly and just be yourself. Make good eye contact throughout the entire interview and write down any questions you may think of to ask after the interview. If a question catches you off guard, stay calm and don’t use any fillers like “um, uh, hmm…” Simply take your time and think through each question.
Here are a few example questions to ask your interviewer:
- What is the biggest challenge someone in this position will face?
- What does an average day look like?
- What do you think the difference is between someone who has excelled in this position and someone who has not excelled?
Don’t forget to ask about next steps and the company’s timeline for filling the position – not only does this further convey your interest, but it can help quell any of that “why haven’t I heard anything yet?” anxiety.
After the Interview
Everyone loves to be appreciated, so write a thank you letter and mail it to your interviewer. If you’re working with a tight timeline, an email works, too. Thank the interviewer for his/her time for meeting with you, and let them know that you hope to be working with them in the future. This will also help them remember you even more, increasing your chances of getting the job.