Congrats! You've landed a job interview. You are now halfway to scoring a new job. Did you know that only 2% of applicants get a chance to attend a job interview? So, this is a big win for you!
But don't get too excited just yet.
On average, 118 people apply for a single job, of which only 2% are called for an interview, and in the end, only one person gets the job.
If you manage to score either a physical or a virtual interview, you have to make a long-lasting impression on your interviewer to get your dream job.
Don't take your job interviews lightly because interviewers are using high-tech tools, including remote recruiting and AI, to screen candidates. So you must be well prepared before you go to your interview. Here are some tips to help you get ready.
Tip 1: Pre-Interview Preparation
Candidates are usually so focused on the interview day that they don't pay attention to pre-interview details. You can outshine other candidates and impress your interviewer by focusing on:
● Your attire. Whether it's a physical or video interview, you should dress up professionally to impress the interviewer with your confident appearance.
● Sleep well. Before attending an interview, you should get a good 6-8 hours of sleep so you’re fresh and attentive for your interview.
● Run a background check. You should head over to the company's website and social media pages to gather all the basic information. On the company's team page, you might find details of your interviewer that can help you personalize your introduction. LinkedIn is also a big help to find out about people you might meet during your interview. You can also discover any common connections or interests, which may help you break the ice.
● Eat properly. A study has shown that eating breakfast can boost a person's concentration level. So, don't skip your breakfast before attending an interview. Also, stay hydrated to improve your concentration during the interview.
Tip 2: Leave a Memorable First Impression
We’ve all heard the old adage that first impressions are the ones that last the longest. So, make sure that your first impression is something that your interviewer can't forget. For a memorable first impression, focus on the following things:
● Work on your body language. Greet your interviewer with a smile when you log into the interview, maintain eye contact while talking, and keep your shoulders and posture straight.
● Be a good listener. Don't be too eager with your responses. Listen to your interviewer carefully before talking.
● Show your passion. In your introduction, don't forget to mention how enthusiastic you feel about the company and the job role. Keep reminding the interviewer about the problems you can solve and the value you bring.
● Come fully prepared. Keep all the essential documents like your resume, portfolio, and other documents handy while attending an interview.
Tip 3: Tell Your Story
Your interviewer wants to know who you are, what your skills and experience are. But all of these things are already on your resume. So, when they ask you to tell something about yourself, don't just rehash points from your resume.
Instead, you should tell your story interestingly and engagingly that helps the interviewer remember you. For example, mention some funny past work incidents or anecdotes about yourself. That's because people remember interesting personalities. Be prepared to talk about your successes and your failures. This shows that you don’t mind taking credit for a job well done, but you’re also open to learning from mistakes.
Tip 4. Don't lose talk
Don’t mistake friendliness for an opportunity to be too casual. For job seekers, it's important to look confident and comfortable while presenting yourself to an interview. But you still have to practice some level of restraint as you aren't talking to your friend, but to a professional – who may soon be your supervisor.
This means that some topics should be avoided:
● Don't talk about salary or benefits in the interview; all this should either be covered in initial screening or will be discussed in more detail at the offer stage of the process.
● Never badmouth your previous boss or company. Nobody likes to hire complainers. And nobody likes to hires someone who may complain about them one day.
● Don't be desperate. There’s nothing worse than someone who begs for a job. It’s unprofessional and is guaranteed to make the interviewer uncomfortable.
● Check your language. Don't use profanity or offensive words.
● If you interview with multiple people, be sure to respond to all of them. Don’t assume the hiring manager makes the final decision. Some companies even check in with receptionists and security guards to gauge candidates’ professionalism.
Tip 5: Practice with a Mock Job Interview
This is a very important tip. You should never attend an on-location or virtual interview without proper preparation. So, before your interview, you should call up your friend, get a list of the common interview questions and ask them to create a mock interview environment.
Some of the common interview questions are:
● Tell us about yourself.
● What can you bring to our company?
● Why did you leave your last job?
● Share your previous work experience.
● What is the definition of success for you?
● Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
● Which leadership style do you prefer?
● What do your current or past supervisors say about your work?
● Share a project that didn’t go well.
Tip 6: Ask Questions
When your interview asks, “Do you have any questions for us?” that signals the end of the interview. Don’t say no because it shows a lack of interest in the job. It also doesn’t give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you learned anything about the company. Prepare a set of questions based on your initial search:
● What is a typical day like in this role?
● What type of challenges comes with this job role?
● What type of person succeeds at this company?
● Why is this role open? How long has it been open?
● How will you measure success in this role?
Step 7. Post-interview gestures
Your chances to impress your interviewer aren't over with the interview. Send a personalized email to your interviewer after the interview saying how grateful you are for his or her time and how amazing the experience you had talking to them. Better yet, go old school and mail a thank you note. Most people don’t get mail anymore, let alone a hand written note. This gesture demonstrates thoughtfulness, too, and will really make you stand out.
It’s important to remain memorable for your interviewer. From your body language to your answers, everything must have a unique touch that can leave a mark on your interviewer's mind.
We won't take any more of your time since you need to prepare for a big job interview. But don't forget to share your experience after implementing these tips for impressing your interviewer.
Guest Blogger Dr. Neha Manchanda is a founding team member of GreenThumbs. She is an Organizational Psychologist with a Ph.D. in the subject. Her expert services are extensively sought by leading multinationals.