Interviewing. Does that word alone cause your heart to race and palms to sweat? Let’s change that! Learn how to gain more confidence in an interview and stand out from other job candidates with these tips from Advantage Resourcing recruiters:
How to calm your nerves
Preparation is the key to success. Take some time to research, plan, and strategize in the days before the interview. Find out as much as possible about the company. Your preparation will let a prospective employer know that you are motivated, hardworking, and proactive.
During this time, also write down a few thoughtful questions to ask during the interview (remember, you’re interviewing them as well!). Ask questions about the job or company, not the benefits or pay; save those questions for another day.
Mock interviews are another way to reduce anxiety. Practice your responses to common interview questions, such as “What are your strongest skills?” and “Why would you like to work for this company?”
How to make a positive first impression
How you present yourself is the first thing the interviewer will see, so dress for success! Inquire about the company’s dress code. If in doubt, err on the conservative side. While you don’t want to be overdressed, you certainly don’t want to be underdressed.
Also, be on time – or, better yet, early! Punctuality tells a prospective employer that you’re conscientious and dependable. Aim to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time to allow for parking and finding your way around the building. You should also give yourself a few minutes to relax before the interview.
Finally, be kind and personable to everyone you meet. Administrative staff and others in the office often influence hiring decisions.
How to effectively market yourself
Your ability to communicate is critical during an interview. Answer questions briefly, yet thoroughly, providing specific examples about your experience and skills. Stay on target with your answers, maintain eye contact with your interviewer, and offer enthusiastic responses.
Be prepared to talk about your key skills in very specific terms, such as how you saved a company money, increased its revenue, or trained a co-worker. This is often the defining reason one person gets the job over another. The strengths you focus on should also be aligned with the traits the employer is seeking for the position.
Never speak negatively about prior employers or co-workers, regardless of your experience with them. Maintaining a positive attitude shows a prospective employer that you’re a team player.
How to close with confidence
At the end of the interview, let your interviewer know that you are interested in the position and inquire about the next steps in the process. Asking a question like “Do my qualifications match the needs of your company?” gets right to the point and lets the interviewer know you are serious about employment.
Now that you’ve taken the time to prepare, take a deep breath and try to relax! Walk confidently into the interview knowing that this company would be lucky to have you as an employee. Good luck!
Thank you to Lacy Gipson (recruiter in our Advantage Resourcing- Metairie, LA office) and Ignacio Barba (senior technical recruiter in our Advantage Resourcing - San Jose, CA office) for contributing expert tips and ideas for this article.