First of all, congratulations! If you are reading this post, it means that you have finally got there; long weeks of searching for and applying to numerous employment opportunities paid off, and you scored an interview for that job you wanted. Now what do you do next? Don’t panic, take a nice long deep breath. The company recruiters have already seen something in your resume that makes you stand out from the rest of the pack, all you need to do now, is prove that you are the right person for the position. Here are 7 easy to follow tips that will help you make a lasting impression on the interviewer and land the job.
1. Write your brand statement
You are your own brand, and so you have to be able to pitch yourself to the potential employer. More often than not, an interviewer will ask job candidates to briefly describe themselves. An emphasis here is on “briefly”; your brand statement should be concise, yet effective. Choose your words carefully; it never hurts to actually write down and memorize your pitch ahead of the interview.
2. Do your homework
This one goes without saying, yet many interviewees fail at it miserably. Research, research, research! In this day and age, information is readily available to anyone who knows what the “internet” is all about. You don’t have a computer? Use one in a public library, or one from a friend. You have no excuse! Take it as your obligation to learn as much as you can about the company and the job position; in the very least, it will do you no harm.
3. Know what you are made of
Grab a pen and a notepad, your laptop or whatever works for you, go to your favorite coffee place and start writing. What about? Your strengths and weaknesses: knowing both will put you at an advantage compared to other candidates. Be honest. Be critical. Come up with a list of 5 to 10 points and then write a short narrative for each. Not only do you need to know what you are good at, but also how that particular asset or skill can potentially benefit your future employer. Identifying and acknowledging your weaknesses is also a strength. Most interviewers don’t really want to know what your weak points are, but they do want to see how comfortable you are dealing with the question itself. Be diligent in your assessment, prepared to discuss it, and you will pass this part of the interview with flying colors.
Think of an interview as your grand stage to shine. Then ask yourself, “What do all the great artists do to put on an amaizing performance?”– They rehearse, a lot! Set up a mock interview, ask a friend to help you do a couple of runs or just practice in front of the mirror. This technique will help you build self-confidence and diminish anxiety before the big day. Feedback from the mock interview will help you improve. Do not take it defensively. Accept the critique, work on it, and then do another round. Practice makes perfect
5. Dress for success
Let’s make one thing clear – first impressions matter, probably even more than you think. Before you even open your mouth, you will be judged on how professional you look. Showing up in a sloppy outfit with a gum in your mouth is sure to land nothing more than embarrassment. At the very least, wash your hair and wear a clean set of clothes. To make the best impression however, consider the company’s corporate culture and dress accordingly. For instance, a suit is always the right option for a corporate office job, whereas a more relaxed stylish outfit is a good pick for a company with a creative environment.
6. Be passionate
It is essential to exude positive energy from the minute you enter the door until you leave. You want to show the interviewer how excited you are about this opportunity and how eager you will be to take on any and every task that will be sent your way. Slap a smile on your face, practice a strong handshake, take initiative and lead the conversation. Remember that no employer will hire a lazy bum to linger around the office. So, take notes, ask questions and show some enthusiasm – it will pay off.
7. Write a thank you email
The interview is not over once you leave the room, not until you send a thank you note. Not only is a thank you note a sign of good manners, but also a quick follow-up will increase your odds of getting the job. You can send one immediately after the interview or the following day, it is up to you. In the email, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and restate your desire to join the team. You may want to briefly mention what makes you an ideal fit for the job, as well as to highlight some of the important talking points from the interview. Keep your email short and sweet. Time is of great value to busy people; you don’t want to waste it.
Author: Nataliya Semenchuk is a rising senior at Suffolk University studying Marketing and Global Business, and she currently works for a Legal Department Management firm in Boston.
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