You get that long-awaited call to schedule a job interview, and you're excited beyond words. Within seconds of hanging up the phone, your elation turns to panic as you begin to worry about the big day. Keep this no-fail guide on hand to help you crush that job interview.
1. Conduct Research
Learn everything you can about the hiring organization before your job interview. Review the company's website, read the mission statement, peruse product reviews and identify the key players in the organization. Check out LinkedIn profiles to learn more about the employees who work there and look up news articles or press releases concerning the organization.
2. Practice Responses
Some job interview questions are extremely common, so it's easy to prepare responses ahead of time. Think about how you might respond if asked "What are your career goals for the next five years?" or "What is your greatest weakness?" Practice your responses aloud until your delivery is comfortable and sounds natural.
3. Arrive on Time
It's important to establish punctuality from the start. This shows that you're reliable, professional and eager to get the position. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to your scheduled job interview. This gives you time to check in with the receptionist, review your documents and gather your thoughts.
4. Focus on Breathing
As you're waiting in the lobby or interview room, focus on your breathing to clear your mind and lower your heart rate. When the job interview begins and you're faced with a question, don't rush to give a response. Give yourself a second to take a deep breath, think about your answer and provide a clear, thoughtful response.
5. Demonstrate Your Value
As you're answering the hiring manager's questions, be sure to think back to the research you conducted on the organization. Reference the company's values, mission goals and culture. When you provide a response, be sure to explain how your skills and experience can bring value to the organization.
6. Mind Your Body Language
Pay close attention to your body language throughout the course of your job interview. Begin with a firm handshake and a confident smile. Make eye contact as you introduce yourself and while conversing with the hiring manager. Maintain good posture, and avoid fidgeting or fumbling with papers, pens or jewelry.
7. Prepare Questions
Make sure you come to every job interview with a few questions to ask the hiring manager. Formulate thoughtful questions so the hiring manager knows you did your research. Ask about the organization's challenges in marketing new products or inquire about advancement opportunities.
The job interview is your one chance to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager, so you must distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Use this no-fail guide to gain an edge over your competition.
"Photo courtesy of JacquelineMichelle Brown at Flickr.com