Entering the job market can be very stressful. It involves marketing yourself and competing with many, sometimes hundreds, of other applicants for a chance to improve your life.
You might be hoping to get a high paying job in a major corporation. You might even be considering an application in the local police association or force. Irrespective of where you have your sights set, being aware of a few crucial pointers will help you have a successful interview.
Pointers to Help You Ace Your Next Job Interview
With so many people competing for every vacant position, it’s crucial for candidates to put their best foot forward. Whether you’ve been for interviews before, or you’re applying for your first job, we’ve got a few tips that will help you prepare for the process.
Research the Company
The first crucial tip is to research the company or organization you’re going to interview at. If you’re going to an interview with a “will see how it goes” approach, you won’t be successful. Knowing what the company produces, sells or provides will give you an insight into how the company is run and what they need in an employee.
Make a list of questions that you could ask in the interview. If possible, research the specifications around the position you’re applying for. That will make it easy to establish whether or not you’ll fit in with the company culture.
Practice With a Friend
If you’ve been to interviews before, you’ll have an idea of the types of questions asked. Alternatively, prepare yourself. Have a practice session with a friend or family member who works in a similar industry. Let them ask you questions and judge your answers.
Don’t sugarcoat the answers, but don’t sell yourself short either. Practice answering the questions in a professional and precise manner. If you’ve never been for an interview, ask a working friend to give you some pointers on the questions normally asked. Examples include:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why are you leaving your previous position?
- How do you handle conflict?
- What do you do when you don’t know the solution to a problem?
Dress the Part
No matter where your interview takes place, unless the interviewer specifies a dress code, always wear business attire. Just because you’re applying at a company that wears casual wear doesn’t mean you should wear it to the interview.
Wearing business attire shows you’re taking the interview, the job and yourself seriously. It also shows the interviewer that you’re capable of being professional if the situation calls for it. Always remember the expression, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Few factors irritate an interviewer quite as much as an applicant that doesn’t show up on time. While you might have the whole day to yourself, bear in mind that the person interviewing you probably has a full schedule for the entire day. It’s unprofessional to be late and implies that you won’t take the position seriously.
Since accidents do happen, if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, phone ahead and reschedule. Apologize for the delay and thank the interviewer for allowing a reschedule. In any other scenario, rather arrive at least 15 minutes early for the interview.
Practice your Body Language
Never underestimate the power of body language during an interview. Your body language says a lot about your confidence levels. Remember the following points:
- Always make eye contact.
- Maintain good posture – stand up straight and don’t slouch.
- If you’re sitting down, sit still. Nervous fidgeting will detract from your interview.
- Don’t cross your arms as this indicates you’re not approachable.
- No matter how nervous you are, stay confident and positive.
- Put your phone on silent and don’t use it or look at it during your interview.
- If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, always focus on the person talking to you.
Take a Copy of Your Resume
Since most applications are done online these days, it’s almost a guarantee that the interviewer will have a copy of your resume on hand. But just to be on the safe side, take a copy with. Instead of loose papers, put together a folder or file that looks neat and professional.
If the interviewer asks for a copy, it’ll be great that you have one. If it’s not asked for, you still look professional and you can keep it for your next interview. And be honest! The version you portray on paper should match what you say. Be honest.
For the most part, the interviewer will be interested to know why you’ve moved on from different positions. Ensure that your answers make sense and highlight your career path. Use this opportunity to market yourself and sell your ambition and personal skills.
Remember, the interviewer won’t get the full picture of who you truly are, even from a well-compiled resume. Nothing beats a clear, positive interaction.
No matter where your next job interview is going to be, use our simple tips to create the best impression. Take the time and effort to market yourself and portray your skills and always provide a reason why you’d be the best candidate. Good luck!