After you’ve applied for a job and submitted your resume and cover letter for resume, it’s time to prepare for an interview. If you don’t have any prior experience with interviews it can be a bit scary, but there’s nothing to worry about if your resume and cover letter were good enough to warrant an interview. Besides professional resume writing, you need to make sure that you are well prepared for this next stage of your application, because it’s a make-it-or-break-it deal.
Keep in mind that everything you do from the moment you enter the office will measure your competency of landing a job at that company. It’s not just about the questions; it’s about the way you walk, talk and use body language. What are some of the most common mistakes people make when approaching a job interview and how can you leave a strong lasting impression that will make the employer beg you to join them?
Research your employer
A common mistake that people make is that they come to the interview prepared for all sorts of different personal questions without thinking twice about the company. What kind of a company are you applying to join? How long are they in business? Who are their partners and what is their mission? These questions may come up unexpectedly and if you don’t know the answer, it could mean the end of that particular interview.
Companies care about their employees, but there’s nothing that they like more than a future employee who knows a lot about them. It means that you care about the work they do and want to be a part of their family. Often times people fail to answer some personal questions but get a pass because they know so much about the company itself. Make sure to do extensive research of your employer before the interview.
Dress up properly
The best way to leave a lasting impression is to dress appropriately for the job that you are applying for. It will take a while to learn how to be productive since college but you can start by wearing clothes that match your dream job. If you’re applying for a corporate branch, wear a suit and tie or a nice formal dress. If you’re applying for something along the lines of a graphic designer or a photographer, wear casual clothes that make you feel comfortable but make sure they are appropriate for public. If that’s the case, make sure that your design resume is representative of who you are and what kind of work you do.
There’s really no easy answer for this one, since many employers have a company dressing policy that you might not be familiar with before strolling into the interview. Use your best judgment considering the company and the position that you’re applying for.
Read your application
Your interviewer will most likely have your application in front of them during the interview. Make sure that you know everything that you’ve written there by heart. Even if you managed to make your LinkedIn profile look professional, there’s little hope to be had if you don’t know what it contains. Be sure to update your online information so it looks presentable and professional.
You need to be ready to answer any questions your future employer has about your application. What are your goals in life? Where do you see yourself in five years? You’ve volunteered for a year; where exactly and what did you do?
There will be little time to answer these questions and you need to prepare carefully in order to answer clearly and cohesively. There’s no one else who knows you better than you know yourself, so make sure to show it be honest about any questions that the interviewer might have about your personal life.
They might ask what hobbies you have, if you have any pets or if you’re married. Questions like these make you come off as a real human being and help the interviewer connect with you on a more personal level. This is always a good idea when applying for a job, meaning that you’re on a right path.
Considering that your cover letter for resume and LinkedIn profile make you look professional, it’s time to put that theory to the test. Whatever the job you’re applying for, you need to make sure that you behave appropriately. Always let your interviewer finish the questions before speaking, use short and direct answers if not told otherwise and make sure that you smile and show positive energy.
You are a human being with feelings and beliefs; it’s okay to act like it. Even if you’re applying for a corporate branch, it’s good to show some personality and good mood. Don’t be a robot that came to work for money and go home to rest. While there are jobs that require such mind-set, you’re applying for something else, so act like it.
After the interview is over, it’s time to make your exit. Make sure that you shake hand with the interviewer and thank them for taking the time to accept you. Try to give them an informal comment or a compliment about how they do things; look for such opportunities during the interview. Always keep in mind to ask the interviewer when they will contact you. There’s nothing worse than waiting for that faithful phone call or e-mail only for it to never arrive because the company doesn’t contact those who don’t get accepted.
After you’ve received your answer, be it positive or negative, it’s a good idea to ask the interviewer for feedback on how you did on the interview. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and give you a constructive criticism that you can use. This will help you later on when you apply for a different job. Always make sure to show how much you want that particular position; you might just get what you want down the line.
Author Bio: Veronica Wright, New York, USA. Co-founder and Career Coach at ResumesCentre.com. Motivator and Resume Writer with experience in mentoring, coaching, and counselling internationally trained professionals.