Once you have wowed a potential employer with your resume and cover letter, the next hurdle is the interview. While this process can be daunting and certainly brings anxiety with it, we have some pointers to make interviewing a piece of cake!
Interviewers love to see preparation.
Coming into the interview with the necessary materials is a must. Bringing along your laptop or iPad is a good idea for quick access to resources if WiFi is easily accessible. Yet, even in our technology-driven world, having a hard copy in hand of your cover letter, resume, the application, and references can make a good impression if needed or asked for. Also, interviewees should have a pen and notebook. Finally, any portfolio examples can create an opportunity to showcase your skills as well.
Interviewers love to see appropriate dress.
The general rule is that it’s better to be too dressy than to be underdressed for an interview. Another general rule is to dress one step up from how you would dress on a regular work day for the potential job you are interviewing for. If you are unsure about dress expectations at this particular company, a quick visit to their company website or social media may give you an idea based on photos posted. If all else fails, stick to the rules of typical professional dress.
Interviewers love to see a confident demeanor.
Confidence really is key. To impress your interviewer, make sure to employ confident body language, such as natural movements rather than stiff postures. Try to avoid slumping or fidgeting. Smiling and regular eye contact are also signs to an interviewer that you have a strong sense of self and a good professional presence. If multiple interviewers are in the room, make sure to include everyone in your answers instead of focusing in on one person the entire time. Lastly, whatever you do, do not look at your phone (or even use your phone to take notes)–a mistake that seems to be a more frequent problem in interviews. Be entirely focused on the present and the people in front of you.
Interviewers love to talk to you.
Obviously, the talking part of an interview is pretty important, and it is the one part of the interview that you cannot totally prepare for in advance. However, you can still prepare and practice to an extent. Go into the interview with a thorough knowledge of the job description and position you are seeking. Study that thing and even prepare questions to ask about the job! Likewise, know about the company–interviewers love to see that you really want this job and have spent time making sure of that.
Maintain an optimistic attitude throughout the interview–no matter what. Many, many interviewees have fallen into a pitfall of negativity, particularly regarding a former job or employer. This NEVER reads well to a potential hirer. On that same note, be personable without oversharing. Stick to what is relevant and what you are being asked without rambling detours into irrelevant and perhaps distracting information. Interviewers love concise but direct answers without a lot of fluff (which can come across as deflecting).
You’ve got this!
The best piece of interview advice really is to stay positive, focused, and confident. Know yourself and your strengths–you have a lot to offer. Go into your interview prepared and ready to showcase your best self. For more interview help, reach out to our team at Em and a Pen to guide you along the way.