Let’s get real for a second here. A lot of people are going to be looking for jobs once this situation is over. That means a lot of people are going to be going to job interviews. I’ve done quite a few interviews in my time and I’d like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at them. Here are a few tips that I think can help you land the job.
Dress up for the Interview
Acing a job interview starts long before you actually walk into the interview. How you dress is very important. One time, I went in for a job interview for an IT job and afterward (after I got the job) my boss told me that he was very impressed because most people just showed up in jeans a hoodie but I made an effort and put on a blazer and everything. So, even if you’re interviewing for a job that won’t require you to dress up every day, at least put some effort into your appearance.
Bring a Copy of your Resume
Make sure you bring a copy of your cover letter and resume to the interview with you. I have never actually needed it but it looks professional to have it with you and if, for some reason, your future employer doesn’t have a copy, you can provide them with one. If your employer required anything else (I had to bring a writing sample to one interview) make sure you have copies of that on hand as well. I would suggest bringing enough so that every person interviewing you can have one.
Research the Company Beforehand
When I applied to a Faculty at my University I studied the ins and outs of that Faculty like I was studying for a test. I researched their website and even went to the Faculty office to pick up some brochures. It paid off because they asked in my interview “so, what do you know about insert company here”. I was able to rattle off the information that I had learned in my week or so of research. I’m sure they knew that I was just regurgitating what I had read on the internet but it was clear that I had put in effort to learn what I knew.
Read Through the Job Description
Reading through the job description is one of the best things you can do. Every point in the skills portion of the job description is something that they can ask a question about. Does it say you should have attention to detail? Come up with an example that you can tell them about a time where you had to put this skill into practice. If there is something listed that you don’t have experience with (such as a computer program), be honest. Tell them that you don’t have experience with it but you are willing to learn. Because I have a background in IT, I always make sure to state that I am quick to pick up on new programs due to my IT background.
I think this one goes without saying but be polite. Act as if you’re meeting your in-laws for the first time. First impressions are everything. This includes shaking your interviewer’s hand when you meet them. This doesn’t only apply to the people who are interviewing you. As soon as you walk into your place of potential employment you need to be polite to everyone you interact with. You never know if they have your future bosses ear. And make sure to thank your interviewer at the end for their time.
Have Nice Nails
You want to have nice nails for your interview. Because you will be shaking hands, it is likely that your nails will be noted. Have them cut, cleaned, and if you’re really ambitious, you can paint them a neutral color.
Don’t Chew Gum
Never chew gum in an interview. If you want fresh breath, have a mint beforehand but by no means should you be smacking on gum during your interview.
Wear Less Make up
You don’t need to load up on makeup for an interview. The more natural the better in my opinion. Put on some concealer, mascara and lip chap if you want to have something on but too much makeup can negatively impact an employers perception of you.
Determine your Transferable Skills
As I said before. Look over the job posting and make sure you can answer any questions related to the required skills. Another thing you can do is take a look at your resume and determine what skills from old jobs will transfer to this new job. For Example, if worked independently most of the time at your old job and weren’t a supervisor but you were chair of a committee. You could say that this is an example of leadership skills.
Research Common Interview Questions
We all have access to google so use it to your advantage. Search common interview questions for your industry and write down answers to them. Make sure you answer the ever dreaded ‘Tell us about yourself’ question.
Bring your Reference List
You don’t need to include your references on your resume. You can simply write “references available on request” and bring a list of your references with you to the interview. This way, it allows for the employer to let you know that they will in fact be contacting your references and then you can let them know to expect the call.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Early is much better than late.
Formulate 2-3 Questions to Ask
At the end of the interview, they will always ask you if you have any questions for them. Prepare a couple of questions. One of my go to questions is:
“So what does a day in this job typically look like”
Bring a Notebook and Pen
Jot some notes down during your interview when it’s warranted. It looks professional and looks like you’re engaged and serious. One of my old employers told me that he was very impressed when someone did that in an interview. Since then, I have never gone into an interview without a notebook.
Don’t be too Serious
Be professional but don’t be too serious. A little humor goes a long way. I was told that my lightheartedness and humor was a great personality trait for my job. Definitely judge the personalities of the people who are interviewing you before you start cracking jokes though because not everyone will appreciate that.
That’s all for my job interview tips! If you enjoyed this post be sure to leave a post about your job interview experiences! I would love to hear what you think got you the job! Or simply leave a comment telling me what you do for a living!