Landing an interview today can be a pretty exciting thing. With new jobs still at a premium you can't afford to make a mistake with the right opportunity. Almost everyone gets nervous before an interview but the best way to combat nerves is to be prepared and realize that you are part of the interview and decision making process.
5 tips to reduce nerves and secure interview success.
1. Do Your Homework - Preparation begins when you choose to contact the company. Whether it is online, over the phone, snail mail or in person you will understand the culture and position better if you are educated on the company's background, main players, competition, products and services, things that have happened to the company in the past couple of years and what is in the works right now.
Your knowledge of the company and position will show your clear interest and will help you in knowing what the company is looking for and how to ask and answer questions to fit their needs. It will also help build rapport when you are able to discuss issues important to the company.
2. Be on Time and Dressed for Success -- Always arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of the interview so you have time to park your car and get to the appropriate office with several minutes to spare. When you pull into the parking lot your interview begins. You never know who is in the lot with you or looking out a window when you arrive. Greet everyone with a friendly smile and good eye contact and don't forget to be polite to the administrative staff, they almost always have something to say about the candidates... and are listened to.
Dress that is conservative and professional but also makes you feel good, when you feel good it shows. In any professional occupation a dark suite for men and dark pant suite for the women works best Ladies, it is better to play it safe with pants for the interview, shoes that are not open-toed and minimal use of perfume/cologne and jewelry. Don't forget to make sure your accessories aren't old and tattered either. You want the whole look to shine with professionalism.
3. Come Prepared -- Take with you several copies of your resume, cover letter, reference sheets, quality writing pen and paper, project/work portfolio, transcripts, and any other information that will be needed or asked for in an interview.
Bring along detailed directions, water (for the vehicle), names of people you are supposed to meet and their phone numbers (in case of car trouble), and questions that you have for the interviewer. The more prepared you are the less nervous you will appear because you will know that you have the answers and information you need to nail the interview.
4. Bring Your Personality -- Remember that the interviewer is looking for much more than just your qualifications. If that were all they wanted they would make their decisions based solely on the resume. An interview is a meeting between two parties and so you are encouraged to be active in the discussion. Hiring managers are looking for someone that is eager to learn and succeed, someone that feels like a good fit for their office, team or department and someone that really wants to work for them.
Interviewers also want to see if you are someone that can learn and promote their products, services, and company in a confident and positive manner. It is up to you to show your personality and who you are as a person. It won't help either party if the real and authentic you is not present at the interview.
5. Ask Questions That Count -- You can find countless books and articles online that showcase questions you can use to find out additional information on the company you are interviewing with. This is where the research you did in Tip #1 comes in handy. Depending on what you've learned about the company, you should be able to come up with 10-15 questions you'll want answered before the interview is over. Some questions will be answered during the interview so bring several because they want to hear your thoughts and questions, so have them ready.
The questions need to be relevant to the industry and type of position you are interviewing for. If you are asking about simple questions let them know why. For example, if you are asking about working late, let them know why you want to know. It could be that you are in your Masters program and have class two nights a week ... the additional information gives them context for the question you've asked. Make sure to ask about follow up. When will the interviews be finished? What is the next step? When can you expect a call or when is a good time to follow up.
And finally, let them know your real feelings about the job. If you are crazy about the job and think you are a perfect fit then tell them and tell them why. If it doesn't feel like the right fit then let them know right away and why. It will save both parties time and if you've made
a good impression they may have something else available if they know you aren't interested in the current position.
Kris Plantrich is a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC) with dynamic resources and experience to prepare you and instill the confidence you need to get noticed at your next interview.
For resume help, contact her: www.resumewonders.com