You’ve graduated and now you want a job. It’s time to nail your interview.
Interviews are one of the most important parts of any job you will get. In order for a company to get a feel of who you are as a professional, an interview lays the groundwork for who you are. This will be the standard you are held to throughout your job. No pressure, right?
If you want to start off on the right foot, take a look at these 6 tips on what you should do in an interview.
1. Give a firm handshake and maintain eye contact
When you walk into your interview, you’re usually greeted with a handshake. Many employers use this to gauge your confidence levels. A handshake can say a lot. If a handshake is weak, employers might interpret it as a lack of confidence, the same goes for lack of eye contact. By failing to meet your interviewer's gaze, they will assume you have low confidence and that could potentially turn the interviewer off of hiring you. Always ensure you give a firm handshake while maintaining eye contact with the interviewer and remember to smile. Eye contact without smiling might give off a serial killer vibe and no one wants that.
2. Do your research
It isn’t uncommon for a company to ask you what you know about them. In fact, it’s pretty standard. What isn’t standard is the deer caught in the headlights look. I doubt you want to be that deer. To avoid that, research all you can about the company. Most importantly, know what the company is and its function. Make sure to also research the interviewer. Bringing up an interviewer’s accomplishments will not only impress them, but show that you took the time to do the research.
3. Dress professionally
This may seem like an obvious one but everyone’s definition of professional isn’t always the same. Black jeans might be professional to some people. Leggings might seem professional to someone else. It 's all a matter of opinion. To avoid accidentally showing up underdressed, show up overdressed. No one has ever lost a job because they dressed too well. If you even have to ask the question of whether you’re underdressed, you are. As a standard, dress pants and a blazer are always a good look, but the choice is yours. As long as it doesn’t have a drawstring of some kind, you should be fine.
4. Show up early
Being late to an interview is a clear sign that you are scattered. If you can’t make it to the interview on time, how can you make it to work on time every day? To avoid looking sloppy, simply show up early. Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Showing up too early could actually be bad for you too. Surprising an interviewer by showing up half an hour early might agitate them more than impress them. A good rule of thumb is to show up usually around ten minutes early. That way you have time to collect your thoughts and the interviewer won’t feel rushed.
5. Ask questions
If you’re interested in the job, show you are interested in the job. Most likely, there are a lot of things you won’t know about the job or the company. It’s important to ask questions so you not only get a solid idea of what will be expected of you but to show your enthusiasm about the job. An employer doesn’t want an apathetic employee who doesn’t care where they are or what they are doing. They want an employee who cares. Asking questions shows you care about the job and that you want to thoroughly understand the company itself.
6. Follow up
The interview is over which means the pressure is off, right? Wrong. The pressure is still on. A mistake a lot of candidates make is to not follow up after an interview. By sending a quick email thanking them for the interview, you accumulate a lot of bonus points. Not only is it professional, it will make you stand out. Make sure not to wait too long after the interview either. The next day is usually a good time to send a quick email and will show that you are still thinking about the position.