When you’re sending out resumes and cold-calling companies to see if there are any open positions, an interview can feel like the finish line. But once you’ve confirmed your appointment time, you’re not done. Even if you’ve interviewed many times before, you still have work to do. Here’s how to make sure you’re the best candidate:
- Prepare by doing research about the company. An interview is a dialogue between you and your potential future employer. If you don’t know anything about the company, the dialogue will be uncomfortably one-sided. Study up on the company’s web presence. Check out their homepage, their Facebook or Twitter pages if they have them, and consider checking local news as well. Prepare a list of questions to ask or a list of things that you like about the company that you can incorporate into your answers.
- Listen. If you’re a nervous interviewer, it’s easy to get flustered and rush. Listening is a great way to counteract this. Give your interviewer a chance to talk, and when he does, focus on what he’s saying. Not only does this show respect, but it gives you a chance to take a few deep breaths, relax, and think about something other than your own performance.
- Tell your story. To someone who hasn’t followed you through your career, a resume can leave a lot to the imagination. Your job in the interview is to take the information you submitted in your application and turn it into a narrative. Why did you choose your major in college? How did that lead you to your first job? Why did you move on to your next job? Presenting yourself with a story makes you a much stronger candidate.
- Don’t be too friendly. An interview is a conversation, but don’t make the mistake of getting too familiar. Your goal is to be hired, and that’s something that you should always keep in mind. It’s possible to be friendly while maintaining your professionalism. If you’re asked about your hobbies, it’s fine to say that you enjoy eating at restaurants, but it wouldn’t be okay to joke that you spend most Monday mornings recovering from your weekend activities.
- Practice! An interview isn’t something you do every day, so it’s possible your skills may be rusty. That’s why it’s so important to do a dry run before your appointment. Have a friend ask you common interview questions and answer them as if you’re in the interview room. If you get tongue-tied, don’t get discouraged. You’re less likely to fumble on the day if you practice beforehand.
Looking for more help with interviewing? A specialist at Contemporary Staffing Solutions can help you put your best foot forward. Visit our website today to check out our available job offers and get in touch with us for more personalized help.