Being in the market for a job is not an enviable position. Sitting on the interviewee side of the desk can be intimidating, and you’re completely self-aware of every minor mistake you think you make. When you’re overly nervous, you’re not presenting your best self. If you need a little help in the job interview department, here are some tips to help you walk in confident and prepared–and ready to accept that job offer.
Rehearse and Rehearse
Every job has a specialization, and you applied for the job you’re interviewing for because you knew it was a compatible fit based on your experience or your degree. Still, you need to save the confidence for the actual interview.
If you arrive at your interview believing you’ve got this in the bag because you graduated at the top of your class, you’re wrong. The interviewer has prepared to ask you some tough questions, and if you haven’t given thought to how best to answer those questions, in the hot seat you may come up with nothing. That’s not likely to impress the hiring manager.
You can be ready for those tough questions by asking them to yourself first. Also, ask other people who are managers what type of questions they ask. Many will be obvious.
- What makes you think you’re a good fit for this job?
- What experience do you have in this industry?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Name a time you had to make a tough decision, and what was the outcome?
- What do you know about this company, and what do you like about it?
That last one is important. Research the company and know a little of its history. Once you get started predicting questions, it’s not that hard. Next, practice your answers like you’re rehearsing for a speech. Come interview time, the words will roll off your tongue like butter and that will give you a boost of confidence.
Dress Like You’re Successful
Even if you’re not successful yet, if you look like it, they’ll believe it. Your interview clothes should be an investment. Splurging on what you wear to your interview will yield returns, but be wise about it. You don’t know the person interviewing you, and they don’t know you. If you wear a tie with your favorite superhero or video game, they might not believe you’re serious.
Your clothes should be conservative and quality. A pressed light-color shirt with pressed dark dress pants provide for a crisp, clean contrast. Polish your shoes and top it off with freshly trimmed hair. Your look will be impressive. It will also provide backup to the confidence you have after rehearsing your answers.
Have Good Manners
Practicing good etiquette is essential to showing you are a pleasant person to work with. The interviewer will be watching for signs that you might be a person that causes friction. Just as important as your qualifications is evidence that you can get along with the team that’s already in place.
If your interviewer is female, shake hands only if hers is extended first. If your interviewer is male, go ahead and reach out. Address your interviewer as sir or ma’am. Don’t sit down until the interviewer makes a motion to sit or motions you to sit. Be gracious, and when the interview is over thank your interviewer for giving you a chance to demonstrate your qualifications.
They’ll also be watching your body language, whether they’re aware of it or not. Your body language will tell them how interested you are when they’re speaking. Sit straight and never slouch, and try not to let your eyes wander. Keep your focus on them and nod now and then to show you are listening. Smile softly when you speak, as you’ll appear naturally friendly.
Acing a job interview really isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. Even if you don’t get hired the first time, every interview you have is practice to improve for the next. When you think about it like that, any interview you can get scheduled is well worth your time. When you’re prepared, you’re dressed amazing, and you present yourself professionally, there’s no need to worry, because you’re going to shine.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!