How you perform during a job interview can make or break your chances of receiving an offer. Follow these 10 basic requirements to improve your chances and stand out among the rest of the applicants.
1. Research the Company
During a job search, it's common to research companies within your field. When preparing for a job interview, this research is crucial. Identify key aspects about the firm, the company's mission statement and culture and the products and services provided to help fuel the conversation and impress the hiring manager.
2. Arrive Early
Punctuality communicates professionalism, so plan to arrive 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled time. If you have to wait in the lobby, use this time to gather your thoughts and rehearse job interview questions.
3. Dress Professionally
Research the company's dress code prior to your appointment, and plan to dress accordingly. It's better to be overdressed than underdressed. Avoid wearing bulky accessories or jewelry that may cause you to fidget.
4. Come Prepared With References
Identify individuals within your field and at your former companies who can vouch for your work and ask them for a reference. Bring your list of references to the job interview. If possible, use a professional reference who already works for the firm.
5. Have Your Portfolio Ready
Not only should you have copies of your resume on hand when attending a job interview, you should also have a comprehensive online portfolio prepared. Create a website that looks professional and outlines your qualifications. It is also a good idea to include sample work if you're entering a creative industry.
6. Focus on Your Accomplishments
It's easy to veer off topic during a conversation with a hiring manager but try and get the conversation back on track by focusing on your accomplishments. Prepare a 30-second pitch that outlines awards, credentials and satisfactory results with clients.
7. Detail Why You Want to Work for the Firm
Employers enjoy hearing what you know about the firm, but they also need to know how your skills and qualifications can benefit company operations. Research the common tasks employees complete on a daily basis, and then describe how your specific skills make you the perfect candidate.
8. Know Your Resume
Many times, employers use your resume as a basis for their questions during a job interview. Know the details of your past positions, education and skills inside and out so you can expand beyond the information on the resume you created during your job search.
9. Display Confidence
Even if you are nervous, put a smile on your face and talk about your accomplishments confidently. Use phrases such as "I know" and "I can" versus "I think" when speaking to the interviewer.
10. Monitor Body Language
Your body language speaks volumes, so it's imperative that you make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and smile and nod when listening to what the hiring manager has to say.
With enough preparation, you can nail the job interview and showcase your professionalism by following these 10 steps. Show that you are the best applicant for the job, and let your professionalism guide the meeting.
Photo Courtesy of Ceneje Jeftinije at Flickr.com