Interviews can be rough, draining, and stressful. Between you and me, here are 5 things that I made sure to do in each interview that made me more prepared.
It’s very easy to get stressed out when you see minutes ticking away as you sit in your car stuck in traffic. If you plan to leave early, you can avoid the stress of seeing those minutes pass and counting the number you have left before your interview starts. Make sure to leave yourself enough time to get ready for your interview so you can leave early. Showing up early will also show the interviewer that you’re interested and committed. If you find that you’re there a bit too early, take time to sit and calm yourself before the interview. Building your confidence before you walk in will help if you get nervous. So take some time to sit in your car or somewhere outside the business and calm yourself and go over your qualifications. Staying calm and confident and showing up early will help you in your next interview.
Keep the Phone Away
We’re glued to our phones. Young and old, we feel connected to the world via the little (or in some cases large) cellular device in our pocket or purse. It may seem like a big ask, but leaving the phone in your pocket or purse will help you focus on your interview. You can take it out if you need a location or phone number for references if it asks on an application, but if you don’t have to fill anything out – leave it alone.
We’ve all heard it, stand up tall, sit up straight, use a firm handshake, make good eye contact. All of these are great things to do in your interview, just be sure to avoid overdoing it or showing negative body language. Crossing your arms may come off as disinterested. Sitting back in your chair may come off as too relaxed. Too much eye contact can be uncomfortable, and too little can be concerning for the interviewer. Finding a happy medium on eye contact is important so that you can show that you’re listening without making the interviewer uncomfortable. Your handshake can help you or hurt you as well. If you have a loose, sloppy handshake it starts the interview off on the wrong note. You don’t want to have a vice grip on your interviewer’s hand either. Have a firm, brief handshake that shows you mean business.
Asking questions is one of the best ways to show your interest in a company. Having questions prepared about the position, company, and interviewer shows that you’ve prepared for this. Be sure to ask about what the typical day looks like, your responsibilities, how you succeed in the position, what the trajectory for the position is, etc. Asking questions about the company does not mean that you haven’t done any research on the company. Be sure to ask about any awards they have received, how the business is growing, the company culture, etc. Make sure that you don’t forget your interviewer though. Ask where they started, how they’ve progressed in the company, any tips they have for someone starting there, why they continue to work there, what drew them to the company, etc. This shows that you’ve taken a personal interest in the person who sat down to speak with you, and can help you build a professional relationship with that person.
Follow Up/Thank You
Just as asking questions can help you build a professional relationship, so can your follow up. After the interview, take the time to thank your interviewer for their time and for further explaining more about the position and company. Include some things that you spoke about that you believe was unique to your interview and conversation to jog their memory. Be sure to do this within one to two days of the interview – unless you interview on a Friday, then send something on Monday. It will not only remind them of your interview, it will also make them feel appreciated. Reminding them of your interview and showing your appreciation can help you in their decision making process.
These are just five categories where you can improve your interview. Adopting these methods made me feel like I was a better candidate, and helped me land my job today. You can also apply some of these to phone interviews which can be just as important in the hiring process. Use these tips, and you should be good to go on your next interview! Hope it goes well!
Written By: Sarah Poore