Making the right impression in your job interview is one of the most important steps in your future career. Many people don’t know this, but job interviews require careful planning and research, otherwise you will significantly reduce the chance of getting the job. In the current economic climate it is very hard to land yourself a job, thus planning your interview before is the key to success
The first (and often the most important) thing to prepare for is your attire. Don’t wait until the last minute to find something to wear – you should prepare for it days in advance and get it properly cleaned and ironed. Remember that you should always dress to fit the context of a job. If you’re applying for a casual gardening company, a suit might not be ideal, but if you’re applying for a position as an accountant or a banker, then a full suit would be the required minimum. Despite what people say, first impressions are everything.
Conducting research about the job and company you’re applying for is imperative. Consider doing a web search and learn as many facts about the company as you can. You can subtlety include these facts during the interview (when appropriate) to show the interviewer that you have done your homework on the company. Don’t overdo it though – you don’t want to sound like you’re repeating their whole website!
Non-verbal messages are often more important than words, so make sure that you greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Maintaining correct posture and eye contact are also two very important non-verbal messages as they make you appear more confident and presentable. These are two big qualities that hiring managers will be looking for.
You should also be able to recite your resume off by heart. As a general rule, you should not need to consult your resume. The interviewer will already have a copy of your resume, and they will ask you questions about it, so don’t try to make up an answer as there is a big chance that you will get it wrong. Highlight your achievements and the value added skills you can bring to the job and back up your statements with examples.
As preparation is the key to a successful job interview, consider doing a short role-play with a friend or family member. Ask them to question you on your resume and the job to fully prepare you for the interview. The more you are prepared the greater your chances of success. Following the interview, thank the interviewer for his or her time and ask when they expect to make a final decision and don’t feel discouraged to follow up with them if you haven’t heard back within a few days.
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