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You’ve landed the job of your dreams.
Or at least—the chance for work that excites you.
But you know as well as I do that getting the job is far from a done deal. It’s just starting.
The job interview is your chance to make a fabulous first impression.
It can be stressful, but with these eight tips, you’ll be all set.
Ever heard you should practice interview questions?
It’s not bad advice—but instead of guessing at questions you’ll never be able to predict, focus on your answers.
I recommend using that golden rule of cinema:show, don’t tell.
The best answer to why you’d be a good fit in the role isn’t a list of your (amazing) character traits. Instead, it’s to share something you did that shows those traits in action.
To succeed at your interview, practice telling stories about problems you’ve solved, conflicts you’ve handled, and teams you’ve managed.
Source:Christina @ wocintechchat.com onUnsplash
This tip is even more critical if you don’t have a lot of work experience. You can explain how you showed initiative on a school project or how you handled conflict on your softball team.
Even better? We remember stories better than words, and your interviewer is more likely to keep you in mind later.
Everyone has a resume, and they all look just about the same.
A few pages of cheap printer paper, printed in black-and-white, stapled together. In short, sloppy.
Resumes give you a perfect chance to stand apart.
Add a punch of color to the document (an understated navy blue heading is a safe choice), then visit your local office supply store.
Get your resume professionally printed in color on quality stock paper, then enclose it in a sleek plastic binder.
It’ll cost you a bit more, but the impressed look on the interviewer’s face—and the fact that you’ve immediately become the favorite candidate—is worth ten times the price.
Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes for a minute. They’re doing interviews a few times a week for this role, if not a few times a day. Pretty soon, all the candidates blur together.
Chances are the person interviewing you for this role needs someone soon. But they also need someone who can get started quickly.
That’s where your expertise comes in.
Or rather the expertise you create. You already know the skills you need for the role. But to stand apart, you want to know about the company.
Before the interview, set aside an hour or two to study up on the company.
Learn the company’s history, mission, leadership, and product selection. If the company sells a consumer product, see if you can get your hands on it for extra experience.
Next, learn about your interviewer. (If you don’t know who it will be, do a little research on who handles HR in your area.)
A quick LinkedIn search can provide tons of useful information. Learn what their exact role is and how long they’ve been with the company.
Check out their education, previous jobs, and interests. Pay special attention to anything you have in common!
And be sure to do a little research to make sure you’re saying their name correctly! The harder someone’s name is to pronounce, the more impressed they’ll be that you made an effort.
Okay, so this tip might be a bit much for a few roles.
But if this is your dream job and you want to give yourself the best possible opportunity, try giving the interviewer a taste of what it’d be like to work with you.
Before you walk into the interview, learn what types of challenges you’d face in your role. Study where the company is headed and how you fit into that broader vision.
Then, prepare a custom plan based on those factors that would help the company reach its objectives. Be as specific as possible based on the information you can find.
Write up the plan and get it prepared professionally along with your resume, then explain your proposal during the interview.
Worst case scenario: you’re wildly off, but the interviewer still appreciates your effort.
Best case scenario: the interviewer loves your plan so much, they can’t imagine hiring anyone else.
This one is simple.
The night before your interview, get plenty of sleep. It’s easy to put off your prep work, like printing your resume.
But make a point to finish early, lay out clothes the night before, and rest.
You might have heard this rule of thumb before—dress for your interview one level above the role for which you’re interviewing.
It’s a good piece of advice, but it leaves something out.
You see, it’s usually a dead giveaway when we dress a certain way for the first time. We’re uncomfortable, and we fidget—we keep tugging on our sleeves or adjusting our collar.
Dress the way you would for your interviewbefore your interview itself. It might be weird to wear a dress suit around the house, but you’ll get used to it without a job on the line.
When you head to your interview dressed to the nines, you’ll wear it naturally.
You’ve heard the stereotype: today’s workers are so distracted by social media that they can’t focus on a job.
Of course, it’s not true for everyone, but there’s a reason it’s a stereotype.
You can be a 24/7 Instagram addict, but for the hour or so of your interview, it’s time to show you mean business.
Arrive at least a few minutes early to the interview. Bring a book to read while you wait instead of browsing your feed.
(Bonus tip: pick something relevant to the job, and read enough ahead of time to carry on a conversation about the book.)
Put your phone on airplane mode as soon as you get to the interview.
To show you’re on point, carry a legal pad and pen with you and take notes. It even pays to ask a few questions about the job or the person interviewing you.
Ask something like:
“What’s the most rewarding part of this role?”
“Who else is on the team I’d be working with?”
“What attracted you to this company?”
And just like that, you’ve set yourself apart from the other candidates glued to their phones.
With all the focus on the “work” side of a job interview, it’s easy to overlook one of the most critical factors: your personality.
The person interviewing you isn’t looking for a robot. They’re looking for a competent, creative person they’d enjoy working with.
And nothing shows your personality at first sight like a touch of style. Something subtle yet elegant is the way to go.
A statement ring, a unique set of earrings, or classic “everyday jewelry” that you never take off shows you’re confident, driven, and unique.
Source:Christina Morillo fromPexels
But even better than defining yourself, psychology suggests that being yourself makes you more likely to get the job.
Research by the Harvard Business Review shows that putting your uniqueness on display makes you more memorable and more likely to get the job.
No matter what the company’s dress code is, adding your flair is a must.
The interview is your perfect chance to set yourself apart from other candidates.
It’s hard to stand out in a sea of near-identical job applications and resumes.
But in the interview, you can show that you’re prepared and professional. It’s the best way to let your personality shine through and show your future employers you mean it.
Go get ‘em!
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