Winter graduation is less than a month away, which will create a big change for a slew of former students. One of the many adventures that will take place in the post-graduate world is the job interview. The process is intimidating for many reasons. First, there may be a number of people interviewing for the same position as you. This number could range from hundreds to maybe ten or twenty. Second, one may not know how to react to the ambiguity of an interview, and stress over how to react to an unknown situation. Well here are some tips on how to crush that job interview and race past other potential targets.
Do: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.
Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to interviews, whether it is considering the company, or the interviewer itself. Before leaving for your interview do some research on the company. For example, you could see what the company specializes in and the manner in which they create their product. You could visit their website to get a sense of the tone of the company and the community within it.
It is also key to know who will be interviewing you. This may not be possible at every interview, but one could place a phone call to Human Resources and ask who delivers the interviews. Knowing who is interviewing you will give you time to see what that person has accomplished, and their position in the company. This may give you a feel for the types of questions that they are going to ask, and the tone in which they are going to be asked.
Don’t: Arrive Late
First impressions are the most important, so it is important to show up early for your interview. Showing up early will allow you to sit down in the waiting room and gauge your surroundings, go over notes and all-in-all get more acclimated. Arriving early will also show initiative, which could go a long way in helping you stand out.
Do: Be Yourself
When you are interviewing for a job, you are interacting with a human resources professional, who is trained to decipher people, so it is essential to be yourself, and not put on a front. This will be seen through immediately, and could definitely hurt your chances of getting a job.
Your best work is usually done when you are using your own opinions and style, so why would you stop showing that at the most crucial of times. Plus, if you need to be fake to get the job, then you will need to be fake to fit in with the office, and be fake in your work, which is usually a recipe for disaster. At the same time, be a formal version of yourself. Make sure to remember that this is a work setting and professionalism is always being strived for.
Don’t: Discard Body Language
While verbal work like a resume, portfolio and networking is vital to getting into the room for a job interview, confidence and body language is an important key to landing the job. Eye contact is something that interviewers look for, as it is a sign of respect and shows that you are fully engaged. Also make sure to sit straight up in your chair and use your hands in communicating your message. Keeping them on your lap or in your pockets displays a scared or disinterested tone.
Do: Ask Questions
This is where your preparation comes in handy. At the end, or possibly in the middle, an interviewer will ask you if you have any question for him/her. This is your chance to show off and impress your future employer with a nicely worded question. It could be something about how the company works, the environment at the company, how the hiring process goes, or maybe how you would fit in at a particular position within the company. Although questions are great, asking about your possible pay can be seen as tacky, and throws the focus off of why you are there in the first place.
Don’t: Become Discouraged After a Denial
The process of finding a job is a job itself, and the interview process is a part of that. As stated previously, the job market in today’s world is extremely competitive, so you are not going to get every position you interview for. Persistence is key and it is important to learn something from every interview you take. Know your weaknesses and learn different ways to dress them up. Nothing good ever came without hard work and the job interview process is no exception.