Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, which is why it’s important to be as well-prepared as possible when you’re going into your next one. With these tips, you’ll be able to walk into your next job interview feeling more prepared to answer and ask any questions from the interviewers.
Do Your Research
If you’ve already gotten a job interview, you should have a bit of information about what company you’re going to be interviewing at and possibly who is going to be interviewing you as well. Doing some preliminary research can help you be better prepared for the interview and for any job-specific questions you may be asked. For example, if you’re going for an interview in a sales position at a plumbing parts company, you may want to find out some basic information about heaters, such as the fact that conventional heaters last around 11 years and tankless units may last around 20 years. Being able to work your knowledge into the interview will show that you’ve done your homework and that you care about the position you’re applying for.
If you know who will be interviewing you, it can also be a good idea to look them up on LinkedIn or the company website to see if you have anything in common with their career. For example, if you look them up and realize that you went to the same college, you’ll immediately have a connection. In addition, you can see how long they’ve been with the company and be able to ask them questions about their personal career trajectory.
Prepare Good Questions
Once you’ve done your research, you can prepare a list of five to 10 questions. You don’t actually have to ask all of them during the interview, but having them handy shows that you took time to prepare for the interview and that you are thinking through how you will be able to fit at the company. If the questions come up naturally during the interview, you may be able to ask them before you’re formally asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions. Having a natural rapport with your interviewer can go a long way in making you seem like the right candidate to fit in at their company.
Rest Up Before the Interview
The night before the interview, make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you’re nervous it’s important to be well-rested going into your interview. Not only will looking tired leave a possibly bad impression on your interviewers, but it also may mean that you are unable to be as mentally sharp as you otherwise could be. If you let your nerves get the better of you before you even go into your interview, it’s going to be hard to regain your composure once you’re sitting with your interviewers.
Turn Off Your Phone
This is a very important thing to keep in mind. Make sure that before you go into your interview you put your phone on “do not disturb” mode or even completely off. If your phone goes off, it will not only distract you and your interview, but it comes across as careless and unprofessional. If you aren’t sure you’ll remember, set an alert on your phone to remind you about half an hour before the interview so you won’t forget.
Consider Your Body Language
Even if you’re nervous during your interview, you should try to relax your body language. If you’re clenching your hands in your lap, for example, you may come across as being closed off. Try to keep your arms and legs uncrossed — this is a show of your physical openness that connects to your mental openness and ability to actively listen. Make sure to show physical signs that you’re following what the interviewer is saying, such as nodding along and maintaining eye contact. When you’re speaking, gesturing with your hands can be a good way to show that you’re passionate or interested in whatever you’re talking about. If these small details are too much to try to think about, just focus on being actively engaged in the conversation and not physically withdrawing.
Be Ready For the Theoretical
A common interview tactic is to give you a theoretical circumstance for you to respond to. Something like “what would you do if a team member was not contributing as much as expected” is an open-ended question that many interviewers will bring up. With a question like this, they’re testing your problem-solving skills as well as your communication. Respond honestly and bring up any past experience you may have with similar situations. Even if you mishandled a situation, bringing up what you would do differently now can be a great way to answer the question and show how you have grown since that time.
Follow Up After the Interview
After your interview, it’s important to follow up and thank your interviewer for the time they spent interviewing you. This shows that you’re considerate and that you know the etiquette rules for interviews, which not all people are aware of. Depending on the contact information that you have for your interviewer, you can send them an email, a handwritten note, or leave them a message in any other form you have access to. Whether that means leaving a voicemail on their VoIP line, which 41.6 million companies use for their business phones, or messaging them on LinkedIn, you should make sure that you reach out in some form.
Be Gracious About Rejection
Rejection is a normal part of the job search process. As nice as it would be to immediately get any job that you apply for, it’s not very realistic. When you receive rejections, respond in a cordial and open way that shows that you are understanding of the situation. Considering the fact that 60% of jobs are found through networking, a good response to rejection may end up leading to a different job down the road. It’s important not to burn any bridges during the job searching process.
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with proper preparation, you’ll be on your way to getting your dream job because of your wonderful interview.
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