Sharpen Your Interview Skills and Land the Job!
Now that you have done all the preparation for your interview using the tips from our blog post on Preparation Is Key for Interviews, make sure you know how to make yourself stand out and shine during the actual interview.
Stand when introduced to the #interviewer and do not sit down until invited to do so.
Try to connect with the interviewer on a personal level at the beginning of the interview if the opportunity arises. “Is that your daughter’s university graduation photo? What school did she attend?” Establishing a personal connection right at the onset of the interview allows for some commonality and starts things off on a positive tone.
Place your belongings on the floor, not the table or desk.
Retrieve information quickly and easily in a well organized purse or portfolio. After all, spilling your private belongings across the desk is the antithesis of class. In case a 2nd staff member is asked to join the interview process, have a 2nd resume handy.
During the interview, show interest, confidence and deference. Always have 2 to 3 questions prepared to ask your interviewer about the position or the firm. This ensures that you come across interested in the position you are being interviewed for and want to learn more.
Anticipate the most common questions and have answers prepared. Practice them with a friend first.
If you need a minute or two to compose and answer, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer for a couple of minutes to think about the question properly and formulate your answer.
Stay focused. Don’t fidget, repeat yourself or move objects around.
If you are in a panel interview, place full attention on the person speaking. When you answer, make sure you make eye contact with all the interviewers.
If you find yourself in an online/virtual interview situation, test your background first using a variety of platforms to make sure your face is lit properly and there are no shadows. Wear contrasting clothing to your background and make sure the background ties in with who you are. Be cautious about what you are drinking.
Follow your host’s lead if you are being interviewed over a meal. Don’t order any alcohol, unless you are interviewing with an alcohol-related company.
Compensation package. Quite often, compensation is mentioned in the job description; especially if the job is in the public sector or appears on Indeed. If not, consensus indicates waiting until the end of the 2nd interview to ask. If another job offer is on the table and you need to make a decision, then don’t be afraid to ask. Just make sure you have done your research. If asked for a range, provide a realistic one and be prepared to explain why you should be at the higher end. Essentially, be realistic but confident in what it is you want.
No matter what: never criticize a former employer.
Lastly, be honest and sincere. Employers are generally more concerned with finding employees that are the right fit with the organization since training and education can always be provided while on the job.
When the interview comes to a close, be sure to request a card from your interviewer(s) so you can send a handwritten ‘thank you’ note within 48 hours. In the note, be positive and genuine, and if appropriate, refer to something that was discussed in the interview.
Social grace under pressure, specifically, the intense pressure of an interview, always makes a strong impression. It implies a certain degree of personal power, insight and self control, uncommon qualities that any employer would value.
It will give you the “etiquette edge” you need to ace your next job interview!