If you’re reading this article, you probably fixed your resume, applied for the right job, have had a brief call with an HR representative and now need to make sure you nail the interview! There are some obvious things you can do during the interview to improve your odds of success.
As the best career accelerator, HiCounselor likes to help people reach their highest potential. With that in mind, we’ve listed some steps everyone can take to improve their interviewing skills. If you’d like to get some more personalized help on acing interviews, get in touch with us and one of our experts will gladly help you out!
1. Dress for the Job You Want
heard this before and it’s darn good advice. Even if the office you’ll be
working at doesn’t require formal attire, it’s a good idea to not show up in
jeans and a tee. You don’t have to wear a three-piece suit, but don’t dress
like a slob. Everything should be neatly ironed and try to avoid wearing garish
colors. The idea is to show you care enough about the job to put in the effort
to get ready for it.
2. Be Punctual
Try to reach
the location five to ten minutes before your interview time. You don’t want to
be late because making the interviewer wait is a waste of their time and will
work against you. If you reach too early, you might look desperate. So even if
you reach early, wait near the premises rather than going in. In case you do
find yourself running late, do keep the interviewers informed about the delay
and have a good reason for it.
3. Be Yourself
the interview process can be nerve-wracking because you have to kind of “sell
yourself”, so you feel compelled to amp yourself up and highlight every
positive trait you have. Sometimes you can end up going beyond that and put on
a show for the interviewers. Unless you have some really good acting chops,
avoid that because most people can usually spot when someone is putting on an
act. If you've made it thus far, they probably like something about you anyway,
so just be yourself.
4. Carry copies of Your Resume
mailed your resume to the company and they’ve called you for the interview
after going through it, but it still makes sense to carry your resume. The
interview might take place in a separate room where the interviewer doesn’t
have a system set up, their company printer might be acting up (it happens
everywhere!) or simply to show that you’re the sort of candidate that comes
5. Study the Job Description
reach the in-person interview location, make sure you’ve read up on what the
job requires. This will help you to give the best responses when asked
questions like, “How can you contribute to the growth of the company?” It also
helps you highlight the skills that best suit the given role. Try to think of
projects where you worked in a similar role or did some of the things required
and work them into the interview.
6. Research Your Interviewer
not telling you to unleash your inner stalker, but just to be the sort of
candidate that keeps themselves informed! Most companies let you know who’ll be
interviewing you and their role in the company. You might find more information
about this person on the company website. If not, you can look them up on
platforms like LinkedIn. If you know any people in common, they might be able
to help you connect better with the interviewer. If not, you’ll at least have a
better idea of the person and can prep better.
7. Be Aware of Body Language
This is one
of the unstated parts of our daily interactions so it often gets overlooked but
you should be aware of body language during important occasions like
face-to-face interviews. We send out subtle signals about ourselves with the
way we hold ourselves and interact with others. Have a firm handshake, but
never grip too hard. Sit up straight but not stiffly. Smile whenever you can.
Use open palm gestures and avoid curling your hands into fists.
8. Make Eye Contact
have been part of the body language point but we wanted to make sure you don’t
skip it! This is almost crucial. A lot of people go by the belief that only
unreliable people can’t maintain eye contact. Truth is, shy people or people
who’ve been through traumatic episodes can have a hard time making and
maintaining eye contact. However, since popular belief holds eye contact in
high regard, make sure you can look at your interviewer for a length of time.
Don’t stare, however.
9. “Mirror” When Appropriate
another tactic used by those who’re more skilled at body language signals.
Mirroring is when one person imitates the gestures, attitude and even speech
patterns of another. This is done to make yourself more appealing to the person
because we tend to like those who are like us. Do be careful with this one,
though, because if you overdo it, the interviewer might catch on or, worse,
they might think you’re trying to make fun of them!
10. Ask Questions
interviewer is done asking you questions, they’ll probably ask you if you have
any questions. At this point, you should ideally have at least a couple of
questions. Don’t ask questions about dress code and how many leaves you get
because even though those are important to know, they can signal a
lackadaisical attitude. Instead, ask questions about what the job entails on a
day to day basis, the company culture, what they’d expect from you, etc.
11. Don’t Interrupt
something you should probably do in most conversations, but it’s a pretty
important rule to follow during an interview. Let the person finish saying what
they’re saying before you ask a question or make a statement. You should let
the interviewer lead the in-person interview and not take over. Sometimes,
people tend to talk more when they’re nervous and many interviewers complain
about candidates who kept talking. During an interview, it’s best to say more
12. Ask About the Next Steps
If you rush out of the interview room as soon as the interviewer is done asking you questions, you might forget to ask them the most important questions for now. You need to know by which date you should expect to hear back from them, whether you’ll have to go through more interview rounds, should you follow-up with the HR or will they contact you, etc.
Each company has a different way of hiring new candidates so make sure you’re not going by assumptions. There have been cases of people thinking they weren’t picked for the job they wanted only to get a call-back when they committed to their second option!
We hope these tips
help you get the job of your dreams! If you need more personalized help with
acing job interviews, get in touch with us at HiCounselor and one of our
mentors will gladly work with you. We also have a pretty robust job search
program so you don’t have to shoulder the entire burden of looking for an
appropriate job. The best part of that is you only pay us once you get paid.
Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for your career!