Walking into a job interview unprepared is one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make. Transform your approach with these 13 strategies designed to help you prepare and nail your next meeting with a prospective employer.
1. Prepare Questions
While you should expect to answer interview questions, it's also important to prepare questions for the interviewer. Candidates who ask pointed questions that showcase their knowledge of the company or industry are more likely to impress hiring managers.
2. Display Confidence
How you present yourself during a job interview is often a key determinant of whether you will be hired. Show that you believe in your ability to perform the job duties, impact the company positively and maximize your potential with a confident stature.
3. Establish a Calm Mindset
It's common to be nervous for an interview, but overly jittery candidates send the wrong message. Take deep breaths before your meeting and recite positive affirmations to boost your confidence and calm your nerves.
4. Build Rapport
Establish a connection with the interviewer right away with a few ice breakers. For example, inquire about a photo on the hiring manager's desk or ask about his day before diving into a discussion about your experience and skills.
5. Maintain Positive Body Language
Smile often and offer a firm handshake to start the job interview off right. It's also crucial to make good eye contact and avoid fidgeting.
6. Research Salary Options
Be prepared to discuss salary toward the end of the first meeting with a potential employer. Do your homework and determine a salary range that represents your skills and the industry standards.
7. Take Your Time
Avoid rushing through interview questions. Instead, take your time and fully explain how you've made an impact within your previous positions.
8. Stay Focused
It's tempting to stray from the main topic, but do your best to answer each question with a brief and direct response. When candidates stray from the point, the temptation to reveal personal information increases, which ultimately could lead to discrimination based on the information you present.
9. Identify Your Motivation
Employers want to know what motivates you on the job. Provide specific scenarios of how your motivation helped you excel in previous positions.
10. Show Initiative
Take an eager approach when asked about your start date. If you're available, indicate you can start right away so employers see you are interested and ready to get to work.
11. Market Your Skills
Don't shy away from marketing your skill set during a job interview. Make a list before the meeting of your hard and soft skills so you remember to relay this information.
12. Inquire About the Process
Show you are interested in how the company operates by inquiring about the hiring process. Ask the interviewer if he needs more information before you leave.
13. Follow Up
Send a thank you note to the interviewer immediately following the job interview. While a handwritten note may be appreciated, an email sent on the same day offers a more immediate way to express your eagerness for the opportunity.
Make a positive impression during your job interview by following these 13 steps that help to showcase your professionalism and talents.
Photo Courtesy of Interview Skills at Flickr.com