1. Practice: Always practice before your interview! When I was interviewing for jobs, I wrote bullet point answers for The Prepary’s list of the ten most common interview questions. I also conducted mock interviews with friends and family. It is important not to come off as rehearsed and inauthentic, but knowing I had prepared in advance made me much more confident during each round of interviews. You should also know how to discuss your resume. Practice intelligently explaining your position and achievements at each place you’ve worked.
2. Research: Google recent news articles and read the company website. I was able to impress interviewers by congratulating them on recent achievements and accolades, knowing recently published studies and reports, and having a thorough understanding of the company. This shows that you value their time and that you are passionate about the opportunity!
3. Dress Up: Wear a professional outfit, natural makeup, manicured nails, and simple accessories.
4. Be Prepared: Bring a few copies of your resume, a notebook, a pen and anything they may have asked for like a writing portfolio.
5. Turn Off Your Phone: Turn off your phone so that it doesn’t go off during your interview.
6. Arrive Early: Always arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Expect that you may need time to go through security or fill out paperwork. Don’t arrive too early but don’t arrive on time or late. When you arrive early you can fit in time for a quick “Power Pose.”
1. Confident Handshake: Your handshake starts the interview so make sure that it is a strong, confident, handshake. Make eye contact while you are shaking the person’s hand.
2. Smile: Smiling helps to relieve nervousness and makes you come across as friendly, kind, and approachable!
3. Body Language: The psychology of body language is fascinating. For example, having good posture and sitting up instead of slouching gives the impression that you are confident and in control. Don’t fidget your hands or arms because it communicates that you are anxious or bored. Crossing your arms sends the message that you are closed off, annoyed, and unfriendly. (Extra Credit: Read The Ultimate Guide to Body Language and What Every Body is Saying. Watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk.)
4. Eye Contact: Making eye contact communicates confidence and high self-esteem. Make eye contact while you are speaking and while you are listening to the other person.
5. Manners: You may have an interview with multiple people. Each time someone new enters, you should stand up, introduce yourself, and shake their hand. When someone leaves the room, stand up, shake their hand and thank them for their time. This is polite and communicates that you are confident and poised.
6. Ask Questions: Asking questions during an interview is crucial because it shows that you are genuinely interested in the role, the company, and how you can help it to succeed. You should always ask what the next steps are in the hiring process and when it would be appropriate for you to follow up. (Extra Credit: I am going to write a blog post on my favorite interview questions to ask (and questions to avoid asking) but here are a few I recommend asking: What do you like best about working here? What would make someone successful at this role? Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful in making your decision?)
7. Thank Them: At the end of the interview thank them for their time to meet with you and for considering you for the position.
1. Send a Thank You Note: You should always write a thank you note after an interview. Writing a thank you note is polite and shows that you value the interviewers time. It also provides an opportunity for you to reiterate your interest in the company and why you are a good fit. (Extra Credit: How to Write a Thank You Note After an Interview.)
2. Follow Up (Appropriately): You should follow up after an interview. It shows that you are interested and passionate about the opportunity but be patient. I know that it is really stressful and frustrating to not hear back from a position right away. You are interested in the opportunity and want the job! Don’t assume that you didn’t get the job because you haven’t heard back right away. There are so many factors that go into the decision making process. Don’t follow up until the time that the interviewer said it would be appropriate to follow up. Here is an example follow up email: “Thank you again for the time you spent with me last week. Since our interview, I have been thinking a lot about the X position and I remain incredibly excited about it. I know that my past experience with X, Y, Z will make me an incredible asset to X. I wanted to check in on the next steps in the interview process. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information. Thank You, Elana”
I hope this helps you! What would you add to the list?
Image adapted from: Atlantic-Pacific