A job interview can be one the most nerve-wracking phases of the job hunt, second only to waiting for a callback. This short conversation with the recruiter determines the future of your job search. A good impression can land you a job; a bad one can leave you looking.
A job interview is far from a simple question-and-answer session. It’s a short presentation of yourself as a viable — if not the most qualified — candidate for the job. The shortness and unpredictability of an interview can present a challenge. To succeed in this challenge, you need to be able to come up with the right answers in a high-pressure situation.
The stakes are high. You have to put their best foot forward or risk losing an opportunity. Federal Resume Writer has gathered the following tips from experts to help you ace the interview and increase your chances of getting hired.
1. Avoid Bad Manners
Nothing irritates a potential employer more than an interviewee that conducts himself/herself in an unprofessional way. Body language speaks louder than words. Avoid the following:
- Chewing gum
- The Wrong Attire (Too Casual or Inappropriate)
- Interrupting the interviewer
- Cell phone or gadget use
- Looking tired or disinterested during the interview
2. Study the Company and the Position
Knowing what you’re getting into is always a positive thing. In job interviews, prior knowledge about the company and the position for which you are applying gives recruiters the impression that you’re ready for the job.
Before your interview, Google your potential employer. Pour over their LinkedIn profile. Look them up on business sites and in magazines. Study both the company and the position you want to fill. Recruiters are certain to ask you about the job; with a little research you can give straightforward answers rather than incoherent guesses.
3. Bring a Cheat Sheet
Recruiters are going to study your resume before they interview you. Anything you’ve written down on your resume can come up during the interview. If you have problems remembering details, you may need to bring cheat sheets.
Cheat sheets are not prohibited during interviews, with a word of caution: Instead of bringing your 5-page-long resume and flipping through it whenever the interviewer asks a question, bring small cards that list the highlights of your career. Write down, at least, one important achievement, and two remarkable instances where you demonstrated leadership and outstanding skills in a job.
4. Ask the RIGHT Questions
The interview is your best chance of knowing the specific requirements of the position you applied for. Use the interview to show recruiters your deep interest in the job. Ask about challenges and opportunities that the position may have and start a conversation on how you best fit the mold.
Be wary though of asking too many questions, as the wrong questions may give recruiters the impression you lack of knowledge about the job.
5. Follow up
As a closing note to the interview, offer the recruiter additional references or information about you that were not written on your resume or discussed during the process. Politely inquire about the next steps in the hiring process, and ask how you will know the results of the interview. Don’t forget to thank your interviewer, and leave the office with a smile.
Interviews may be hard, but they are not impossible. Carry yourself with confidence and prepare beforehand to impress your recruiter. You can also consult with career coaches to get more nuanced tips on acing job interviews.