Job interviews are a nerve-wracking experience regardless of how many interviews you have gone on. Unfortunately, you will likely need to interview for every job you have, so a little advice can go a long way. Not only are you going to have an initial interview (whether on the phone or in person), but more often than not, you will have multiple interviews for the position. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to perform well in the interview and hopefully receive a job offer.
Interview advice is readily available to job seekers online. From techniques to calm your interview nerves to standing out in the hiring process, you can find tips for whatever qualms you might have about the process.
With all the resources available in just a few clicks of a mouse, there are some tips that are often forgotten. Check them out below ⤵️
Preparation Is Key
According to Alexander Graham Bell, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” If you’re not preparing for your interview in a way similar to how you prepare (or prepared) for an exam, then you aren’t doing enough. Your preparation goes beyond just reading the job description. There are resources like LinkedIn and Glassdoor that can help you learn about the organization and different interview techniques they use. The more information you can find, the better prepared you will be. If you are anticipating a one-on-one interview, just to arrive and realize it is actually a group interview, your nerves will likely go into high gear and affect your performance. Additionally, you need to prepare some questions to ask during the interview to show your interest and prove that you did your homework on the company.
Similar to an athlete, interviewers must consider the “5 P’s,” – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The better prepared you are for an interview, the better your chances of getting hired will be.
If You’re Not 15 Minutes Early, You’re Late
Your preparation should also include mapping out your route to the interview, so when the day comes you know how long your commute will take. You don’t want to be rushed the day of, so plan on arriving early and check in. While your interview likely won’t begin early, the time you have leading up to the meeting allows you to gather your thoughts. It also lets you to see other employees and try to gain a perspective on what the culture in the office is like. Remember that an interview is a two-way street: the company is interviewing you to see if you are a good fit both culturally and professionally, but it is also your chance to see if you can envision yourself working there each day.
By giving yourself some extra time to get to the interview, you also are preparing for factors that are out of your control, including traffic, weather delays, etc. Although you can’t exactly control these factors, you can control you level of preparedness.
Sometimes It’s Not What You Say
Often times in interviews we are so focused on what we are going to say or how we are going to answer the questions asked. However, what we usually don’t consider is our non-verbal cues. Body language is a powerful thing and a strong presence can go a long way. In a conversation, those who make eye contact and keep their body language open come off more trustworthy than those who avoid eye contact and slouch. Can you think of any employer who would want to bring on a candidate that they can’t trust? Being aware of your body language and how you present yourself in terms of attire and attitude might be the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected.
Something as trivial as smiling during the conversation makes a huge difference. Various studies have shown that 38 percent of hiring managers disqualified a candidate because they didn’t smile or seem engaged in the interview.
Follow Up In A Timely Manner
A timely follow up post-interview seems to be the most overlooked interview tip. If you want to be memorable, follow up with your interviewer. This can be in the form of email for the sake of timeliness or if you want a more personal touch, a handwritten letter. The length of your message doesn’t have to be long, but be sure to thank them for their time and reiterate why you are the best candidate for the job. If you include a tidbit from your conversation that shows that you were paying attention to the conversation and brings it back to the front of their mind.
There are a couple different schools of thought regarding follow ups. Some will say that you should send an email within 24 hours after the interview (you should), and some will say that a handwritten letter is more personal. While it does take more time to complete, send and for the company to receive, it does add a nice touch and goes a long way. Others will say you should not only send a timely email, but also follow up with a handwritten letter. Regardless of your preferred method, make sure you are following up and doing so in a timely manner. You should also be sure to avoid these follow up mistakes.
We seek advice for a variety of things in our day-to-day lives and our career is no different. With so much advice out there, it is easy to overlook some things. Subsequent preparation, arriving early, body language/nonverbal cues, and finally, timely follow ups are some of the most-forgotten career tips when it comes to an interview advice.
Next time you’re looking for some pre-interview advice, don’t forget to consider these four tips.