If you’re in the process of looking for a new job, you’ve done all the regular prep work: Your resume has been updated and a few different versions have been created; you’ve written a few cover letters; you’ve made sure your references are ready to put in a good word on your behalf.
But have you considered your interviewing skills? Are they up to par and enough to make a great impression on someone who could decide whether to hire you or someone else?
Here are five habits that can help you ace the interview and land the job.
- Dress and act with confidence. You want to look the part. Make sure in advance your interview outfit is one that looks professional, fits well and is comfortable. You don’t want to wear shoes that pinch because that discomfort will register on your face and will give a negative perception of you and how you feel about the job, for example. Try the clothes on a day or two before the interview to make sure everything looks right and fits well. Remember: being nervous is natural and understandable, but they’re bringing you in because they believe you’re capable of doing the job. The interview is a way to show them how well you’d fit in. Also be mindful of your body language: fiddling with your hands, looking away instead of maintaining eye contact, slouching instead of sitting or standing up straight, all of these suggest a lack of confidence. That’s the opposite impression you want to make! Look confident — shoulders back, head high, direct eye contact, pleasant smile — and you’ll feel more confident.
- Do your homework and have questions ready. The best way to make a good impression is to be prepared to ask and answer questions about the job. Be sure to have a few mental notes ready about the company by spending some time on the company’s website and social media. Find a few things to bring up during the interview, like a recent press release or social media post; if you can find something on the website that pertains to the job you’re interviewing for, use that as one of your questions when the opportunity presents itself. This shows that you cared enough to do a little research. The more specific the question you have, or the more nuanced the detail you point out in response to a question, the more your interest in the position will shine through.
- Answer in the affirmative. Be mindful of how you speak and the words you use. Ending sentences with a tone that suggests a question, or with a higher tone of voice than you start them, indicates you’re not sure of your answer. Be affirmative and use strong, simple words that convey honesty, trust and confidence in your background and abilities. Avoid saying things that suggest you’re not sure of yourself or your abilities. If you believe you can, they will too!
- Be on time. It’s so simple but so important. Map out the route the day before the interview or even a few days ahead of time; make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there (early is better than late!), make sure your vehicle has enough gas or that your transportation options will ensure a speedy arrival. Being late to an interview, outside of something catastrophic that’s out of your control, won’t help your case. (And if you are running late because there was a sudden 20 car pile-up on the highway, or a major building fire that caused a huge delay, call the office as soon as possible and let them know.)
- Give yourself a secret weapon. If you really want an in with companies, get a leg up on the competition by working with a recruiter — like Davis Staffing. When you work with a recruiter, you’ll know what the company is looking for in a highly-qualified candidate; you can tailor your resume before applying to highlight your relevant skills and experience; you can learn more about the company and get suggestions on the best questions to ask, and you’ll have someone on your side who can talk up your qualifications to the people making decisions. Plus, recruiters can help answer those questions you want to ask but might not when to bring them up, like potential salary range, benefits, etc.
Before you walk in to meet your interviewer, take a deep breath and tell yourself you’re going to do great. Because you will! Believe in yourself and give it your best shot. Good luck!
If you’d like a little more help in the job searching process, call Davis Staffing. We have great jobs available with wonderful companies and they’re looking for someone just like you to join their team. Take a look at what positions are available now, then give us a call and we’ll get started.