You’ve successfully turned in your resume and completed a job application. Finally, you get a call for the interview–congratulations!
However, if you don’t ace your interview, it’s unlikely you’ll get hired for the position. Below are 10 tips that will help you have a successful first ever job interview.
Tip 1: Research
You must do research on the company you’re interviewing with. That means investigating their official website, and taking stock of the “About Us” section of the site. Also, do a Google News search on the company, and read recent or of-note articles about their mission, their top brass, or any major developments with the trajectory of their business.
Also check out their social media profiles. And be sure you know the job ad — the skills needed, the requirements — inside out.
Tip 2: Practice
Before your interview, ask a friend to help you practice. Find sample interview questions so that you can role play. While your interviewer may ask you questions that you haven’t practiced answering, the chances are high that you will have practiced answering some of them.
Tip 3: Appropriate Dress
What you choose to wear to the interview can either impress or depress the interviewer. Choose your outfit based on how casual or dressy the workplace is. A casual work environment would mean that you could wear nice khakis and buttoned, collared shirt.
In general, guys should ditch the business suit unless the workplace calls for one. Women should stick to the same guidelines although instead of sticking to the buttoned shirt, they can opt for a business casual blouse and skirt, or slacks.
A pro tip: research the dress code for whatever industry you’re interviewing in. This should be easy to do with the help of the Internet.
Tip 4: Punctuality
Imagine the poor impression made when a job candidate arrives late to an interview. To avoid this disaster, make sure you know exactly where the interview will take place. Also, you should have a good understanding of where to park.
In general, show up about 15 minutes early for the interview. And if you can, do a practice run to the site of the interview, so you can get your timing down.
Tip 5: First Impression
A positive first impression is crucial in an interview. To make a good one, speak clearly and with confidence when you introduce yourself. Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly, and make eye contact. And check your posture! Any deviation from these guidelines will make less than a favorable first impression.
Tip 6: Presentation
Once you’ve made a good first impression, continue to present yourself well. You should come across as being well-mannered, informed, and confident. Above all, relax and be yourself; don’t present yourself as someone you aren’t.
Tip 7: Contacts
If you know someone who works at the company, don’t be afraid to speak up and let the interviewer know. Often, the interviewer will then question your contact about your work ethic, skills, and personality.
Tip 8: Body Language
Building a rapport with the interviewer will help him or her remember you. Overall, be friendly; it will even help you to feel more at ease.
Remember to smile and have a pleasant demeanor and body language. Your whole body should show that you’re relaxed and friendly.
Answer all interview questions in a confident, thoughtful tone. Also — be sure to have some questions for the interviewer. Theses questions will come in handy when the interview comes to a close, and you’re asked this (rather inevitable) question: “Do you have any questions for us?”
Tip 9: Your Exit
At the conclusion of the interview, smile, shake the interviewer’s hand, and thank him or her for their time. You want to end the interview as well as it began. Collect the interviewer’s business card, if possible — this will help you out with tip #10 below. Be sure to let the interviewer know that they can contact you should additional questions arise on their end.
Tip 10: Follow-Up
After the interview, immediately send the interviewer a thank you email. This will help the interviewer recall your name and face. It also makes a good impression by showing that you’re a courteous, thankful person.
Interviewing well is critical to getting a job. With the right preparation and practice, your first interview is sure to be a success. For more tips and advice on answering common (and more challenging) interview questions, check out LiveCareer’s Interview Tips and Advice, Interview Videos, and Interview Questions main page today.
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