Job interviews are stressful situations because so much hangs in the balance, and hiring committees are always coming up with new skills tests, interview styles, and other means of gauging applicants. With that in mind, it’s all the more important that you arrive prepared for your next job interview.
These four tips will help increase your confidence so that you can walk into that room with excitement and enthusiasm, instead of anxiety.
Do Your Homework
When preparing for a job interview, one of the most important things you can do is ensure that you’re familiar with the company you’re interested in working with. Spend some time reviewing their website, re-reading the job listing, and identifying initiatives or programs of interest that you may want to ask questions about during the interview.
Know Your Strengths
Companies are determined to attract top talent, but you need to sell your skills to them and prove that you can help take their operations to the next level. So, how can you demonstrate your value as a potential hire? Before your interview, review your resume and identify specific examples of projects you’ve worked on in the past or programs you’ve developed and how you were instrumental to their success.
You might also identify areas where you hope to grow in a new role because what you’ve done isn’t always as important as what you aspire to.
Dress For Success
Just like you should prepare your resume and other materials before your interview so that you’re not scrambling on the big day, you should also make sure you’ve chosen an outfit that makes you feel polished, professional and confident.
This will vary depending on the type of job you’re interviewing for, but in addition to your wardrobe basics, like a blazer and oxford shirt, you’ll also want to lay out your accessories. Don’t overdo it on jewelry, but be sure you have the right bag for carrying your resume and other essentials, such as a classic leather tote for women, or a messenger bag or briefcase for men.
Practice Your Answers
It’s hard to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked during a job interview, but there are some standard queries you’ll likely be asked, including non-specific, open ended requests like, “Tell us about yourself.” As unpredictable as this aspect of the interview process is, though, reviewing common interview questions and asking a friend to run through a mock interview with you can help you feel more prepared.
Consider this a time to find your words, practice projecting a confident tone, and work on cutting out filler words, which can make you sound uncertain or unprofessional.
One of the difficulties of going on job interviews is that they never quite become routine. Rather, because they take place with new people every time and focus on a variety of roles, they’re always a little different, but that’s okay.
Consider this a good reason to stay sharp and avoid becoming complacent – it will make you a better candidate and help you build good professional habits that will serve you for years to come.