Although interviews can be terrifying at first, all you can do is prepare yourself as much as possible. So, grab a pen and some paper and take notes because after reading this you will know how to nail your next interview.
Research, research, and do some more research:
The only way to figure out if you even want the job in the first place is to do your research. Research who the company is, what they do and how they do it. Learn about their history and what their main mission is. After learning all of this, decide how and why you would fit into what they are doing. Can you see yourself agreeing with what they are doing? Can you see yourself actually doing what they are doing? Understanding all of these different aspects is vital for you to not only know if you sincerely want the job or not, but it is also vital to show your interviewer that you know your stuff. Be sure to write down important notes from your research so you can bring them up during your interview.
Be ready to answer the following questions about yourself: Who are you? What do you do? What do you want to do? Why do you want to do that? How are you going to do that?
Then be ready to answer the following questions about the company: Who is the company? What do they do? Why do they do it? How do they do it?
Then, compare all of the answers to each other and determine if and how you fit in with the company.
Wear the perfect outfit:
Wearing the perfect outfit is essential to a successful interview. Your outfit and the way you present yourself is the very first thing that your employer will see before you even open your mouth. That being said, what you wear will (hopefully) not be the determining factor in your proceeding forward, but it will be an important factor. Your face and hair should be neatly groomed and your clothes should be clean and wrinkle-free.
Most people advise not wearing bright colors to an interview, but I suggest adding a pop of color because it will make you stand out amongst other candidates. Nothing too intense just a nice colored shirt or accessory. You can also try to incorporate the company’s colors in a subtle way, again only like a pop of color or an accessory. Be sure to wear comfortable and professional shoes. Don’t wait until the morning of your interview to break in those new heels. You want to look good and confident so be sure to try on your outfit a few days before your interview.
Bring a printed copy of your resume:
Even if your interviewer already has a printed version of your resume or you have applied online, still bring at least one printed version of your updated resume to the interview. I cannot tell you how many interviews I have been on where my interviewer has asked for another copy of my resume. Having a copy of your resume is also useful for anyone who gets nervous or tends to blank. You will have your information right in front of you to serve as a reminder of topics you want to discuss or to aid you in answering questions such as: “describe what you’ve done over the past year” or “tell us about ___.”
Bring a business pad or portfolio:
Having something to take notes on during an interview is extremely important because you can write down information beforehand, during, and after the interview. You should go to the interview with a list of questions you want to ask about the job and/or about the interviewer. They will almost always ask “Do you have any questions for me?” and having a few questions already prepared seems much more professional than saying “Nope! I think you’ve covered everything.” You should also take notes on important dates, times, and roles, pertaining to the job so that you can remember them after the interview. Jotting down important notes will not only help you retain the information better, but it will also remind you of key points to include in a thank you letter or email.
Maintain natural eye contact:
I know how awkward it can feel during interviews. You either feel pressured to stare at your interviewer, too scared to even breathe or you want to look at the floor because you are so nervous. The best thing you can do is try to maintain natural eye contact. Remember to breathe and blink regularly.
Ask for a glass of water:
During an in-person interview, your interviewer will usually ask if you would like anything to drink before getting started. I highly recommend taking them up on a glass of water. It may sound silly but having a glass of water will help you feel a little more comfortable and settled during the interview by having something that’s yours. Also, since you will be doing a lot of talking during the interview, your mouth may start to feel dry. Thus, having that glass of water there will allow you to take a quick sip and then get back to your awesome answer.
Write a thank you letter or email:
Obviously, anything hand-written shows more time and effort than something digitally written, but as long as you express appreciation to your interviewer you are taking that extra step. Be sure to address them by their name, reintroduce yourself, mention the time and date of your interview, and thank them for your time by including specific topic points that will jog their memory of you so they will think “Oh yeah, I remember this person!” End the thank you, by sincerely thanking them for their time and with a call to action such as “I look forward to hearing from you” or anything along those lines.
So, there you have it, folks! The keys to nailing your next interview. Don’t let the fear of interviews deter your confidence. Just prepare as best you can and be yourself! Do you have any other interview tips? Let us know in the comments below!