For a lot of job seekers currently navigating through the job market, sending out resumes is the easy part. What really seems to get some job seekers nervous is the interview process. Communication, appearance, professionalism and confidence are all factors that are being tested by a company when they are interviewing a job seeker. To add to the mix, more and more businesses have started to use odd questioning techniques to really understand the person they are interviewing. Leaving a good impression on the interviewer is the number one goal, but how do you do that? An article recently released in the Guardian gave jobs seekers 13 tips to follow in order to nail the interview. Here’s a list of some of the tips Spark News found most helpful.
Tailor Your Resume/CV To The Position
Spark News has brought this up many times before in other posts, but it is because it is one of the most important and helpful tips job seekers can get. Though it is very time consuming, when you tailor your resume to the specific position, it is more likely that you will receive a call back or be contacted for that position rather than if you sent out the same resume for each job.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before you go to an interview, practice what you would actually say. Set up a mock interview with a family member or a close friend and prepare yourself for the kind of answers you would give in a real interview. It may feel odd, but if it does, how do you think you will feel in the actual interview? This also gives you a great chance to see how prepared and how versed in the company’s business you really are. If you can’t fully answer the question, “Why do you want to work for this company?” in a mock interview, then you have the chance to study up a bit more on what the company stands for and why you really do want to hold a position with them. That way, in the actual interview when the question is asked you will have a strong answer that just may impress the interviewer.
Consider Holes in Your Resume/CV
Take a strong look at your resume and notice any possible negative areas. It’s also a good idea to have someone else take a look at your resume and see if they notice any negative areas. If there are any existing negative areas on your resume, then it is sure to come up in your interview and if you know what they are then can be better prepared to answer any questions on them. For example, if you have a large time gap between past positions it’s likely that the interviewer will ask you why. Also, if you have many past positions that you held for short periods of time, it may look like to the interviewer that you cannot hold a solid position. On the other hand, if you are prepared to answer these questions, then you will be ahead of the game in the interview.
Dress Smart and Professional
I always say, it’s better to be too dressed up than too dressed down. The writers for the Guardian seem to feel the same way when they say, “the old saying “dress for success” is irritating but it’s true.” Even if the company is relaxed and boasts business casual that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up for the interview. Interviewers will remember you and will remember how you presented yourself, so make sure you are always presenting the best you.
Watch Your Body Language
During the interview you should avoid crossing your arms or legs. Make a good effort to sit up straight and lean towards the interviewer. This open and friendly body language will show that you are confident and interested in what the interviewer says. Which leads us into the next tip.
Maintain Eye Contact
You shouldn’t be afraid to make solid eye contact with the person interviewing you. It may seem a bit odd, but eye contact is very important and shows that you are fully engaged in the conversation. Like the Guardian points out “it demonstrates trust and confidence, something every employer will be looking for.”
Don’t Be Desperate
This is one of the Guardian’s tips that I especially like. Often times, job seekers forget that not getting the job is not the end of the world. If you place all of your hopes on this one position, chances are you will portray that to the interviewer and that will turn them off of you. The Guardian says “don’t worry about whether you’ll get the job or not because there will always be plenty more opportunities.” This is a true statement and believing it will take a bit of the edge off the pressure and stress the interview might be placing on you.
Ask The Right Questions
Spark News cannot stress this tip enough. The interview isn’t just a time for a company to ask you questions, it’s your time too. If you don’t ask questions, then you will probably walk away with a small understanding of what the company is really about and what they are really looking for. As the Guardian states, “this is a fantastic opportunity to find out exactly what the interviewer is looking for. Ask them what they see as the biggest challenge for the position and also what qualities they see as most important. You can then adapt your answers to meet their needs and become the ideal candidate.” On top of that, when you ask questions you seem more interested and intrigued by the position which leaves a good impression with the interviewer.