Whether you have had it yet or not, most of us will have a job interview sooner or later. The first one can be especially nerve-wracking, but there are a few important tips that can really make a difference in both how you do and how prepared you feel during the interview.
One useful suggestion is to conduct research on the employer and the job for which you are applying. The more background knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to answer questions and appear prepared, knowledgeable, and interested to whomever is interviewing you. Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. says to “Scour the organization’s website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and ask questions about the company in your network of contacts.” The good thing about this suggestion is that it is relatively easy to implement. All you have to do is study in advance, just as you would do for a test.
Another important point to remember is the outfit. It is important to choose an outfit that is appropriate for the organization, and you want to come off as professional as possible. Accessories and jewelry are less important than wearing clean, pressed clothing that fits well and appears professional.
One of the most important guidelines is punctuality. Arriving on time to the interview is good, but arriving early is even better. You will experience less anxiety and stress about the interview if you get there with time to spare, and you will likely do better if you have a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself beforehand versus running into the building and going straight into the interview. Preparing everything you need the night before can also help to ensure that there are no last-minute disasters and that everything runs smoothly.
Finally, it is imperative to ask your interviewer questions. Steve Fogarty asserts that “The questions you ask indicate your interest in the company or job.” The importance of engaging with your interviewer cannot be exaggerated. You will come across as a much better candidate if you are able to ask insightful questions that reflect both your knowledge of the position and organization along with your interest in the job and being part of the community. The employer wants to hire someone who will make the organization more successful, but also someone who will be passionate about the work that he or she will do at the organization, which is why asking questions is so important.
In the end, there is no strategy for landing a job with every single interview, but there are tips you can follow that will definitely increase your success rate in interviews and also your own confidence. Be prepared, be professional, and be inquisitive!