Preparing for an interview is an essential step for a successful job search.
If you have turned in a good cover letter and resume and received a callback to schedule an interview, now’s the time to turn on your charm to make it known that you really are the best candidate for the job.
To ensure you land the job, below is the four-step process that you need to learn and incorporate into your interview.
Read on to see what steps you need to take to make a basic job interview better.
Step 1: Arrive on time
On time means 15 minutes early in the world of job searching and interviewing. Never forget it! Make it the most important thing you do on the day of your interview.
Being on time is a simple courtesy that means so much in the workforce.
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The worst first impression you can make is being late. That shows a potential employer that you are not a punctual person. No leader wants someone on their team who does not respect time.
If you must arrive earlier than 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled interview, you should spend some time taking mental notes on things like
- dress code
- how employees interact with one another
- the mood of the work environment
- certificates, trophies, awards, etc. on display
That gives you more material to discuss in the interview.
Step 2: Dress appropriately
The next best thing you can do during an interview is present a good image of yourself. Dress according to the company you’re interviewing with for a position.
If the job interview is in a corporate setting, wear the standard formal business attire. But if you are interviewing with a more artsy company or something like a style magazine, you can infuse some of your own fashion sense and unique articles of clothing into your outfit.
The key is to walk into the interview appearing as you would if you were coming into the building to clock in for work.
Make it easy for the person interviewing you to envision you as an employee within the company.
Step 3: Do your research prior to arrival
When you arrive to a job interview, you should already know a substantial amount about the company.
The interview helps employers determine who is the best fit for a position within their company. What the interview is NOT, is an informational lecture.
You should not have to ask basic questions about what the company does. You shouldn’t be in the dark about who leads the company.
Even before sending in a cover letter and resume, you should do background research on the company. But if you get to the interview stage without doing so (lucky you), you MUST make the time to look up the following information before going into the interview:
- company history
- mission & values
- product/service offering
- company culture
Being knowledgeable about the company leads to an engaging conversation between you and the employer. This is a technique that helps you to be a more memorable job candidate.
It also leads into step four of having a better job interview.
Step 4: Be yourself
It’s absolutely okay to show your personality at a job interview.
When you think of the typical job interview, you may imagine yourself seated in an eerily silent room. A stern-faced manager peers at you over the top of black-rimmed glasses. In this visualization, the conversation consists only of the questions the interviewer asks and the dry answers you give in response.
Don’t let your job interview be that way. Try to make the conversation as natural and flowing as possible.
When you know a good amount of information about the company, as discussed above in Step 3, you have more to talk about with your interviewer.
People often snag the job because of their conversing skills. Being comfortable with your speech and having a relaxed personality during the interview leaves a lasting impression that you are confident and competent in communication.
Those are traits almost all employers want from new hires.
You have what it takes to ace the toughest interview if you remember these four simple steps:
- Arrive on time.
- Dress appropriately.
- Do your research.
- Be yourself
An interview can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the job’s complexity and workload. Here we’ve listed steps you can take to make any job interview better.
Keep your nerves settled and speak confidently while checking off the step-by-step process. That should be enough to impress a potential employer with your presence, manners and conversation during the interview.
Once you’ve made a great impression in the interview, you want to keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. So be sure to get their card before leaving the interview and be sure to send a “Thank You” note.
It could be sent via email or as a handwritten note. The latter is more memorable.
Do you have any tricks of your own to help you ace job interviews? Share them with us in the comments.