You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who absolutely loves going to job interviews. For many, it’s an incredibly tense experience, especially when you’re not sure exactly what to expect going in. You can rehearse your answers all you want, but chances are that something’s going to come up that you never expected.
Fortunately, there is a few simple things you can do to help your next job interview go as smoothly as possible. While you can never completely guarantee yourself the job of your dreams, a clear head and plenty of preparation can go a long way towards impressing an interviewer.
Before the Interview
Your first impression is the most important one, so naturally, make sure you look presentable before you go in for the actual interview. Dress and groom yourself appropriately and prepare any materials you might need (such as a resume, portfolio, work samples, etc.) beforehand. You should also research the organization thoroughly so that you’ll be ready to answer any relevant questions about their work.
More tips to keep in mind:
- Be on time
- Don’t over-rehearse your answers
- Bring a notebook and pen so you can take notes
During the Interview
The way you present yourself will drastically affect the way that people perceive you. Be polite and give a firm handshake when you first meet the interviewer. Make sure you speak clearly and don’t go too far off topic when giving your answers. If you need a few moments to formulate a response, don’t be afraid to ask for them; most interviewers would rather you take your time to think carefully than just rattle off something as quickly as possible.
Also, remember to:
- Use confident posture
- Frame your answers in a way that relates to the job
- Be honest
After the Interview
Once the interview is over, you might be tempted to just rush out the door and wait for the employer to contact you. But don’t forget to leave them with a strong final impression; give a strong handshake, thank them for their time, and leave behind a copy of your resume and work samples. Be sure to follow up later via phone, letter or email.
For a more illustrative breakdown of how to best prepare yourself when interviewing for a position, check out this graphic from Company Folders detailing the 21 best tips for a successful job interview.