Your great looking resume landed you a job interview. Congrats! Here’s some tips to help you put your best foot forward and get you one step closer to being hired.
Dress to impress.
Being professionally dressed is the first thing employers notice. In general, men should wear a long sleeve white shirt coordinated with a suit. Also, men should wear a belt, tie and dark shoes. Women can’t go wrong with a navy, black or dark grey suit coordinated with a blouse and conservative shoes. Women should go easy on the perfume and wear light makeup. Both men and women should have neatly trimmed nails and a professional hairstyle. It’s always a good idea to carry a portfolio or briefcase with extra copies of your resume and any relevant information for the job you are interviewing for.
Look the employer in the eye, smile and offer a firm handshake.
This shows that you are confident and serious about the job you are applying for. Sit up in your chair with your shoulders back and your feet firmly on the floor. Be the best version of you.
Listen, listen and listen some more.
Being a good listener shows you are respectful and serious about the job. Always make eye contact and ask for clarification if you don’t fully understand a question.
Do your homework.
Make sure you research the company before the interview. Employers want to know that you’ve taken the time to learn something about their company and they want to know how your experience and knowledge will benefit them.
Ask the right questions.
Interviewing is a two-way street. You have to be right for the company, but the company has to be right for you, too. What will your responsibilities be? Who will you work with? Are there advancement opportunities? The employer will notice your enthusiasm and that will go a long way in landing your ideal job.
Is there something special about you that you can share that the employer will remember? Set yourself apart from the competition by highlighting a skill, talent or accomplishment that is unique and impressive. You want to be remembered, not forgotten.
Know what you’ve got to offer.
Why should an employer hire you? What skills can you bring to the company? Don’t be scared to let the employer know, for example, that you want to help with their new marketing campaign because you have experience and knowledge in that field. Don’t say that you want to take over the campaign, but mention that you would like to work in that department and contribute to the success of the campaign. Show you’re a team player and work well with others.
Watch your language.
Avoid negative phrases. Don’t say, “I’ve never been in charge of training.” Say, “Although I wasn’t in charge of training, I interviewed candidates and made presentations on the history of the organization to new employees.” Words such as “I don’t,” “I can’t”, and “I haven’t,” should be avoided. Turn negatives into positives.
If you want the job, ask for it.
At the end of the interview, you should have a pretty good idea if you think the job is right for you. You can ask for the job by re-stating how your skills will contribute to the organization and why you believe you will be an asset to the company. Employers like when you ask for the job even if they don’t give you an answer right away.
Don’t forget to follow-up.
A thank-you note is a nice gesture and it gives you a chance to mention why you believe you are a good fit. Emails are fine, but a handwritten note is better. Don’t forget to mention something you’ve learned about the company. Never underestimate the power of being a good listener.
With these tips in mind, you can be confident that you made a lasting impression with the employer and gained confidence in your presentation skills.