Does anyone really enjoy being interviewed? Usually, it’s not at the top of the list of favorite things to do. While it’s something that needs to be done if you’re interested in making a professional change, it can definitely be stressful. The best way to alleviate as much of the stress as possible is to reduce the factors that could go wrong. Following these simple tips will alleviate as much of that stress as possible before heading into the actual interview.
1. Prepare with knowledge. Take the time to research as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with and the interviewers. Knowing background information, how the company was formed, and market competitors is all fundamental knowledge that an interviewer would love for a candidate to already know versus spending time in the interview covering it. This also shows that you’re interested in the company and team and not just a new position.
2. Arrive early, not just on time. In addition to leaving yourself sufficient time in case you have mishaps on the way to the interview, drive the actual route at exactly the same time as you’ll be interviewing a few days before the interview. Check out the parking situation and the walk into the building. Being late is easily avoidable yet people often are as they didn’t consider the other aspects that could delay them.
3. Dress with the intention of showing effort. No, you don’t always need to wear a suit, but at least give the impression that you cared about your appearance for the interview.
4. Answer with examples. Open-ended questions are the perfect opportunity to draw parallels to your background and experience and the position. Instead of a yes or no response, explain (concisely!) how and when your experience ties into what the interviewer is asking.
5. Remember you’re in an interview, not a conversation with friends. No matter how casual the interviewer’s style is or how much rapport you’ve felt you’ve built, resist the urge to be anything other than professional. Being personable and connecting with the team is imperative, but don’t use slang or inappropriate humor- it’s still an interview.
6. Don’t interrupt. While this seems obvious, candidates get excited and want to make sure they’re relaying what they feel is important information. Take the time to listen, understand the question, and then answer.
7. Say thanks. Sending a quick email, no later than the evening of the interview, can be the determining factor between you and another candidate that didn’t take the time to send one. It shows appreciation, interest and effort in following up.
8. Don’t let off the interviewing pedal. Just because the face-to-face part of the interview is over, your behavior is still indicative of how you’ll perform as an employee. Once the actual interviews wrap-up, remain responsive and fill out any necessary paperwork as quickly as possible.
While interviewing isn’t something you want to do often, it’s almost guaranteed that with preparation, effort and a good impression, you’ll do a great job in your next one and increase your chances of landing that dream job.