Your career is easily one of the most important things in your life, so it is extremely important that the career you choose is fulfilling and worthwhile. Before you obtain the job of your dreams, you will have to go through the universally dreaded interview process. The job market is always shifting, and this year is no exception. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the economy negatively, there are still many active and upcoming listings. Amid this onslaught of job openings, employers will be looking for qualified candidates. Interviews can be intimidating, especially if the candidate is unprepared or nervous. However, it is crucial for candidates to know the proper interview etiquette.
Nailing your dream job does not have to be hard, so here are a few tips to help you be your best during the interview!
Pro tip: The first question you will most likely get on a job interview will be a vague “Tell me about yourself.” This question can be tricky for some, especially if you are not used to pitching yourself. Make sure to practice your pitch in front of a mirror, or practice with a friend. Remember, it should be no longer than 30 seconds, and should include relevant information about your experience and education.
1. Do Your Research
Although it seems obvious that you should research both the company and position you are interviewing for- many people do not. This is a major red flag for employers, with 47% (nearly half!) admitting that they would not hire a candidate who failed to conduct the necessary background research into the company. Not only is this important to know to get the job, but its important to keep this information for yourself. Ultimately, you need to know if the company is a good fit for you. This could include information about whether the position matches your skillset, or statistics and reviews concerning the company’s morale. Make it your mission to do your research on the company itself and verify that they have maintained an equitable working environment. You can find information on this from sources such as Glassdoor and Indeed.com.
2. Remain Calm
This goes without saying, but you would be surprised at how effective it is to keep your cool in stressful situations. Interviews are nerve racking but maintain an outward appearance of confidence. so that the nerves do not take over the interview. This will require a little extra preparation. Practice your pitch in front of a mirror and memorize some of your key talking points so that your answers are concise. You can also try meditation, and other relaxation techniques such as yoga or music therapy. Aside from specific techniques, simply doing something that you enjoy will ease your anxiety.
3. Look the Part
Making a good first impression in a job interview is arguably the most crucial step in impressing the interviewer. The first impression is a quick, split second decision employers make about candidates before the interview even begins. Candidates are judged on multiple attributes, including their appearance, dress, speech, and body language. Although we should not judge a book by its cover, hiring managers do it regularly- likely without even realizing it. The extra care you take into your appearance, such as wearing business attire and maintain appropriate personal grooming will be worthwhile. This could also work to boost your confidence! Body Language is a major indicator of a person’s attitude, and hiring managers usually pay close attention. You could risk being removed from consideration if your body language and tone convey disinterest, boredom, or hostility. Instead, smile and maintain a positive attitude towards the interviewer.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Begin the interview with your goals in mind. What do you want out of the position? How is the work/life balance? What about the company culture? Does management prefer that employees work together as a team, or is an independent work encouraged? Is this a fast-paced work environment? These are just a few examples of questions that you should ask because they will be extremely important later if you get the job. It is important to note that you ask questions as well. You can even think of it as a joint interview. Not only to learn more about the position, but to determine if it is the right fit for you. Taking on a new job is a big decision in your life, so you want to make sure that it is the right one.
5. Be Strategic
In relation to what was stated previously, make sure you hit all your points and stay focused. Sometimes the interviewer can unintentionally steer the conversation away from the topic, and you can get sidetracked. Small talk and pleasantries are fine, but always try to stick to the subject and relay what you want the interviewer to know the most. This could include your educational background, work or volunteer experience, and certifications.
6. Be Honest
Often, people tend to embellish some of the details about their experience, talent level, expertise, certifications, and recommendations. It is in poor taste, and employers will likely find out about the dishonesty at some point after onboarding. The repercussions can be harsh, and potentially blackball you from your industry. In this case, honesty is truly the best policy. Employers will appreciate it if you are upfront with them about your skillset, expectations, and availability. Being deceptive could result in you being removed from consideration or lead to unnecessary misunderstandings that can result in termination after the fact.
7. Be Courteous
According to CNBC, “being late is the biggest red flag to hiring managers”. It is disrespectful and conveys to the interviewer that you have little respect for their time, and little interest in the position. Be polite and practice professional decorum, when interacting with your interviewer, no matter how laid back they may be. Bottom Line: Do not get too comfortable- it is still an interview. Shake their hand, smile, and interact with them strictly in a professional manner.
8. Do not Settle for Less
You may discover during the interview that the position is not a good fit, and that is okay! If the interview is not going particularly well, or you simply change your mind, it is perfectly normal to no longer be interested in the role. Please keep in mind that this does not make you a failure. It is simply a sign that new opportunities await! If you do find the potential offer attractive, make sure your expectations are clearly outlined before moving forward.
For additional interview help and resources, contact us!