Are you looking for a job in this tough economic time? Have you applied at any companies lately? If so, you may be getting a call for an interview any day. If this happens, you need to know how to be successful in the interview from the start.
Knowing that you have applied to a company, and realizing that you may be getting a call for an interview, you initially need to get all of your references and letters of recommendation. Think of about three to six co-workers or former bosses that you believe will say good things about you, or that will say what your strengths are.
Once you receive the references and letters of recommendation, you then need to practice. “Practice what?” you may ask. Well, practice for your interview. Practicing for your interview leads to major improvements. Practice with your friend or family member and record the session. Doing this helps you look back at how well you did, and what areas you need to improve on.
While you are practicing your interview, you also need to make a list. List your skills, values, and interests. Also note what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you will benefit the company. Doing this not only will help you have answers for the interview, but it will also remind you of areas you may need to work on, and areas where you need to continue to succeed.
In an interview, first impressions are extremely important. It shows the interviewer and the company how serious you are in wanting this job. For starters, be clean and neat. Planning ahead of time as to what you are going to wear is key. Doing this puts less stress on you as time comes for the interview. It also insures that you don’t need to look last minute for an outfit, and so you know that what you will be wearing is appropriate for the interview. Avoid wearing excessive amounts of jewelry, perfume, or any other time of clothing or accessory that may be distracting to the interviewer.
Once you know what company you are going to be interviewing at, it is crucial to know exactly where it is, and how long it will take you to get there. One of the most important aspects of preparing for an interview is to just be on time. It may seem like a little detail, but it leaves a big impression on your interviewer and the company – either positive or negative. On time doesn’t mean showing up right when the interview starts. Be there about ten to fifteen minutes early. Getting there early lets you go over questions and answers again in your head, helps you make sure that you have everything you may need, and also lets the company know that this interview is important to you.
After getting to the company on time, remember to stay calm. This may be an obvious reminder, but it is something that is very important. Staying calm means that you are more under control of your responses, and that you will have a more natural communication with your interviewer.
Once you greet the interviewer, offer a firm handshake as you listen to his or her name and title. Make sure that you make eye contact and maintain it throughout the interview. Be friendly, but also professional – don’t make the mistake of being too casual! Saying that, make sure you are also not chewing gum. This may seem like an odd rule, but it does make an impact on the interviewer’s view of you. Also, make sure you are not fidgeting, or using language that would not be appropriate in a work environment.
As the interviewer begins asking you questions, make sure that you not only answer all of the questions to the best of your ability, but to also be completely honest in every answer. Along with answering honestly, you also need to be answering clearly. Answer the questions they ask, make sure you answer it complete, and with enough information that will answer the questions adequately. While you answer the questions, continue to stay calm while being courteous, polite, and knowledgeable about the company, and what you have to offer.
Once the interview concludes, remember to thank the interviewer for his or her time spent with you. Remind him or her that you are very interested in the position, and ask when the decision date is. It is also a very good idea to send a thank you letter expressing your thanks for the interview, and remind them once more how interested you are in the job.
We may be in a tough economic time, but there is a job waiting for you right around the corner. Once the time comes for an interview, will you be ready? I know that if you have read what I told you, and you take it to heart, success is in your future.