It’s normal to be nervous before an interview. You’re going in front of strangers with the goal of convincing them that your professional and personal skills make you the best candidate (often over many others) for the job. Although each interviewing experience is different, there are many interview help tips that work across the board and will help raise your chances of landing the job.
You may not know where to start with all your interviewing questions, but luckily, whether you’re meeting in-person, over the phone, or on online platforms like Zoom, our guide of interview help tips answers them. Follow our job interview preparation tips to ensure that you’re prepared to ace your interview.
What Is the Best Way to Prepare For an Interview?
You already landed the interview, which means you already marketed yourself well on paper with your work experience. The interview is of course, where you get to have that back-and-forth conversation, and where you get to highlight who you are as not just an employee, but as a person.
Do your research and bring questions
It’s likely that you’ve already taken the time to learn about the opportunity if you’ve made it past the application process and are now in the first round of interviews. That being said, make sure you take the time to learn about not just the job itself, but about the company. Research the size, age, location(s), etc of the company, because you never know what the hiring manager might ask.
Questions are an important part of the interview process — not only for the employer but also for the interviewee. Prepare a list of questions to ask during the latter part of an interview to show that you are interested and curious about the position. These questions should be open-ended rather than yes or no, in order to stimulate and keep the conversation going.
Proving you’ve taken the time to research the position and the company, and also took the time to come up with questions, shows that you’re serious about this job and are willing to put in work.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
When you can recite your strengths in a clear and concise manner, you make it easier for employers to see what you bring to the table. Analyze your specific accomplishments at your previous position, and be ready to provide statistics to back them up. Bring work examples to the interview if they’re applicable to the position you’re applying for.
It may seem difficult to identify and explain shortcomings at a previous job, but doing so may leave a positive impression on your next employer. When someone asks about your weaknesses, remember to explain how you learned from your mistakes and took measures to improve your work. This shows an employer that you are willing to identify areas of growth and strive to improve in your career.
Arrive on time
It shouldn’t have to be said, but we’re saying it just in case! Make sure at a minimum you’re arriving on time for your interview. It’s even better to get there ten minutes early to ensure you have everything you need and gather your thoughts while you wait for the hiring manager.
What Is the Best Body Language For an Interview?
Carry yourself professionally
There is undoubtedly a certain way of carrying yourself in a professional manner. Standing and sitting up straight shows you’re paying attention, whereas slouching would tell the hiring manager that you may not care about the job or that you’re too tired.
Maintain eye contact throughout the interview, as it will signal that you are enthusiastic about the opportunity and trustworthy. While the employer is speaking, nod along to show that you are actively listening to them.
Make sure you provide a firm handshake before and after meeting with the interviewer. This gesture signals that you are confident and happy to meet the employer, as well as thankful for them taking the time to meet and discuss with you.
Have a positive attitude
If you bring a positive and friendly attitude to your interview, chances are the interviewer will like who you are as a person. It’s good to smile during the conversation, but don’t overdo it or it may seem fake. Instead, there are other ways to exhibit your positive attitude.
Engaging in the conversation is one surefire way to exhibit positivity. You already know to ask questions about both the job and the company, so doing this shows that you feel good and are feeling confident that you are a good fit for this role.
Answer the employer’s questions with full sentences and answers that keep the conversation alive. Just like you don’t want only yes or no answers from them, they definitely don’t want them from you.
At the end of the interview, reiterate how nice it was to meet them, and how grateful you are to have had the opportunity to discuss the position with them. A positive and humble attitude can make you memorable, and go a long way.
Ace the interview etiquette
Even if it’s not something you’re used to, it’s better to overdress than to underdress for an interview. A good rule of thumb is to dress like that company’s most important customer was coming in for a visit. If you were already an employee, you’d want to make the most positive impression possible; just like you want to make the most positive impression on the hiring manager now.
Besides nice attire, it’s essential to groom yourself properly before an interview. Take a shower, clean your fingernails and style your hair as you would for any important meeting or event. Go easy on perfumes or colognes (or better yet—skip them entirely), as the smell can be distracting and or even cause an allergic reaction. Last but not least, be polite and courteous to everyone you meet at the company. You never know who will speak to the hiring manager about their interaction with you.
What Should I Say in a Phone Interview? How Should I Carry Myself?
It’s normal, especially for bigger companies, to do the initial interview over the phone or on an online platform. It’s even more common now that we’re in the midst of Covid-19. Most of the tips we’ve already covered apply still when doing an interview on the phone or online, even dressing up!
A phone interview is often a job candidate’s first interaction with an employer, so it’s important to make a great first impression. Use the opportunity to “sell yourself” and get the employer excited about meeting you. You really won’t say anything different than you would if you were at an in-person interview. Act as confident, prepared, and gracious as you would in-person.
On a video call, the interviewer will be able to see you, usually from below the shoulders and up, so it might seem obvious to dress up. This doesn’t mean a blazer on top and sweatpants on the bottom, where they can’t see you! The same goes for phone interviews. The interviewer might not be able to see you, but you should still dress for success. Throwing on a suit and tie will have an impact on your attitude. It will make you feel more prepared and confident for the job since you look the part.
What Do You Say After an Interview to Follow Up?
An interview can end in several ways: You may be offered a job, you may be invited to a second interview or you may receive no further instructions at all. If you are interviewing for a contract position through STS, the employer will wait to extend a job offer until they have spoken with our staffing experts. We will work with the employer to determine things like the billing rate and payment terms if they have decided to bring you on board. We will use our expertise to get you the best contract possible.
In general, at the end of an interview, remember to genuinely thank the hiring manager for taking the time to meet with you. If you have any additional questions that weren’t covered, this is a good last chance to ask. One question that is normal to ask towards wrapping it up is whether the employer has a timeline they’re working with. Asking this is a good way to find out when you can expect to hear about a decision.
If you’re really interested in the job you just interviewed for, then ask to be hired. There is no more direct way to express your strong interest than to simply ask for the job. Say, ‘I really like what we discussed and feel that I can bring solid skills to this role. I would like the job.’ Most hiring managers don’t hear this from candidates they interview, so don’t expect an answer on the spot, but if you really want the job, you’re leaving little doubt as to your level of interest. As the old saying goes, ‘Fortune favors the Bold!’
It’s also common to send a follow-up or thank you email the same or the next day. In this short and enthusiastic message, you can reiterate your interest in the position and your gratefulness for the interview.
Land the Job!
Whether you’re an interviewing pro, or just scheduled your first interview ever, these job interview preparation tips will help you with your chances of landing the job. Though it can seem overwhelming, remember over everything else, to be the most polite and professional version of yourself.
If you’d like to discuss interview help tips further, or to enlist the help of STS Staffing in your job search, contact us today!