While you’ve probably gone through your first interview way, way back, there will come a time wherein you’ll find yourself exploring the job market again. Here’s what you should keep in mind to ace your next interview.
Before the interview:
Do your homework.
A few days before your scheduled interview, make sure you’ve read or, at least, researched the company. The worst thing that can happen is for you to look lost and confused when the hiring manager asks you what you think of their company.
Review your qualifications.
Assess your resume and make sure that you closely possess the qualities they are looking for in a potential employee, and don't hesitate to cite instances in your previous jobs when these qualities shone through. It’s also important to review your job description, so you’ll be prepared to answer questions regarding your possible role in the company.
Wear appropriate clothes.
It’s important to choose the right attire to wear for a job interview. According to Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert and author of the book, Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, "On a job interview, your attire makes a statement about yourself before you even open your mouth." Even the tiniest details can speak volumes like a low cut shirt or a messy bag, "It’s okay to show off your personality through your clothes, as long as you aren’t wearing a lime green mini skirt. Stick to business-professional looks," she says.
Be ready for the questions to be asked.
Simple questions such as "Why do you want to work for us?" and "Why did you leave your last company?" are actually pretty loaded. Be prepared to answer these questions without making yourself sound too rehearsed. Our tip: Try not to bring up negative experiences with your boss (unless it involves very extenuating circumstances), as it might raise questions and cast a bit of doubt on your application.
Tap into your network of contacts.
If you know anyone who is working for the same company you’re eyeing, try arranging a meet-up with them for an informal session. Ask them for vital information that could be beneficial for you during your interview–you may even be able to gather essential info you won’t find online.
During the interview:
Use a firm handshake.
University of Iowa's Professor Greg Stewart says that first impressions begin with a handshake, and that it sets the tone for the rest of the interview. "We don't consciously remember a person's handshake but it is one of the first non-verbal clues we get about the person's overall personality, and that impression is what we remember."
Always maintain proper eye contact.
Engaging in eye contact conveys confidence and exhibits honesty. According to body language expert, trainer, and consultant Susan Constantine, eye contact shows good manners and makes candidates appear likable and appealing. "Good eye contact in an interview means you are interested and appreciative of the employer's time," says Constantine. While poor eye contact can be considered disrespectful and implies that the candidate is not interested in the job.
Prepare questions for the hiring manager.
After the interview, the interviewer would most likely ask you if you have any questions for them. This is the perfect opportunity to ask more about your potential role in the company and the interviewer’s experience at the organization, and makes it more like a conversation rather than a one-sided interrogation.