You finally get that call you've been waiting for, and the job interview is scheduled. Take a minute to celebrate, then get right down to business by preparing for the all-important day. Putting forth extra effort before and during a job interview helps set you apart from other candidates. Consider these top tips for making a great impression.
1. Do Your Research
Learn everything you can about the organization before your job interview. Check out the company's website, read the mission statement and explore the company's products and services. Peruse press releases, read news articles and find out all you can about the organization's leaders. Convey your knowledge when answering interview questions.
2. Dress the Part
Choose an outfit that is professional and polished. You can't go wrong with a suit. Make sure your shoes are clean, hair is neat and fingernails are well-trimmed. Don't overdo it with cologne, perfume or makeup, since this can distract the interviewer.
3. Arrive on Time
Show up to the interview 10 to 15 minutes early. This gives you time to check in with the receptionist, organize your documents and gather your thoughts. If you're not familiar with the job interview location or parking area, do a test run prior to the interview day.
4. Mind Your Body Language
Offer a firm, confident handshake and a genuine smile when you introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Be sure to maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Sit up straight and avoid the urge to fidget or rustle through your papers.
5. Provide Thoughtful Responses
When faced with any question, take a few seconds to gather your thoughts before responding. Provide an answer that shows your passion for the position and demonstrates your desire to work for the organization. Offer examples from your work experience and skill sets to prove that you're the best candidate for the job.
6. Ask Intelligent Questions
Never pass up the opportunity to ask your own questions, as this makes you seem uninterested in the position. Prepare a few thoughtful questions ahead of time. Ask about the company culture or inquire about how you can help with an issue the organization is facing.
7. Trust Your Gut
Consider that you're interviewing the hiring managers just as they're interviewing you. The job interview is your opportunity to learn all you can about the company, its culture, its employees and its goals. This is your chance to determine if you're a good fit for the position and the organization, and it's a good time to identify any red flags.
The hiring manager's first impression of you is based on your job interview performance, so it's imperative that you make the most of this interaction. With these top tips, you can outshine other candidates and score the job of your dreams.
Photo courtesy of Deirdre Augustus at Flickr.com