By Pat McNamara
One of the most common concerns job seekers have is how they can ace their interviews. Interviewing is an intimidating process – much like going on a blind date, but with your future career at stake. Just like on a first date, at your interview it is crucial to be on your best behavior, providing a good impression of what you have to offer, while also making sure that the person – or in this case, job – on the other side of the table is the right fit for you.
Being nervous about interviews is normal and expected, but preparing for your interview and following these tips can help relieve those nerves and make you feel confident enough to wow any potential employer!
Give a good impression before you walk in the door. Make sure your resume is professional and clean. Be sure to check for typos and errors, and be prepared to talk about anything you have mentioned in your resume or cover letter. The average recruiter only spends 5 to 7 seconds looking at a resume before the interview – don’t expect them to have it memorized! They will want you to elaborate on your professional experiences in your own words.
Body language counts! How you look at an interview goes beyond what you wear and how you style your hair (be sure to be professional and fit in with the culture of the company!). The right body language is also essential for making a good impression. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that tells employers a lot about you. A firm, but non-aggressive handshake and good eye contact show confidence. Keeping your body open with feet planted on the floor and arms uncrossed makes you seem more inviting and self-assured. Avoid fidgeting and try to stay calm! It’s ok to stop and take a breath, or ask for a moment to think about the question they have asked before you answer.
Do your research. Interviewers often ask what you know about the company or why you want to work there. Make sure you have a strong, original answer. Research the company online, or ask a current employee if you have access to a contact there. Showing you took the initiative to get to know the company shows drive, and having a personalized and unique answer about why you want to work for the company or in that position will make you stand out from other interviewees.
Always prepare questions. At the end of an interview you will often be asked if you have any questions. You should always be prepared with one or two questions that do not relate to pay or benefits. Writing your questions down and bringing them with you is a great way to prepare and make sure you don’t get nervous or forget. Try not to ask questions you could have found the answers to on the online – you want to make sure you appear to have done your research after all! Good questions to ask should make you seem enthusiastic about the job or company, as well as ambitious and determined. Try asking about what goals they expect the person who is hired to achieve in the first few months, or what the interviewers favorite thing about working for that company is.
Atlantic Associates, Inc. is here to help! Not only can AAI help you find the best jobs to fit your skill set, we can also help you to prepare for meeting potential employers and ace your interviews! Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services and how we can help make you an expert interviewer!