Truth be told, the quaint idea of "being yourself" isn't always an effective strategy for acing a job interview. Hiring managers remember candidates who understand how to solve their specific business problems and come prepared with strong selling points, abilities that require research and practice. If you want to stand out for the right reasons, use these 10 tips to ensure every detail of your job interview strengthens your candidacy.
1. Dress Professionally
Simplicity is best when it comes to your appearance. You don't want awkward fidgeting to be the most memorable thing about you, so pick comfortable clothing and shoes that don't restrict your movement.
2. Show Poise
Be composed from the moment you arrive to the interview, as minor warning signs of disorganization are amplified under intense scrutiny. Avoid bringing unnecessary items to your job interview, which could make it difficult to shake hands with interviewers.
3. Be Polite to Everyone
From the receptionist to passing employees, everyone is sizing you up. Make a strong impression before the job interview even begins by showing up on time, speaking politely to the receptionist and sitting up straight with good posture. Expect the interviewer to be unimpressed if you seem bored and impatient or make personal phone calls while waiting.
4. Exude Positive Energy
Hiring managers view low morale as a warning sign that you're indifferent about the job, so show confidence and enthusiasm through your body language. Lead with a smile, and be mindful of distracting nervous habits, such as tapping your pen, playing with your hands or looking around the room.
5. Know the Culture
Great qualifications might not be enough to land the job if your demeanor clashes with the company's culture. Researching the company's job interview process on websites such as Glassdoor can help you decide whether to be all business or creative with your answers.
6. Perfect Your Introduction
Every interviewer asks for a general statement about yourself, giving you a valuable opportunity to connect the dots between your accomplishments and career history. Avoid unfocused rambling by practicing a compelling statement highlighting relevant skills and experiences.
7. Tell Meaningful Stories
Be ready to elaborate when asked about information on your resume, and prepare stories that demonstrate how you achieved results for employers. Use the skills and traits from the job description as a guide, framing your stories to match the employer's ideal candidate.
8. Be Flexible
Never clam up when facing an unexpected question. Rather than sounding insincere, take a few seconds to collect your thoughts, or ask for clarification to better understand what the hiring manager wants to know.
9. Ask Smart Questions
Asking great questions shows your interest and attention to detail. Probe for information about the daily demands of the job, the reasons for the open position and the company's upcoming goals, so you can prove your ability to jump right in and solve problems.
10. Thank the Interviewers
Finish job interviews on a strong note by thanking each interviewer individually. Send thank you notes afterward to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
Hiring managers can be highly critical during job interviews. No one expects perfection, but you have a better chance of winning over interviewers if you appear optimistic and confident of your ability to excel in the job.
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