The hardest part is over — you’ve found a job that’s right for you, fixed up your resume and cover letter, and put yourself out there by applying. Now it’s time for the moment of truth: the face-to-face meeting.
Interviews can often be nerve-wracking, since you often only have a small amount of time to make a good impression. In order to help you prepare for the big day, we’ve put together a list of 6 tips to help ace your interview.
- Arrive Early – It’s always good practice to show up 10-15 minutes early for an interview. Arriving only a few minutes before you’re scheduled to meet the employer can send the wrong impression — especially if you can’t find where you’re supposed to be, and you end up rushing and showing up out of breath. Coming early saves you the stress of rushing, makes you look organized, and allows you to be calmer and more confident in your interview.
- Know the Company – Your interviewer will undoubtedly ask what you know about the company you’re applying to. Taking the time to conduct some thorough research ahead of time will put you head and shoulders above a lot of your fellow applicants.
- Know the Position – You can distinguish yourself as a candidate by having a good idea what the job actually entails. That way, you can be specific about how your skillset aligns with the position, and better sell yourself as a good fit.
- Ask Questions – The hiring manager will likely be talking to a lot of applicants for this job, and asking a lot of questions. Try to flip the script by having some of your own questions prepared. Here, you can inquire about why the position has opened up, and determine more about the employer’s needs. Having questions ready will make you seem eager, prepared, and speaks well to your work ethic.
- Prepare a Story – Have you ever been in a situation where an interviewer asked you to provide a specific story that demonstrates how you kept cool in a situation, or provided excellent customer service? Have a story ready that’s tailored to the job you’re applying to, and be ready to explain how it makes you a perfect candidate.
6. Follow-Up – This is one of the most important steps of nailing your interview, and it’s one that most applicants are too shy to deliver on. Be sure to ask the interviewer where they are in the selection process; if they’re hoping to fill the position in the next week, you know you have a limited time to touch base. If you really want to stand apart from the crowd, send a handwritten thank you card — your interviewer will appreciate the gesture, and it will give you the top-of-mind advantage.