Interviews are stressful. However, by preparing beforehand and understanding what to do during the job interview, you are much more likely to land the job. Here are some tips to help you ace the traditional interview. Other types to consider are the telephone and behavioral interviews.
- Make a great first impression by being 5 or 10 minutes early, dressing professionally and shaking the interviewer’s hand. Be polite to all you meet no matter their position in the company.
- Give a firm hand shake in the beginning and end of the interview, making eye contact during the handshake and throughout the interview.
- Speak clearly and enthusiastically, but not too quickly. Avoid slang and verbal pauses such as “um” and “like.” Practice interviewing beforehand so you feel comfortable speaking about yourself with confidence. Another way to avoid "ums" and rambling is to take a second or two to think before responding to a question. This shows you are putting some thought into your answer.
- Provide examples of your skills by discussing and displaying your experiences and knowledge. In addition to oral answers, respond to questions by showing work samples from your portfolio. For more information on preparing yourself to answer questions, visit the before the interview webpage.
- Project confidence and positivity. Don’t downplay what you’ve done, but don’t come off as cocky. Practice that balance beforehand so it feels comfortable during the real interview. However, always do let your true personality show while exhibiting some of the behaviors that someone in the desired position would need, such as being passionate, precise, calm, etc. Also, match the degree of warmth exhibited by the interviewer.
- Ask researched, prepared questions about the position and about the company. For help preparing questions, visit the before the interview webpage.
- Get a sense of your likelihood to get the job by asking, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where do I stand?” toward the end of the interview.
- Before leaving, ask the interviewer when a hiring decision will be made. Also ask for contact information as well as when and how you should follow-up about the position.
Next: What should you do after the interview to get the job?