For many, successful interviewing is an acquired skill, meaning the more you do, the better you become at it. If you are new to the job interview game, relax. Just follow these simple rules, and you’ll be on your way to a new job.
Being prepared means being ready for your interview. Do some research on the company interviewing you. Know something about the company, what it does, who its customers are, how many locations it has, etc. Know something about the industry, and give some thoughts as to why you want to work there and how the job position matches your skills.
Dress to Impress
Your interview attire should be conservative, simple, clean, and wrinkle-free. Shine your shoes. Eliminate flashy jewelry.
Make absolutely certain that you arrive on time. Even better, arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. This gives you a little breathing room, and time to relax and collect yourself.
Make eye contact
Greet everyone with a good firm handshake, a warm smile, and direct eye contact. Avoiding eye contact can make you appear unconfident or untrustworthy.
People naturally gravitate toward positive, enthusiastic people. Your interviewer will too.
Do not inflate, overstate, or fudge the truth either on your résumé or during the interview. Doing so it will not help. In fact, it will most likely ruin your chances for employment. Companies want good, honest people to fill a position. Lying on your résumé is not a good endorsement of your honesty.
Don’t chew gum, wear an Ipod, or take cell phone calls. Sit up and act interested. Answer questions directly and stay on point: don’t take the conversation off into unrelated or irrelevant areas.
Be a Team Player
Employers want positive people who can work with others and who can take direction. Few want an opinionated know-it-all who won’t listen. Provide some examples of how you have worked together with others in common tasks, in church, at sports, etc.
Be Your Own Best Advocate
You are there to sell yourself to the prospective employer. Don’t be afraid to speak up and list those things you want the interviewer to know about you. Be confident and point out your strengths as you see them without resorting to arrogance or egotism.
An interview is a two-way conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the job or the company. Again, show your interest in the job by asking questions. Don’t be passive; engage the interviewer.
Say Thank You
End your interview with another firm handshake, smile and say thank you. Ask when they will be making their decision and if you should follow-up. Later, send a note or e-mail thanking the interviewer and reaffirming your interest in the job.