The whole process of getting a job can be long and tiring, sometimes I want to quit after looking at the application or my resume. This is normal though!
Sometimes, we are all lucky enough to get a job interview after submitting a completed application. The application or resume process is honestly much easier, however, the job interview is key. The interview is a way for your potential employer to get to know you more personally, and succeeding at the job interview can be confusing, difficult, and sometimes it can even be easy.
Here are some protocals for your job interview that will at least give you better odds that you will either get a second interview, or potentially the job.
- Dress Appropriately – A job interview is one time when you should truly be worried about whether you are dressed appropriately. You need to dress the part and present yourself exceptionally, so they can form an opinion of whether you are taking the job seriously. The way you dress should reflect the job position you are applying for, and you should present yourself accordingly. Regardless of the kind of job, you should always dress formally. Business casual is okay for more relaxed working environments. Formal is always key and owning a blazer or two would not be such a bad idea. Do not wear cleavage-bearing tops, form fitting items, sheer items, and maybe try a button-up and some loafers. Dressing nicely is also a form of respect, showing whether you truly value the job, so it could come off as a poor representation of your self. Plus, it is quite rude to be under-dressed. In addition to not being undressed, you do not want yourself wearing anything too extravagant. Keep it simple, and use mellow tones – this is not a fashion show. You need to come off as clean, dressing wildly has its’ places, but that is not at a job interview.
- ORAL HYGIENE – This one is self-explanatory. Since you will be formally meeting someone, it is important that you brush your teeth right before your interview. No, it does not mean that job interviews are the only time you should brush your teeth. But, you do not want to be radiating weird smells from the leftover tuna you ate right before the interview. As I said above, keep it clean, in every sense and form of the word. You do not want to give them any reasons not to want to talk to you. This one kind of goes on without saying that it’s important that you present yourself neatly. Just try to be hygienic…the last thing you need is the way your smelling to be distracting them from the real deal, YOU.
- Research, Research, Research – Even if this is your dream job and you may know everything about this company you have received a job interview opportunity with, it is very important to do some background research about the company. Also, looking at the company’s website gives you an idea about their brand, their purpose, and allows you to be educated about facts that you can resource during the interview. This may seem like over-the-top, but making sure you are at least aware of where you will be working and their brand is something that you should prioritize. Plus, interviewers generally love when you have gone out of your way to get to know more about the position – it shows dedication and self-motivation.
- Actually listen and be attentive during the interview – No, this is not the time to be spacey and dozing off. You need to be listening to what the interviewer is saying, as they can reference old questions, be expecting you to remember things, etc. It’s also simply rude not to listen and pay attention to the interviewer. So, give them your full and uninvited attention. A great communication skill I’ve learned to utilize during interviews is repeating what they said, so I can confirm whether I was actually listening to everything that they said. If you forgot, it is okay to ask. Just try to keep it to a minimum, but asking them to repeat a question is not a crime. Being attentive means that you are also acknowledging what they are saying without interrupting them, so nodding your head occasionally and using assuring words, such as “right,” “I see,” and “yes” are appropriate.
- Print Off A Resume – This is something that in the current day and age is not really essential, but it can show a form of professionalism. Remember, they are basing their decision off of your outward professionalism. It shows that you are prepared and are responsible, just in case they have lost your resume or have to pull it up. Just be prepared for everything.
- PRACTICE (EVEN IN THE MIRROR) – Practicing exceptional communication skills is vital. Practice speaking calmly, and softly to yourself in order to prepare yourself for the interview. I also recommend engaging in eye-contact throughout your interview, so practicing in the mirror is essentially like practicing in front of someone else. You do not realize how awkward you can get under pressured social situations, so it may alleviate some stress to practice things that you can say. Make an effort to practice your communication skills in mirror, so you can also observe yourself while you practice. Make sure you look as natural and calm as possible. Being fidgety, playing with your hands, and slouching over are things that you want to avoid, especially during the interview. If you observe yourself doing any of these things, try to make a point of it to practice.
- Google Potential Interview Questions & Have Answers Prepared – Always be prepared. These days you can Google just about anything and get a thorough answer to all your questions. Knowing what your interview could entail and what questions are potentially asked is a good way to avoid being caught off guard by challenging questions. There are many blogs that discuss potential questions for every field of work. This is truly helpful and helps me feel prepared and more aware about questions that they will be asking. Not all the questions will be asked that you researched, but you get a general idea.
- Figure Out What Your Biggest Weakness Is and Somehow Make It Positive – I find that disclosing your biggest weakness is the hardest. During an interview, it is your time to shine, so it just does not seem right to be talking about things that are degrading about yourself. Try your hardest to make this “negative” trait positive and try to come up with a creative answer. You are even welcome to Google answers that others have used. I do this and it truly helps. Also, most interviews always include this question, so this question is half the battle.
- Go Over Your Resume & Employment History – Employers always ask questions about your previous jobs. So, going over your resume the night before or prior to the interview will be helpful. They will often ask questions encompassing your job duties from your past jobs, and ask questions about how you can relate these duties into this job. You will not skip a beat if you do this! Employers always, always ask questions about your previous employment, so be sure to review.
- Show Up 10-15 Minutes Early To The Interview – Use these 10-15 minutes to not only appear responsible, timely, and dependent, but it also gives you time to review what you are going to say, calm down, or catch a breathe or some air after sweating. Whatever you have to do, even if it is brushing your teeth or changing into new shoes, showing up early allows you to truly calm down. I know I hate feeling rushed and I can never think straight if I am constantly thinking about how I am not early enough. Showing up at least 10 minutes early shows courtesy and shows that you respect the time of the interviewer. Beyond that, it shows that you are responsible, reliable, and have good time-management skills.
- Try To Be Composed and Natural – Try your hardest to remain calm, composed and natural during your interview. This is your time to show off and show them your personality. Try not to show your nervousness as much as possible, and try to treat it like a conversation with a stranger. The more interviews you go through, the more natural it will become…NOT! It is always scary for everyone, so try your hardest to leave your fears in the waiting room and conquer this interview. Toot your horn a bit, after all you’ve made it this far!xo,Aichan Tewahade