Strong interviewing skills are invaluable, especially since the start of the pandemic. In order to thrive in this highly competitive job market, you need to know these important interviewing skills that are sure to set you apart from the competition. So, whether you’re a beginner who gets tongue-tied easily, or a fluid speaker looking to sharpen your skills, these interviewing tips are perfect for you!
1. Don’t Be Late!
There’s nothing like a first impression, and planning accordingly is one of the easiest ways to start off on the right foot! If you have a planner, write down your interview time and color code it. If planners aren’t for you, set a reminder on your phone for an hour before.
It’s also good to think about the location of the interview. If it’s through Zoom, make sure you have all of the passcodes beforehand so you’re not scrambling for them last minute. If the interview is at a specific location, research how long it will take you to drive/get there and find out if you need to pay for parking.
2. Research The Company You Are Applying For
This might seem like a no-brainer, but oftentimes applicants can’t answer basic questions about the company they’re applying for! This is as simple as typing up the company name in Google and consolidating a list of key points regarding the company. Have these facts handy, and employers will be impressed that you did your homework!
3. Perfect Your Resume
A common mistake applicants make is sending out the same resume to every position they apply for. Instead, try tailoring your resume to highlight the most relevant skills you have for the job you are applying for. Yes, this will include a little more work, but hey, it’ll be worth it when the calls start rolling in! Also, make sure to bring a physical copy of your resume into the interview. This will show employers you are thinking ahead and well prepared!
4. Research The Person Interviewing You
Out of all the interviewing skills, this one is the most underrated. If you know who is interviewing you (maybe they sent you an email with their signature on it) research who they are either through their company profile or on a career database such as Indeed or LinkedIn. This way, it will be easier to make a connection with them during the interview.
For example, maybe you find out the employer has the same alma mater as you, or they played the same sport as you in high school. Use this common ground to build a connection and make a personable impression!
5. Dress To Impress
An oldie but goodie, this interview skill is extremely important. When you walk into the room, you want your employer to take you seriously, and treat you with respect. Before you even speak or shake hands (even though you probably won’t shake hands because of COVID-19), your appearance will be the first impression of you that they will have.
So run a comb through your hair, touch up your makeup, and wear that wired bra you hate so much. Even if you have a Zoom interview, still make sure you are wearing an appropriate top, meaning no spaghetti-straps or sports bras!
6. Make A Personal Connection
This tip is guaranteed to help you stand out from the crowd. After you have submitted your Indeed or Linkedin application, try reaching out to the company you applied for and introduce yourself! This can be done through a friendly email or even a phone call.
By making a personal connection before your interview, you become memorable. So when you walk into that interview room, the employer already has a sense of who you are!
7. Have Your “Selling Points” Down
As Michael Scott from The Office once said, “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” During your interview, don’t be a Micahel Scott!
Prepare for your “selling points” beforehand, meaning know what strengths you want to say about yourself. Think deeper than just the cliche “I’m a hard worker.” Employers want to hear about your skills. Maybe you’re a math whizz, or you know Excel like the back of your hand. What do you have to offer that others don’t?
8. Don’t Just Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk
Sure you might be able to say all of the right things, and on paper, you look fantastic! But how do you come across to your employer? Are you stand-offish and quiet? Do you cut them off midsentence?
During your interview, make sure you show your employer how well you can work with others. Bring an energy into the room that’s contagious! And if outgoing isn’t your style, then be kind and polite. Remember manners, like “please,” and “thank you,” can go a long way!
9. Ask Your Own Questions
Just because you are being interviewed, doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions! Remember, this is as much of an interview for you as it is for them. Don’t be afraid to ask about pay, your potential work schedule, and the general work environment of the company. Find out exactly what tasks you will be completing and what’s expected of you. This will show your employer that you are actively thinking about this position.
10. Prepare For Common Questions
Come on, you already know them, so why not just prepare for them ahead of time? The most common interview questions employers ask are: What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Are you good at multi-tasking? Why do you want to work here? What are your long-term goals?
Although these are just the basics, make sure you also prepare for the content questions they might ask. For example, if you are applying to a law firm, familiarize yourself with general legal jargon, such as discovery and pleadings. Or if you are applying to a biotech internship, refresh your memory with your college notes from Bio 101. It never hurts to be extra prepared!
Ultimately, don’t be afraid of rejection. At the end of the day, all you can do is try your best. So if even after all these steps you don’t get a callback, pick yourself up, and try again! There is someone out there who will recognize your hard work and want to hire you.
Did any of these interviewing skills help you land a job? Tell us your story in the comments below!
Feature Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-pink-cardigan-and-white-shirt-leaning-on-the-wall-975657/
Author | Poli Sci & English Major | Chihuahua Fanatic | Avid Soccer Player | #QueenToStephenKing | “Be brave, Bright. Do your best.” | https://reinhartamber97.journoportfolio.com/