Conquering The Interview
You've made it to the interview and like any normal human being, your feelings of happiness will not supersede the anxiety that accompanies interviewing, even for those who have been through it before. The only way to really alleviate some of that stress is to make sure you are truly prepared for the interview. Young Jobs guidelines of interview preparation will provide you with the means to have a successful interview.
Research: Getting to know the Company
Being knowledgeable about the company you will be interview with is by far one of the most important steps in the interview process. Without a doubt, the interviewer will be impressed with someone who has taken the time to research the company before arriving at the interview. If you make an effort to get to know the organization, you will find yourself ahead of the other candidates. Employers don't just want someone that can get the job done; they also want someone that respects their company and has interest and enthusiasm for their work.
Nowadays most businesses and organizations have their own websites or can be researched through articles found on the internet. However, we do acknowledge that not all companies can be researched this way and not all job seekers have a great deal of access to the internet. If either of these are the case, try going to your local library and finding articles or books about the company and/or the field of work it falls under.
Research: Getting to know yourself
Because you have taken the time to research the company and learn what it has to offer, you can now deduce what they might want in their employees and incorporate your paralleled capabilities in to the interview. Rather than thinking of yourself as an anxious job seeker on an interview, think of yourself as a sales person, selling your skills and ability. Review your resume a few times before your interview. Consider each piece of experience you have listed and the skills that were required. Did you gain collaboration skills working at a restaurant or leadership skills as president of a club or organization? Whatever the case may be, chose appropriately for each position you are interviewing for and utilize those skills in your “selling points". This not only provides you with conversation pieces but you will also find that knowing more about yourself as a potential employee will give you more confidence.
Also keep in mind the skills or assets that you have acquired in everyday life. For instance, most companies are looking for determination in their employees, so if the moment arises to tell them that you finished 3rd in the city marathon after months of training, take it. Even though it is not necessarily related to the work, it will make a good impression on your potential employer. To avoid sounding arrogant, express your experiences as learning tools and your skills as a gift. The tricky part is trying not to create so much to talk about that you dominate the conversation. It's better to give a shorter answer that's direct and to the point, than to babble on for several minutes in a disorderly fashion. It is always best to follow the interviewers lead. This brings us to the importance to practicing. . .
Doing research and knowing your “sales pitch" will definitely help you interview with greater success, but there is truly no substitute for actually rehearsing for the interview. Ask a family member or friend to act as the interviewer, providing them with a list of questions to ask you. While you might feel funny doing this, just remember that it will be even harder to interview with a stranger, so practicing can only help ease the process. Before you sit in the hot seat, make sure you have an idea of how you would like to answer the questions you have selected. Even having a notion as to how you will respond will build more confidence and impress the interviewer.
If a question arises that is not familiar to you, do not make something up or change the subject. Rather, tell them that's a good question but you do not have an answer for the time being, but are eager to gain the knowledge. Your potential employer will respect your honesty and readiness to learn new things.
Aside from verbal communication, it is also important to acknowledge your body language. Making eye contact is crucial. If you fail to look the interviewer in the eyes while they are speaking they will think you are disinterested; if you fail to look them in the eyes while you are speaking, they will think you are nervous of fabricating your answers. Try not to fiddle around with your hands too much, or you will appear nervous. A more affective way to use your hands is with slight gestures to evoke enthusiasm for what you are talking about. While it is common knowledge to sit up straight and observe good posture, you don't want to seem uneasy. Try to sit back in your chair with your head held high so the interviewer will know you are self-assured as well as attentive to what he or she is talking about. Try practicing your body language in a mirror or with a video camera.
Let's face it, we all know that the visual impression is the first impression you make when meeting someone face to face for the first time. That's why it is essential to dress the part. When interview for a job, it is important to dress the way that you would if you had the job. If you don't know what the attire is, ask when you are setting up the interview or dress slightly more formal than you think you might need to. Wear clothes that are freshly washed and ironed. Along with the clothing, make sure you are up on your grooming: Comb your hair, clean your fingernails, and be sure to brush your teeth before you go to your interview. Try to avoid overdoing perfume or cologne, too much make-up, and excessive jewelry.
Getting to your interview early does not only make you look good in the eyes of the employer, but it will also make the interview process that much easier. Trust us, there is nothing more stressful, than arriving late to an interview. Not only are you worried about what the interviewer might think, you are more likely to forget most of what you've practiced because you are so overwhelmed with being tardy. When you arrive 10-15 minutes early you have time to look over any last minute notes, use the restroom, and most importantly, take deep breathes. Nothing throws up the red flag quicker to a potential employer than an applicant showing up late to an interview.
As intimidating as this may sound, you are under observation from the very first moment you meet the interviewer. In order to make a proper introduction, make direct eye contact, extend a firm but nonabrasive handshake, smile with enthusiasm, and let them know your name and what a pleasure it is to meet them. These might seem like obvious and mundane gestures, but all potential employers will be examining your interpersonal skills by how you introduce yourself.
Returning the Questions Towards the end of your interview, you will most likely be given the option to ask any questions you might have for the company. This is a great way to let them know that you are just as interested in getting to know them as they are in getting to know you. Asking the interviewer questions, is a great opportunity to make sure you have complete clarity in regards to the position and its expectations. If you feel uncertain about where you will fit in the company, what an average day will look like or anything else to do specifically with the job, feel free to use this time to inquire further. You can also ask about the environment of the company or the report between co-workers. However, it is never wise to ask about pay, benefits, sick days, etc. during the first interview. Once you have been offered the position, you are free to ask those questions before deciding to accept the job.
Now would also be a good time to tie in any final reasons as to why you are a perfect match for the job. It doesn't hurt to make reference to things that were said during the interview. Emphasize your enthusiasm for the position and anticipation for moving forward within the interview process. Avoid sounding desperate or too eager while maintaining your interest.
Be clear on what happens after the interview. Find out when they will be contacting you again or how you should follow-up if they would prefer it that way. Just as you entered with a proper introduction, make sure you exit just the same, with direct eye-contact, firm handshake, and a smile.
Even though you have made it though your first interview, you have one more crucial step in completing the interview process, the follow-up. This is best accomplished by sending a thank you letter to those you were interviewed by. Make sure it goes out within 1-2 business days. Reiterate points that were made during the interview and why you are the right fit for the position. Try to customize your thank you letter rather than sending a generic thank you that won't make much impact on the company. Remember to acknowledge your appreciation for their time and consideration. From there, if you do not have instructions to wait for them to contact you, follow up with a phone call around one week later to check the status on filling the position.
The last piece of advice Young Jobs would like to offer job seekers in conquering the interview is to BE YOURSELF!
We would say good luck, but if you follow our guidelines, we know you won't need luck to succeed!
Young Jobs - www.youngjobs.com
CEO Young Jobs Inc.