In order to land your dream job, you have to impress during the interview. While many find this part of the job hunt stressful and daunting, it really is your chance to shine. With a good strategy you can lessen your anxiety, nail that interview, and secure the job that you have been longing for. Here are several tips you can use to land that dream job.
Do Your Research
Well before you take a seat in that interview chair, make sure that you have armed yourself with all of the information you need to succeed. Read up on the company as well as the industry to familiarize yourself with what the company does, its culture, what it hopes to achieve in the future, and what obstacles it’s facing. Don’t forget to envision and articulate why you want to work there and how well you would fit in with the team. To be sure, the easiest way to disqualify yourself is to be ignorant about the company that you want to work for or the person who is interviewing you. If you’re unsure about some of the particulars, that’s ok. Talk to the interviewer about what you have learned about them and the company and then ask follow-up questions about what you’re unsure about to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework.
Go Over Your Selling Points
Take the information you acquired while doing your research and think about what you bring to the table that the company would consider valuable. What can you do to make this team a success? Prepare three to five selling points that showcase what makes you the best candidate. And try to make them as unique as possible. Everyone will promise to “work hard” so think outside the box.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The more prepared you are the more relaxed you will be and one great way to do that is to rehearse. Many organizations and schools set up mock interview sessions that you can attend. Or if you know someone else in the industry (or just a friend), ask them to play the role of interviewer and get feedback from them. Even if the questions you get in the actual interview are different, you’ll walk in much more confidently and that’s half the battle. It’ll also help you articulate how your past experiences can help you in the current job. You may not have direct experience doing a particular task, but there’s always something in your background that you can analogize. But it takes practice to articulate this successfully.
Get Some Questions Ready
Just about every interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. In fact, many interviewers get tired of asking questions and use this time to give themselves a much needed break. If you have nothing to say, the interviewer may feel that you are not that interested in the job or feel that the interview is laborious. Often the interviews that feel “hard” to the interviewer are the candidates that go to the end of the pile, regardless of qualifications. So make sure to prepare a few intelligent questions about the job and company ahead of time so that you know what to say when the time comes. It’s also great to follow-up with the interviewer about their own personal journey, what their “everyday” work life looks like and other questions that direct the focus to them. Not only will you learn a lot, but the interviewer is likely to enjoy the interview even more when they get to talk about themselves!
Be On Time With Your Materials in Hand
If you want to appear confident and collected, you need to try to keep your stress levels down. If you're running late and rushing around you will show up at your interview frazzled and give the impression that you are unorganized. Aim to be early and leave yourself more than enough time to get ready. Take the extra time before the interview to look over your resume and practice your selling points. It’s also important to bring extra copies of your resume, transcript, references, writing sample or any other document that was asked of you. Even if you’ve already submitted this information, files get lost and interview schedules change. If you have the materials with you, you will look well prepared and assist the interviewer, which is always a plus. It’ll also allow you the opportunity to bring a binder that can hold a pen, some note paper, or your list of questions in case you need them.
Watch Your Body Language
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make or break your chances of success during an interview. Appear confident by making lots of eye contact and sitting up straight. Practice your handshake so that it is firm but not aggressive and make sure you are speaking clearly and at an appropriate volume. You should also dress professionally and avoid strong perfumes that can distract the interviewer. Last but not least, remember that everyone is watching you. Every interviewer, the staff, the people you meet at lunch or happy hour etc. etc. so keep your game face on throughout the entire day.
Follow Up After the Interview
Just because the interview has come to an end and you have walked out the door doesn’t mean there is nothing more you can do to increase your chances of getting that job offer. In most industries, it’s appropriate to send the interviewer a thank you note. The primary goal here is to keep yourself in the interviewer’s mind, so it’s great to add a little tidbit that went well from the interview so that the interviewer remembers exactly who you are. But BE CAREFUL! The thank you note can also tank your chances. Don’t copy and paste from another thank you e-mail because often the formatting will give you away. And keep it short so that you lessen the chance of a typo or grammatical error. Finally, if you think the interview went extremely well already just say thank you and give them your contact information in the event they have follow-up questions. No need to oversell.
What dream job will you be interviewing for in 2019?
Sierra E is a Los-Angeles based trial lawyer and entrepreneur. She became partner at her law firm in 2015 and has made numerous appearances as a guest legal correspondent on CNN. In 2018, Sierra launched SuitKits, an online shopping service that allows women to custom design suits and separates to fit their exact measurements, style, color and cut. Through her career, her writings, and her company, Sierra hopes to help women from all backgrounds achieve both personal and professional success for the benefit of themselves and their families. You can find her on Twitter/Facebook/IG @SuitKits