Got that interview call? Great! Pat yourself on the back. And now it’s time to think about how you can land that job. There are obviously more people out there vying for the same position. So how do you make the cut? Read on for tips on how to make an impression, listen and respond appropriately at your job interview.
Be on time: Reach half an hour early rather than five minutes late for your interview. Punctuality is a mark of being professional. It means that you value your own time as well as other peoples’ time. Besides, your interviewer’s punctuality will also give you some idea about how organised and professional the company is.
Do your homework: Read up whatever you can about the company. Speak to your friends or relatives; they might give you some valuable insights. Keep yourself informed about the company’s latest achievements and current events. This will tell your interviewer that you are smart and well-informed.
Know your resume: Make sure that you read through your resume thoroughly before your interview. It is awkward to be questioned on things that you don’t remember.
Look professional: Good grooming is important to looking professional. Pay attention to your clothes, makeup and hairstyle. It’s always best to show up in formals for a job interview even if the company does not impose a formal dress code.
Wear light makeup since the interview is likely to be in the day. Keep your hairstyle simple, with your hair away from your eyes and cheeks. Gold or silver earrings that go with your dress but don’t take attention away from your face are appropriate. Get a pedicure and wear elegant, comfortable footwear.
Body language: Sit, stand and walk erect. Throw your shoulders back to appear relaxed and confident. Make eye contact with your interviewer and give a firm handshake. This makes you appear trustworthy.
Don’t bend forward too much or put your elbows on the table when you speak. It might look like you’re trying too hard to please. Also, don’t use too many hand gestures while speaking. It is distracting and shows a lack of confidence. Be calm, composed and let your words speak for you.
Think before you speak: There might be some difficult questions – why you took a break or why you quit that job. Decide what you are going to tell your interviewer. Avoid gossiping about your previous employer. People don’t trust those who gossip. Saying that you were looking for better opportunities will suffice.
If you had personal problems or health issues, be brief and keep a positive tone.
In case you are unaware of something in your field of work, say that you don’t know. Saying “I’ve heard about it, but don’t know” will make you appear lazy. Don’t pretend to know – your interviewer will know it.
Listen well: You may have mentally rehearsed what you are going to say in certain situations. But it’s important to be open and listen to what your interviewer is actually saying. That can be the difference between a wrong answer and the correct one.