First of all, congratulations for landing an interview! The next step is the hardest; preparation. Being prepared for an interview is half the battle! If you can successfully prepare yourself for the actual interview, you will be more confident, well-spoken and will have a greater possibility of landing your dream job.
1. Research the Company
You will be sure to impress the interviewers if you know the basics about the company before coming into the interview. If you’ve done your research, you will know more about what to talk about in the interview. Sometimes the first question they will ask you is, “Why did you choose to apply to ______?” This is where you have an opportunity to show what you’ve learned! Talk about what they specialize in, what makes them different from the rest and show them that you’ve done your research!
Make sure you look the part. Typically, women should wear a dress or skirt and blouse and men should wear dress pants with a shirt and tie. Women should keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum. Another aspect of your appearance includes your facial expressions and eye contact! Make sure you are smiling and being polite from the moment you walk in the door. Tell the person greeting you your name and who your appointment is with. Keep eye contact throughout the interview, showing that you are confident and excited for this opportunity. Leave the interview with a firm handshake and thank them for their time.
3. Nail the Hard Questions
Some of the hardest questions in an interview can seem the easiest. For example, “Tell us about yourself?” This seems like the easiest question in the book, but a lot of people can get hung up on it. The interviewer isn’t looking for your life story, but wants to hear about your personality traits, education, career goals and professional experience. Another tough question is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” The interviewer wants to hear about your strengths that would be an asset in the workplace, so think of a few ahead of time. As far as the weaknesses, definitely don’t say you don’t have any, they will all know you’re lying. Also, don’t use a strength and turn it into a weakness. Be honest but don’t unlock your deepest darkest secret that may keep you from getting the job.
4. Follow Up
Following up may be the most important step of all. This will show the interviewer that you are consistent and still interested in the job. A simple phone call or email follow up will suffice. Thank them for their time and let them know you are still very interested in the position and you are looking forward to hearing back from them.
Interviews are nerve racking for everyone, but they don’t have to be. The interviewer will know you are nervous, so try to relax and show them your best you! Being prepared is the best way to exude confidence and land your next dream job.