Congratulations on landing that interview! When searching for a job in today's economy it's extremely important to fine tune your interviewing skills. First impressions are everything, and these days employers have their pick of the litter when it comes to employees. This means that even the most subtle interview faux pas can result in your losing the opportunity of a lifetime to the next qualified candidate.
Here are some tips and techniques to help you ace that interview:
Do your research!
Know as much as possible about the company, the position they are offering, and the people you will be interviewing with prior to the interview. Also, have a clear sense of how you would fit in and contribute to the growth and success of the company.
Maintain eye contact
You don't have to initiate a staring contest, but making eye contact shows sincerity and interest.
The company you are interviewing with may not enforce any type of office dress code, but it's advisable to wait until you actually land the job before sporting your cozy old jeans and tennis shoes to the office. Dress to impress on an interview! This means a full suit for both ladies and gentlemen, and nothing too flashy. Makeup and jewelry should be subtle and conservative, and a clean shave is always recommended for men.
Even if your last boss was a fear mongering tyrant with an ego the size of China, keep it to yourself. Avoid negativity at all costs.
Get there 15 minutes early.
Being early shows you are organized and punctual. It also eliminates any stress associated with rushing around and allows you time to relax and gain your composure before the interview process.
Pay attention to your body language.
Sit up straight, smile, and open and close the interview with a firm handshake. So much of communication is unspoken. You can exude confidence and competence without even saying a word. It's also wise to mirror the body language of your interviewer, as this serves to create a subconscious connection between the two of you.
Relate on a personal level with your interviewer.
Let your personality shine through. Make appropriate small talk and look for a common ground on which to connect with your interviewer. Just keep it light and don't overdo it. The goal here is to demonstrate your likability.
Turn your cell phone off.
Nothing can ruin a crucial moment like the sudden, unexpected ringing of a cell phone. Even the vibrations of a silenced cell phone can be a distraction. In this case, it's best to avoid any disturbances.
Don't chew gum or smoke before or during an interview.
Prepare some questions ahead of time to ask your interviewer.
You want to make sure the job is right for you. Also, asking questions demonstrates to an employer that you are astute and possess a keen interest in the company.
Focus on the areas of your work where you have made significant progress. Be very detailed in describing your accomplishments and how they would carry over into your next position. The goal is to provide proof to your accomplishments and your ability to execute job related tasks.
If you start to feel nervous or doubt yourself, remember that you were chosen specifically among many other candidates to interview for this position. If a potential employer wasn't impressed by your skills and accomplishments, he or she wouldn't have called you for an interview in the first place.
If you keep these techniques in mind you will be one step closer to landing the job of your dreams. Good luck!
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