You have mastered your resume and cover letter and finally landed yourself an interview. Now it’s time to focus on the job interview and learn how you can impress the interviewer. In this article we’ll cover the top 7 job interview tips. When preparing for job interview you might also be interested of our Job Interview Preparation Checklist download.
Here are our 7 top job interview tips:
1. Research the Employer, Job Opportunity, and Hiring Manager
To succeed in a job interview you must go into it with an understanding of the employer, the job requirements, and the backgrounds of the people conducting the interview. Doing a company research means better understanding the employer and being able to better answer questions in the interview. Read through the website and published materials of the company, along with research tools and search engines. Ask the people in your network about the company too.
2. Prepare Responses to Common Interview Questions
Another important step towards interview success is to prepare responses to common interview questions. Ask the hiring manager what kind of interview you can expect. Is it a group interview or one-to-one? Are you meeting one person or a group of people? Determine what kind of questions you could be asked and compare concise yet detailed responses built around specific accomplishments and examples. Don’t memorize answers though. Instead focus on talking points and turn the answers into a story you can tell.
3. Remember to Ask Questions as Well
Ask the job interviewer questions to show interest and to show that you have done your research. Note that this is not the time to ask about pay or vacation time. Some questions that you could be asking are:
• Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
• What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
• How is success evaluated in this role?
• Is there anything we haven’t covered or that I can do that would help you with your decision?
4. Be Dressed for Success
Put together an outfit that will fit the organization and their culture. Aim to look as professional as possible. Remember that being overdressed will always be better than being underdressed and that the clothes you wear should be clean, pressed, and fit properly. Avoid wearing jewelry and accessories and avoid smoking or eating before the interview. If you get the chance then brush your teeth and/or use mouthwash.
5. Be on Time and Prepared
There’s never an excuse for turning up late to a job interview. Aim to arrive around 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin so that you have time to complete any extra paperwork and settle in. Arriving early also gives you a chance to assess how the workplace flows.
Put together some extra copies of your CV and reference list the day before your interview. If you’ve got some samples of your work or a portfolio then take that with you as well. Finally take some pens and a pad of paper for taking notes and turn off your cell when you get to the office.
6. Make a Great First Impression
One of the cardinal rules of job interview success is being polite and greeting everyone warmly. Employers will be curious about how a job applicant treats staff members and you could be turned down for the job if you are arrogant or rude to staff. Keep in mind that the first impression you give off when the interview starts can be what lands – or loses – the job for you.
Remember to keep a positive attitude and be enthusiastic about the job and the employer in the interview. Studies have shown that hiring managers can make important decisions about applicants in the first 20 minutes of a job interview.
7. Thank Interviewers in Person and by Email
Being polite and expressing common courtesy goes a long way in interviews. That’s why you should thank everyone that interviews you. Start out during the interview itself, thanking everyone involved in the interview before leaving. Writing a thank you note after the interview might not get you the job, but it does give you an edge over other potential finalists that don’t show this courtesy.
It takes research, practice, and persistence to succeed with job interviews. The harder you work preparing for an interview, the more likely you are to succeed and get the job offer. Keep our tips in mind the next time you have a job interview.