Since last week I shared some job search tips, I thought I’d stay along with the theme and share some job interview tips. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but you can conquer them!
Here are my 10 tips for interviewing for a job.
- During the interview, I make sure the person interviewing me puts me at ease. All of my job interviews have been conducted by my actual supervisors for the position. I have not had to endure a job interview specifically conducted by an HR recruiter, although lots of businesses do that, too. If your interview is conducted by a manager, you will want to try to get a feel for their personality. Are they friendly right off the bat? Or do they remain staunch? If you have an interview with a recruiter, they won’t be one of the people you will be working with each day, but you can at least get a feel for whether they feel passionately about the company from their tone or how they describe the work environment and the people there.
- Although you should have answers to every interview question, because I am a naturally shy person, I also focus on talking points that make me a more relatable candidate. You’ll most likely have to endure some form of small talk during your interview. Remain positive and be friendly. Practice small talk with a friend so you’ll feel more comfortable.
- Remember to make eye contact every so often with the person interviewing you. It lets them know you are engaged and listening to what they are saying. If you are looking around or avoiding meeting their eyes, it can give the wrong impression or make it seem like you are too nervous. You may be nervous but you don’t want to show it.
- If you get stumped on a question and don’t have an immediate response, talk through it. Don’t just say “I don’t know.” Sometimes you have to fake it til you make it. Let’s say the question is, “Describe a situation where you had to think quickly on your feet to come up with a solution to a problem in the workplace.” Maybe the “quickly on your feet” part is throwing you off. Just describe a situation where you came up with a solution to a problem.
- Don’t ramble and go on and on with an answer. You don’t want to take up too much of the interviewer’s time, unless they continue the conversation. They may have to conduct several interviews in the same day.
- Dress as professionally as possible for any interview. What you wear gives a sense of how much you care (or don’t care) about making a good impression. If you have tattoos or piercings, take them out or try to cover them up. You don’t know the policy yet on appearance, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Refrain from asking anything have to do with benefits, pay, or PTO. The manager probably won’t even have answers to those questions. Save those for when you are offered the position.
- Just be yourself! I think this is the most important tip. I think most people can tell when people are super fake or too much of a kiss up. Try to remain calm and instead of thinking of it as an interview, think of it as a conversation and a chance to get to know your (possible) new supervisor.
- After an interview, follow up with a thank you card or email. If emailing, don’t send it the same day, but the following day might be better. You don’t want to appear overeager. Thank you cards are great for sealing the deal, but be sure to send your card within the week of the interview.
- Lastly, always follow up. Don’t wait for them to contact you. Send a follow up email about a week afterwards. That way, if you were not chosen for the position, you’ll at least know for sure and won’t feel like you were left hanging.
That’s it, my friends! I hope these have been helpful tips for you. Of course, no two job interviews are exactly the same. I’ve had to endure interviews where I had to take a test, group interviews, and traditional one-on-one interviews. Sometimes, there are multiple interviews you will have to undergo. At one of my previous jobs, I interviewed first with my supervisor and then came in a few days later to interview with his boss. But the more interviews you do, the easier it gets. At the end of the day, your resume should intrigue them, but the interview is where you have to sell them. The worst thing you can do is be overly confident and think your skills alone will get you a job.
As always, stay encouraged! And good luck in your job search!