As a job searcher there are lots of things that you can do to increase your chances of getting a job.
You understand how important it is to research the company. You understand how important it is to be on time to your interview and to make sure that your resume and cover letter are flawless.
But what about the interview itself? How do you make sure that your interview goes well?
Look as good as you possibly can. When you have a date set up with someone that you really want to impress, you tend to take a little extra time primping, right? Do the same before your interview. Clean your face, style your hair, and make sure your makeup is just right.
Don’t even think about dressing casual. Men, this means you wear a suit, and both it and your shirt need to be properly pressed. Your belt and shoes should match. You know the routine, and if you don’t then ask your best-dressed friend what to do. A job interview is not the time to show your individuality when it comes to your appearance.
Briefcases make a statement for carrying your things. Your backpack or messenger bag might be a point of pride as you walk around campus or commute to and from school each day, but leave it behind when you go in for your interview. Think about it: you’re putting all of that effort into your appearance. Do you really want to ruin that first impression with a banged up backpack?
Carry extra copies of your resume or CV, your cover letter, your references, etc. You are likely just one of many candidates. You can both impress and save your interviewer time by simply handing over a copy of your resume so he or she doesn’t have to look for it.
TIP: Wait until the interviewer actually starts to look for your information or mentions that they can’t quite remember your resume to present them with your extra copy. Handing it over immediately shows a lack of confidence in the person’s ability to prepare.
It’s understandable that you’re nervous. Your interviewer expects you to be nervous. You don’t, however, want to be so nervous that you sweat through your suit or talk over your interviewer. Get to your interview fifteen minutes early. Spend 5-10 minutes in the car doing some deep breathing exercises and visualizing a calm, productive and successful interview. The deep breathing will help reduce your heart and breathing rates and increase the oxygen flow to your brain. These help you stay calm and focused during your interview.
You’ve done your research on the company and you undoubtedly are wondering some things about the job for which you’re interviewing. Ask your questions! Interviewers appreciate interviewees who make sure that their own bases are covered. At the end of the interview when you are asked about any questions you may have, speak up. Ask about anything that wasn’t already covered in the interview.
Finally, remember that your interviewer is just as nervous as you are! Good luck!