Hunting for a career is a job in itself. We have all been there before. You may find yourself applying to several jobs, but finally feel some sense of relief when you get called in for the interview. Right? Well actually, you may feel even more pressure when preparing for the interview because it brings you one step closer to landing that job. Even though it’s an exciting feeling to be called in, it can also be nerve racking. You may get in your own head asking yourself how should I prepare? How deep should I get into my background? What types of questions should I ask? How much excitement should I show?
Realistically, knowing how to act in a job interview is not easy. You want to use the interview to not only see if you are a fit for the role and company, but you also want to see if the role and company is a fit for you?
It doesn’t matter if this is your first time interviewing for a job or if you are more experienced with the interview process, there are several ways to prepare yourself and set yourself apart from the competition.
In order to prepare for the interview, there are some obvious elements, like wearing a suit, bringing hard copies of your resume, getting there early, making good eye contact, and giving a firm handshake etc. Then there are things that may not be so obvious, but that you should make sure you do like don’t forget to smile, have good posture, try not to play with your hair or fidget, or have hand gesture overkill. We all want to seem important, but leave your cell phone behind! Either shut it off or leave it in the car. You also want to make a good first impression and do not want to have your head buried in your phone waiting for the manager to come out. It just doesn’t look good and you want to be present and engaging for this interview.
From my experience as recruiter, if you are not prepared for the 1st interview, do not expect to get a 2nd. “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”- Will Rogers. Whether you are more junior or experience, act like you have been there before! Do your homework:
Job seekers have a tendency to use fillers like “um,” “you know,” and “like” just to avoid the dead silence. And this is more common than you think. Typically we use these words because we are thinking and collecting our thoughts. Perhaps you are searching for an intelligent answer, the right word or just need to take a moment to come up with your next sentence but here are a few tips to avoid those words while still providing yourself enough time to formulate an answer. Here are a few tips to help lessen the stress.
Use the power of the pause. When you are having conversation and are at the edge of your seat ready to provide your response, take moment to pause before giving your response. The silence may seem awkward at first and uncomfortable, but over time it will help reduce the filler words. Pause…think… answer.
Slow it down! If you talk too fast, you're likely to get a little tongue-tied, especially if you are in the middle of trying to formulate what you are going to say next. It’s one thing to give one word answers and the other is to over explain.
In the end, you want to be yourself. Show interest, have fun and ask good questions to further decide if this company and role is a good fit.
You want to set yourself apart from other candidates and these subtleties can make the difference!