You’ve been searching for weeks to find a job description that matches your skills, and you’ve finally found the one. A few days pass and the company reaches out to you to extend an offer for an interview. You of course gladly accept, but now the fear and anxiety sets in.
The interview process is one of the most stressful parts of landing a job. While the final decision comes down to the interviewer, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your chances of nailing the interview.
1. Do Some Research
The interview process is more than just how well you fit the position you’ve applied for. The interviewers also want to know that you’ll be a good fit within the company overall. Before the interview, be sure to research the organization. Knowing the company’s mission, vision, goals, background, and client-base will definitely make you stand out from other candidates. Conducting some research will also prepare you for any business-related questions that you’re asking during the interview.
After thorough research, you may also find it helpful to develop a list of questions. At the end of the interview you’ll likely be given a chance to ask any questions you may have. By having a few questions prepared, it shows that you’re truly engaged and involved.
2. Analyze the Job Listing
While your resume speaks to your skills and experience on paper, you will want to be able to speak to the details during the interview. Take time to look over the job listing. Write down the job qualifications and then match them to your skills and experience. To prepare for the interview, write down 10 assets that best match the job requirements. This way you can talk about these skills with the interviewer and prove that you’re a good fit for the job.
At the same time, you’ll also want to notate what skills you lack. It’s definitely okay to say that you could use some brushing up in a certain skillset. Interviewers will always appreciate an honest applicant over one who claims to know every single part of the job description.
3. Practice Your Responses
For many people, sitting in a room answering questions from strangers is extremely stressful. In an interview, the worst thing you could do is to not have an answer to a question. To minimize your risk of stuttering over your words or not knowing how to respond, practice! There’s no shame in spending time in the mirror answering common interview questions. You may also find it helpful to hold a few mock interviews with the help of a friend or family member. This way you can get used to answering questions confidently.
4. Look & Dress the Part
What you wear and how you look during an interview can make or break your chances of landing the job. To get the part, you have to look and dress like you want it. For an interview, always use good judgment. Dress in neutral business attire. Make sure your clothes are wrinkle-free. Your overall appearance should be neat and clean.
Aside from clothing, you’ll also want to focus on how you look physically. Ensure your hair is well-groomed and that you aren’t bathing in cologne or cigarette smoke. If you’re a smoker, you may want to serious consider not smoking before the interview. We all know that cigarette smoke can seep into clothing and often lingers on your breath. Offensive smells may turn off an interviewer. If you’re unwilling to give up nicotine entirely, switch to vaping. With e juice, there’s no worry of an offensive smell that may impact the success of your interview.
5. Bring the Right Stuff
Another part of preparing for an interview is bringing the right items with you. You never want to walk into an interview room empty handed. You need to be prepared for making notes, going over your resume, or showing off past work from your portfolio. To ensure you’re fully prepared, be sure to bring:
- Copies of your resume
- A list of references
- A notebook and a pen
- A work portfolio
- A list of questions to ask the interviewer
Bringing these items to the interview further shows your professionalism. In turn, interviewers will have a good first impression of you from the moment you enter the room.
The interview process is nothing short of nerve-wracking. But, if you prepare ahead of time, you can lessen your fear and anxiety. If you’ve got an interview lined up for the near future, be sure to take these 5 tips to heart. Good luck!