You have an interview coming up. How you show up to it is up to you. Which would you rather:
You snooze the alarm, and wake up a good half an hour later to realize you are already late for your interview! Darn! You grab a crumpled shirt from a pile of laundry, smoothen out the wrinkles with your hands, and dress in a rush. Despite your best efforts, you show up ten minutes late for the interview, apologizing profusely.
Before going to bed, you iron your clothes and polish your shoes. You set the alarm an hour early as it is a big day for you. The morning of, you get ready for your day in a relaxed frame of mind and run through your prep material once again before heading out. You show up on time and when your turn to interview comes, the butterflies in your stomach have settled.
Which do you prefer – situation 1 or 2? Although you might belong to #1, you may earnestly want your life to flow like in #2.
Situation 1 will not create a good first impression. It will make you appear unprofessional, unprepared, and might make you feel unconfident. When you appear for an interview on time, in well-ironed and in clean formal clothing, as in situation 2, you are more likely to feel more confident and create a good first impression.
Control what you can. Ace your interview with these tips.
The mention of the word ‘interview’ can give even the best of people the jitters. Imagining a set of strangers asking you questions can put anyone on the spot. However, with preparation and practice, you can master strategies to nail an interview.
An interview is a structured conversation where a prospective employer asks questions and candidates provide answers. It is a formal meeting before hiring someone for a job to see if you are a good fit for the role. An interview provides you an opportunity to impress the hiring manager with not only your skills and qualifications but also your confidence and how you present yourself.
Today, interviews are not just for jobs. They happen in school and colleges for selection to the student council, a club, or a committee. It’s in your best interest to have some strategies to nail an interview in your back pocket. If you want to know how to nail an interview, you’ve come to the right place. Read on!
Do your research
Your interview starts before the meeting. Take some time to explore the organization, as familiarity with the company signals a keen interest in the position. Examine the company’s website as well as its social media accounts to have a better understanding of its culture. Look for recent awards, successes, initiatives, or current events that may be relevant to the position you’re applying for. Throughout the interview, look for opportunities to mention what you learnt from your study to demonstrate that you did your homework. Hiring managers are more likely to hire candidates familiar with the organization.
Study your resumé
During an interview, the hiring manager can refer to anything in your resumé. It’s critical to speak intelligently about your past jobs, the talents you used in them, and how they apply to the job you’re looking for. Before the interview, review your resumé and make sure you have an answer for everything written therein.
Study the job description
Study the job description before your interview to know what the firm is looking for in a candidate. Compile a list of specific talents and experience the organization seeks in a candidate, and match them up to your qualifications. You can better navigate the interview and offer specific instances that will accentuate those skills by examining the job description beforehand and connecting it with your experience.
Prepare an elevator pitch
If you prepare an elevator pitch, you will have a concise and persuasive answer to the query, “tell me about yourself”. Try coming up with a brief story about what inspired you to enter into this line of work or a time when you showcased interest in the field. Also, underline the abilities you possess that match the company’s requirements for a recruit. Make your pitch interesting and short.
Participate in mock interviews
No matter how confident you feel, it is good practice to participate in a few mock interviews to get comfortable in your answers. You may ask your friends, siblings, or parents to ask you questions to help you prepare better. Make sure to ask only those people who do not intimidate you. If there is no one you can ask for help, practice in front of the mirror. It will do wonders for your confidence!
Create a strong first impression
The importance of first impressions cannot be overstated. Make eye contact, smile confidently, and shake the interviewer’s hand firmly. Demonstrate a positive, energetic attitude. Find the dress code for the firm you’re interviewing with so you can match your style to theirs. It’s typically preferable to dress in business casual attire in these scenarios. A crisp white shirt and black or beige pants are considered the safest dress code for most interviews.
Project confident body language
During your interview, be aware of the body language you’re projecting. It will let the interviewer know whether you feel confident, nervous, or unsure. You must portray positive energy to ace an interview. As you speak, sit up straight or lean forward slightly. Always pay attention to whatever the interviewer says and look them in the eyes. Do not fidget with a pen or notepad that you may be carrying.
Be prepared with questions
At the end of the interview, the interviewer may ask you what questions you have. Make sure you have a couple of questions prepared, either about the job, career advancement, upcoming projects, or what makes the company unique. Ask questions to discover whether or not the company is a suitable fit for you. Asking the right questions creates a good impression on the interviewer, as they see you as someone who is willing to learn and keen to work.
It’s a good practice to send a piece of follow-up mail within 24 hours to your interviewer to express your gratitude for their time and consideration. Write down one or two topics that you and the hiring manager discussed during the interview and what makes you most enthusiastic to work there. Don’t overthink this! It might be a simple email, but the impact sets you apart from other candidates.
Interviewing well is not rocket science. Be confident, know how to present yourself, do your research ahead of time, and keep your ears and eyes open throughout the meeting. If you are looking for strategies to nail an interview, our counsellors will guide you in acing your next one. Get in touch with LaunchMyCareer today to understand how to nail an interview today.