Landing your dream position has nothing to do with luck (with apologies to St. Patrick!). It‘s about your work experience, personality, professionalism, and most importantly, your interviewing skills. However, interviewing is just like any other skill: practice makes perfect. Here are some simple tips for you to practice to give yourself a leg up on your competition:
• Have composure. Being overly nervous during an interview can be portrayed as a lack of confidence. If the hiring manager doesn’t see you as someone who is self-assured, then they could doubt your ability to successfully fill the open position. Remember: they brought you in because they liked what they saw. They want to hear what you have to say! Show them that they are right.
• Mind you P’s and Q’s. It’s easy to overlook the simplest steps to being hired. Do not forget to use your manners and be polite. Saying “please” and “thank you” may get you further than you would think. BONUS: this step is also useful outside of the interview!
• Do your research. Applicants often make the mistake of not researching a company prior to an interview. Familiarize yourself with a company’s mission, services and values prior to your job interview. This way you can express a true interest and passion for your potential position. Dropping knowledge about the company is a quick and super effective way to start conversation during the interview and is likely to make an impression on the interviewer.
• Honesty is the best policy. Avoid misrepresenting yourself and your skills by making false statements about experience or positions previously held. This goes for your resume, too. Even if you feel as though your interviewer is looking for a particular answer, always use truthful and direct answers.
• Be prepared. Prepare yourself by reviewing your resume and practicing general interview questions. It is always a good idea to refresh your memory on the information you have listed on your resume. Train your brain for quick and efficient responses to questions regarding your history.
• Present yourself well. Dress professionally, bring pen and paper to make notes and remember to be enthusiastic about this opportunity. By presenting yourself as a well-rounded and professional individual, you make a great impression on your potential employer.
• Do not forget to follow up. Sending a thank you note, preferably handwritten, to your interviewer is a professional way of showing appreciation for the opportunity. Also, if your interviewer does not indicate when they plan to get back with you, do not be afraid to ask politely when you should expect to hear from them.
• Be proud of yourself. Do not get discouraged after a job interview. Instead, remember to stay positive. After all, you were one of the individuals to receive an interview out of the pile of applications they received.
Relax, take a deep breath and put your best foot forward. With a positive attitude and use of the above tips, you are well on your way to scoring the job you’ve been hoping for. Maybe luck will be on your side after all!