Standing out from competing job candidates doesn’t mean you have to dress wackily or take on a whole new persona but it does mean you must learn to impress by making your best assets shine. Here are 8 interview tips to let potential employers know how great you are and you are a good fit for this job.
1. Impress Everyone
Never underestimate the sway of a company receptionist. If asked, and they often are, a receptionist will readily report back on their first impressions of a job candidate. If you are polite or flustered, or organised on arrival to the building, it all counts.
In the run-up to your interview, be organised and manage your day well. This will help you to avoid being flustered or disorganised on arrival.
Be ready to impress everyone you come into contact with. It sometimes only takes a warm smile and polite manner.
2. Dress for Success
Consider the dress code of the business you are interviewing with when planning what to wear for your job interview. However, do not be fooled into thinking that a casual dress code means that you can turn up in jeans and a trendy t-shirt. As Oscar Wilde once said, “you can never be too overdressed.” Always make an effort.
The way you dress should make you feel confident. You should also be comfortable. No one wants to watch you squirm in the interview seat because your tie is too tight or the fabric is itchy. For that extra shot of confidence, try a pop of color or an accessory that could help break the ice.
Think about what you will need to take with you too. Carrying too much, like a coat, a bag an umbrella and a newspaper, can make you look flustered and untidy, even when the opposite is quite true.
Lastly, ensure that you are immaculately groomed. Your nails should be trimmed or manicured, your hair should be clean and tidy. Your outfit must be ironed and stain free. Small details like these make lasting impressions.
Related: 10 Resume Tips to Help You Get a Job Quickly and Successfully
3. Take Control of Nervous Ticks
Try to control your nervous ticks by always keeping your hands on the arms of the chair or folded on your lap. If you are a foot-tapper or tend to fidget in a seat, make it a rule that the insides of your shoes must be touching at all times when seated.
If your nervousness can be overbearing for you, then consider practicing mindfulness in the run-up to the interview date to help keep you calm under pressure. Simple breathing exercises can also help during your job interview.
4. Be Ready with a Killer Intro
If you’ve read the job description and researched the company then you have a fair idea of what they are looking for. Know which parts of your experience are relevant and prepare a few answers in advance that highlight those bits.
Be ready for the standard job interview questions, such as tell us about yourself and why this role? With answers that are brief but highlight relevant selling points. Use every question as an opportunity to introduce another part of your resume or character.
Related: Deadly Job Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
5. Plan Past the Interview
If you got the job, would you implement changes in the first month? What would you achieve for the company within your first full quarter? How about 12 months from now?
Bring answers to these job interview questions to your job interview. Use them to show that you have thought about how you can contribute and that you see yourself as part of the team.
Think about the skills you are bringing and your past experience. What worked in other places that the new company doesn’t have yet? How long would it take you to implement? Let them know you have thought these things through by adding them into the interview conversation.
6. Get to Know Your Interviewers Before Meeting
An often-underestimated valuable interview tip is to do research ahead of time. Impress with your research and extensive planning. Information about your interviewers will be readily available on the company website and sites like Linkedin. Talk to people you know in the industry too. Put in the research to form a picture of who the interviewers are.
Knowing what parts of the business and industry are of interest to the interviewers and what projects they have been involved in will help you understand what they would like to hear about. Is there a part of your resume that relates to the information you have uncovered? Have you discovered a mutual acquaintance who can be dropped into the conversation?
Related: How You Can Better Prepare for Your Next Job Interview
7. Prepare Good Questions
Every hiring manager worth their salt looks out for this interview must-have nowadays. Asking one or two questions about the business or job role at the end of their questioning will impress the interviewers no end. It can also be a conversation starter if your question relates to a part of the business they are particularly passionate about.
Avoid questions about the day to day running, work hours and annual leave calculations. These can wait. Focus instead on projects the company is working on, or have completed. The questions you ask should show that you have done some research but also that you are genuinely interested in what they do.
8. A handwritten “Thank You” card
Be sure to include in your list of interview tips to make it a habit to send a handwritten note or thank you card to the people you met at the interview. It shows your thoughtfulness and good manners. It also helps you stay in mind both for the job you have applied for and any other opportunities along the line.
What you write doesn’t have to be excessive. Something short and to the point will work best, such as “Thank you for taking the time to meet with this week. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
You might think that a quick email or LinkedIn message would have the same effect. However, an email is fleeting and easily forgotten. It could also be missed in a busy inbox or syphoned off to spam. A note or card arriving in the mail will be put into the hand of your interviewer and displayed on or near their desk.