10 Quick Tips to Help You Nail The Interview
Congratulations! Your resume and cover letter stood out and you've landed an interview. Now the fun begins. No matter how great your resume and experience is, preparation for an interview is critical to giving you the best chances to succeed. Our in-house HR professionals here at Simple Job Finder have put together 10 tips to help you nail the interview.
1. Be Prepared
There is perhaps no bigger difference between a good candidate and a bad one than the preparation they put into the interview. Your interviewer is taking time out of their day to see if they want to give you a job. If they feel like you are wasting their time, it's almost an immediate disqualification. Research the company and industry and come in with a clear knowledge of what they are looking for and what you want to say.
2. Dress For The Company And Job
As the old saying goes "Dress for the job you want". This remains true but in the context of more offices going with a "casual" dress code, it can be a bit confusing. Do your research into the company culture and see what you can find on their website and social media presence. That said, if people wear jeans and hoodies to work, it's still not appropriate to show up like that to an interview. Use your best judgement and know that it's always fine to show up over-dressed. Just be sure not to show up under-dressed.
3. Nonverbal Communication Is Key
In an interview, you say just as much with your body language as you do with your words. The interviewers won't remember much about WHAT you say but they will remember HOW you say it. Confidence is key: standing straight, making good eye contact and seeming at ease in your body can all help tremendously. First impressions matter, so make the most of it.
Good communication is a two way street and if you aren't listening as well as you could be, you're not getting the whole story. Your interviewer is constantly giving you information about the company, the culture and the types of expectations they have for this role. Really intently listening can help you form better answers to the questions they ask.
5. Be Sure You Answer The Questions
There's nothing more obnoxious than watching a politician get asked a question and then do nothing to answer it. While it is alright to pivot a question to make sure you make an important point about yourself, the first priority should be providing a clear and concise answer to their question. They have come prepared with specific questions in search of specific information. Be sure to give them that information.
6. Don't Talk Too Much
This goes with the last points about listening and answering questions. Sharing too much can actually be detrimental to your interview. If you are prepared and have had a chance to think through your story, you shouldn't ramble on too much. Answer the question that they asked, if necessary, provide more detail about something you were hoping to share and finish your answer confidently.
7. Avoid Being Too "Buddy-Buddy"
An interview is the epitome of a professional meeting and you should talk to your interviewer as such. Enthusiasm is important but you should always seek to mirror the type of demeanor that the interviewer has. Much of an interview can be boiled down to observing and matching the tone of the interviewer but always be sure to keep it professional.
8. Use Professional Language
Much like the last point, it is important to keep the language you use professional in addition to your demeanor. This SHOULD go without saying but profanity is off the table. There are few things that end an interview faster than poorly chosen words or off-color comments.
9. Don't Be Cocky
This point illustrates an important balancing act that must be done in an interview. You want to sound confident and proudly discuss your past successes. The danger is that, if taken too far, it can come off as cocky. You want to hilight your successes and talk up your strengths but you still want to be modest and humble. A tricky balance, to be sure, but a VERY important one.
10. Ask Questions
At the end of almost every interview, the last question will be "Do you have any questions?" The only wrong answer you can give to this one is "No". Asking thoughtful questions not only shows that you have done your research, but the answers you give can halp you figure out if this is a place you actually want to work. Just as the interviewers come prepared with questions, so should you.
Now take these tips and go nail your interview!