With graduation season upon us, we couldn’t think of a more fitting time to share our top five tips for nailing your next job interview.
Business culture has certainly shifted in recent years. Ping pong tables replace cubicles, strict dress code policies are increasingly relaxed and casual Fridays are a staple at most offices. The list continues. And although we acknowledge the great efforts towards positive change, we still believe that proper etiquette is essential to landing your next dream job.
There are endless interview tips floating around but here are the top five we feel are key to landing that perfect job.
Tip #1 Preparation is Key
There is nothing worse than heading into an interview unprepared. “Winging it” will only get you so far. Take the time to get prepared.
- Research the company. The more you read up on a company the more likely you are to understand their core values, goals and mission. This will not only help you in the interview process but will also help you decide if this position really is the best fit for you.
- Practice. Have someone ask you a series of traditional and non-traditional interview questions. Practicing reduces anxiety and better prepares you for questions you might not expect. Here’s a link to a few.
Tip #2 Dress for Success
When it comes to office dress code, company policies are becoming increasingly more relaxed; however, underdressing is not the way to go for an interview. There’s only one opportunity for a first impression, so make it count by looking polished.
- Plan Ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what to wear for your interview. Spend time figuring out what you already have and what pieces might be worth the extra investment.
- Invest in a staple piece. Our advice? A navy suit. It’s a transitional piece that goes beyond one wear.
- Proper Fit. Impressions are made within the first few moments of meeting someone new. How you dress for an interview has the potential to convey much more than a great sense of style. There is nothing worse than wearing a garment with either too little or too much room. Invest into clothing that accentuates your best features and gives you a boost in confidence.
Tip #3 Be Personable
So much has changed in our culture over the years but being personable is timeless. Many interviewees are left wondering why they never got a call back from an interview they assumed was a success. What makes the difference in those who land the job and those whose resumes are left in the stack? You guessed it – be personable!
- Be interested in other people. An interview isn’t just a one-way conversation. Find a true connection with the interviewer and your chances at landing the job increase exponentially. Think of a list of questions you might ask the interviewer during your time together and be sure to listen to what he/she is really saying. This shows your potential employer how eager you are to learn and engage with him/her.
- Write a handwritten-thank you note. We know you might be thinking “Isn’t this over the top?”. Ask yourself how badly you want to stand out amongst your peers. The rule of thumb is to follow up no later than 48 hours after your interview. If you’re hesitant on this idea, definitely send an e-mail saying thank you for the interviewer’s time spent meeting with you.
Tip # 4 Be Yourself
It’s not hard to tell when someone isn’t authentic. Employers are people just like you, so be honest about who you are and what you feel you can give to this job. There is nothing worse than a big promise and a small delivery. If asked a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest and communicate your enthusiasm to learn new things.
Tip #5 Be a Go-Getter
Employers are looking for individuals who take initiative. Show that you are passionate about becoming a member of the team and exude confidence in communicating how you feel you can contribute to making the team even stronger.
Last but not least, follow up. Following up may not be the only way to take initiative, but it is certainly an important one. If you have not heard back from your interviewer take the time to give him/her a call or send an e-mail. Half the battle of landing a job is showing employers that you really are interested in the position.
Don’t let your desire for business success stop here. Find ways to continue investing in your personal growth and development by reading other articles or attending personal development events in your area. In doing so you only further demonstrate to your employer that this interview is only a small glimpse at the potential that will soon be released.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our top five tips for nailing an interview. Let us know how they work for you!