As one of the most daunting parts of the recruitment process, even the most experienced among us still get nervous about job interviews from time to time. However, just like most things in life, you can eliminate your nerves and gain some confidence if you spend just a little time preparing for a job interview.
Every role is different and each company conducts themselves in different ways during interviews, so it’s all a matter of understanding a little more about who you are interviewing with, what the position entitles, and how your skills and experience and join together to make it the perfect fit.
Using your research skills and brushing up on what you know about yourself and your experience means you’ll be calm and confident when you walk into an interview and be able to handle it like a professional.
Leading up to an interview, there are a few things you can do for preparation and they all come at different times. We’re here to show you how to prepare yourself for an interview in the days leading up and the day of, as well as some tips for how to conduct yourself during the daunting process itself.
Preparing For A Job Interview A Few Days Before
The most important thing about job interviews is to be able to prove to your potential employer that you understand the role and company. Spend the time leading up to your interview researching what they do as a company, their goals and vision, and what the role you’re applying for means to them.
In addition to getting to know the company, you should start now by practicing some the answers to some common interview questions without sounding too rehearsed.
Try to think back on experiences you’ve had in the workplace where you went above and beyond, worked towards a particular goal, or resolved a tricky situation, and use these in all of your answers.
Look at your resume through the eyes on an employer and see where they might have questions about previous roles or gaps in employment, and come up with an intelligent and genuine answer for them.
How To Prepare For An Interview On The Day
On the day of your interview, it’s hard to do anything but feel nervous, so there are some things you can do to prepare and take your mind off of it. Spend some time choosing an outfit that’s suited to the industry and company you work for, and if in doubt it’s always better to go more formal than you would think.
Rehearse your answers to interview questions with a friend or in the mirror and have another read through the initial job description and advertisement to be sure you haven’t missed anything.
Come up with a few questions that you might like to know about the company or the role and have these ready for your interview. Finally, any travel plans you need to be finalized to get to the interview on time should be confirmed so that you’re sure to arrive on time.
How To Do A Job Interview With Confidence And Professionalism
When it comes down to the actual interview, it’s hard to remember everything you rehearsed if you’re feeling a little nervous.
However, once it’s clear to yourself and the hiring manager that you understand the company and the role, your nerves will surely start to ease. Here are a few tips to follow for how to conduct yourself in an interview to increase your chances of success.
- Maintain Comfortable Eye Contact – Rather than staring wildly into the eyes of the interviewer for the entire time, maintain a comfortable level of eye contact. When you speak it’s okay to look up or around the room for short stints, so long as you’re not staring like a robot into anyone’s eyes or failing to make eye contact at all
- Don’t mention salary – Unless prompted by the hiring manager, don’t mention the salary of your previous role or what you expect to make at this one. For many positions, the negotiation stage of a salary will come later or it will be already advertised in the job advertisement
- Be enthusiastic – Show enthusiasm when you speak, whether it’s about the company and the work that they do or your own skills and experience. A friendly and enthusiastic nature will be well received by most people in all industries
- Arrive right on time – Many people believe that you should always show up super early to an interview, but this can be detrimental. According to a study of career experts, the ideal time to arrive is between 10 and 15 minutes early. This shows that you’re punctual but not too early that you can’t follow instruction
- Bring your resume – Most times, hiring managers will have your resume already printed out and ready to go, but it can show some initiative to bring a copy yourself. This allows you to make references to your work history and gives you something to refer back to should you feel a little lost
Making Your First Impression Count
After submitting your resume, the job interview is the next big chance you’ll get to make an impression. As this is usually the first time you’re meeting a representative from the company face to face, you need to make sure you’re using the time wisely to make a great impression.
Everyone gets nervous to some degree during an interview, and possibly even the hiring manager too, but the more prepared you are the less likely you are to feel these nerves, so try to focus on selling yourself in a genuine and positive role.
Remind yourself that you have the skills they’re looking for and that’s why you’re there to interview, so all you need to do is show them your winning personality, too.