By its very nature, a job interview can be stressful since so much is riding on this single opportunity. There are countless decisions an interviewee has to make, and who doesn’t want to make a good first impression? What should you wear? Who should speak first? When and where should you sit? Should you mention your last supervisor was psychotic?
It’s impossible to anticipate everything that might cast you in a less-than-favorable light during an interview. The following are tips that will help you put your best foot forward.
- Dress accordingly and be well groomed. Think of your visual appearance as your first impression. Tight or baggy clothing, jeans, or inappropriate attire such as t-shirts with slogans send the wrong message.
- Arrive 15 minutes early. Arriving too early for an interview can look just as bad as showing up late. Fifteen minutes shows you are eager but not desperate.
- Give the interviewer your personal business card. Your resume is on file in a database along with many others. The card, however, makes it easy for the interviewer to find your contact information and even easier to remember your name.
- Look people in the eye. Eye contact is very important during an interview because it shows you are listening. Your body language is just as important as your employment history.
- Take a few notes. By having a binder or notepad with you and taking notes, you not only look eager, you look professional.
- Do not lie about anything! How embarrassed would you be if you were denied jobs because of a little white lie on your resume or during the interview process?
- Apply your professionalism and your ability to communicate by avoiding “uhs”, “you knows”, and slang.
- Thank the interviewer twice: once for the opportunity at the beginning of the interview, and once for his or her time when the interview is over.
- Close your interview by making a lasting impression. Keep eye contact, provide the interviewer with a firm handshake, and express your thanks for this opportunity.
- Send a thank-you note as soon as possible. This is a very gracious gesture that will keep your name in the interviewer’s mind.
- Follow up. Call within seven calendar days of sending your thank-you note. If there is no answer, call again 48 hours later.
- Recognize that sometimes you can interview well and still not get a position.
Author: Krystle Burns (Intern)