Being in the "hot seat" can make anyone nervous, which is why job interviews often cause a bit of stress. Even highly qualified candidates with years of experience get anxious on interview day. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to minimize nervousness and make a great impression. If you have job interview jitters, these five tips for a successful interview can help.
1. Research the Company
Lack of knowledge about the organization and its products or services might leave you fumbling to find answers to basic questions. If you plan to describe the ways in which you can add value to a company, you should know what the organization is all about. Research this information on the company's website and social media pages prior to the job interview. You can also dig for past, present and future articles about the organization to get an idea of how the company started and progressed through the years.
2. Know What the Organization Needs
Prepare to communicate how you plan to contribute to the organization. Gain a thorough understanding of the job description, as this allows you to tell the employer why you're the perfect fit for this job and exactly how you plan to perform in your new role. If you have a specific idea of how to improve or fix a problem the company is facing, see if you can find a way to share your solution during the job interview.
3. Practice Your Answers
While you never know what the interviewer will ask, it's always a good idea to make sure you're prepared to answer questions that commonly come up during a job interview, such as "How did you add value to your previous organization?" or "What is your greatest weakness?" Practice answering such questions out loud in front of a mirror, or record yourself using your laptop, phone or tablet. If possible, practice with your mentor, a colleague or a close friend, and ask for honest feedback to ensure you deliver the best possible answers to these questions on your interview day.
4. Project Confidence
No matter how nervous you are, walk into the interviewer's office with your shoulders back and head held high. Offer a firm handshake and smile and make eye contact with the interviewer throughout the meeting. Fake your confidence if necessary, since a flimsy handshake and slumped-over shoulders can turn employers off. Offering a warm smile is especially important, since you don't want to come off as arrogant.
Do everything you can to relax before your job interview. Listen to relaxing music while driving to the meeting or perform a few deep breathing exercises before entering the building. If possible, exercise the morning of the interview, as this can also help you let some steam off.
These five tips can greatly enhance your overall job interview performance and make you a more attractive candidate. Make these tips a staple during your job search to increase your likelihood of a successful outcome. Can you think of any additional tips for a successful interview?
Photo courtesy of bm-adverts at Flickr.com