It's impossible to predict what a job interview will entail, but there are steps you can take to prepare. If you've received a phone call inviting you in for an in-person interview, that means the organization is interested. Now, it's up to you to convince the hiring manager that you're the right person for the job. Here are five quick tips to help you maximize your chances at your next job interview.
1. Prepare a Folder of Important Documents
Always bring a hard copy of your resume to the job interview. Even if you applied online, providing a hard copy for the hiring manager is a subtle yet helpful gesture that shows that you go above and beyond. In addition to your resume, bring any documents that back up your claims. For example, if you had excellent sales figures at your last job, bring a graph that highlights those numbers. You don't need to make an elaborate presentation, but any materials that show excellent performance in past jobs can only benefit you.
2. Dress for Success
It should go without saying, but if you're seeking employment, make sure you have a clean, professional outfit ready to go. While you should always wear professional attire to a job interview, it's important that you keep your comfort in mind, too. If it's a hot summer day, wearing a full suit probably isn't the best idea. A lack of personal comfort can be a distraction, which can cause you to falter during the job interview process.
3. Research the Organization
Spend some time really getting to know the company. Read the website thoroughly, and try to get a feel for the organization's corporate culture. Find key words and phrases, and incorporate them into your own resume. Your goal is to make yourself seem like an easy fit, making you the obvious choice for your hiring manager.
4. Plan Your Answers and Questions
There are plenty of classic job interview questions that you can anticipate. There's no guarantee that you'll be asked them, but practicing your responses helps to get you in the zone, at the very least. You're probably going to get some unexpected questions, too. Take your time, think about your answer and respond confidently. Don't rush your words. You're better off giving a solid, slow response on the fly than trying too hard to tweak a canned response. Answer questions out loud with another person so you can get a better feel for your volume, cadence and body language.
5. Take Care of Yourself
In the days leading up to the job interview, be on your best behavior. Try to get a full night's sleep, and maintain a consistent schedule. Eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of water. Not only will you feel your absolute best, but you'll also give the best possible impression to the person conducting the interview.
It's important to prepare, but overthinking the job interview can be problematic. Try not to overanalyze it and get stressed out. You've got an interview; that's the first step. Now, be confident, and remember that you're interviewing the company, too. Don't undervalue what you bring to the table.
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