The key to effective interviewing is to project confidence, stay positive, and be able to share examples of your workplace skills and your qualifications for the job. Take the time to work on your interview skills so that you can develop effective interview strategies to use in all of your interviews.
With some advance preparation, you’ll be able to nail the interview and showcase the experience that makes you the ideal candidate for the company’s next new employee.
1. Practice and Prepare
Review the typical job interview questions employers ask and practice your answers. Strong answers are those that are specific but concise, drawing on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your resume. Your answers should also emphasize the skills that are most important to the employer and relevant to the position. Be sure to review the job listing, make a list of the requirements, and match them to your experience.
2. Develop a Connection With the Interviewer
In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. (If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions. If you’re prone to forgetting names, jot it down somewhere discreet, like in small letters at the bottom of your notepad.)
3. Research the Company, and Show What You Know
Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?”
You should be able to find out a lot of information about the company’s history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.
4. Get Ready Ahead of Time
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before.
5. Be on Time (That Means Early)
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
6. Try to Stay Calm
During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to exude confidence. As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to pay attention to the question so that you don’t forget it, and listen to the entire question before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, especially when he or she is asking questions.
7. Follow-Up After the Interview
Always follow up with a reiterating your interest in the position. You can also include any details you may have forgotten to mention during your interview.