In our series #StuffLeadersKnow, we give tips on how to improve the daily tasks and duties that a leader may have to face. Today, we are discussing interview tips! No matter if this is your first job interview out of school, or your fifth job interview of your career, we want you to be able to successfully convey your skills and abilities to your interviewer(s)!
- Walk in confidently.
- Shake hands and introduce yourself.
- If the interviewer(s) say “sit wherever you would like”—sit at the head of the table if possible. Its an easy way to show your confidence.
- Bring in a folder/pad folio with multiple copies of your most updated resume. This shows you are prepared and it could be possible that HR has not shared your résumé with the interviewers.
- Don’t look up at the ceiling when thinking—be calm and speak with confidence.
- Do not say “um” or any idiosyncrasies for that matter!
- It is okay to briefly pause after a question is asked and then answer the question.
- Do not sway or wiggle in your chair if it is a rolling/swivel chair—they may have even put you in this kind of chair as a test!
- Know that interviewers are usually looking for a combination of professionalism along with your personality in your answers.
- If the interviewers say “tell me about yourself”, they want to know about you and why you would be an asset. They are looking for something more than what you have written on your resume—they could read that if they wanted to know that information. Think about the question as “Tell me about the qualities and characteristics that make you an asset.” Just be sure not to get too personal though!
- It’s okay to use hand motions, but be careful not to let it be distracting.
- Nerves are natural before an interview, but try to take a deep breath and be aware of your body language to help you not appear to be nervous. Portray confidence and do the best you can—that way you will not regret the nerves “getting to you” once the interview is over.
- Make sure when you answer questions that somehow your answer relates back to the job you are being interviewed for or a quality that would be valuable for the job.
- Try to answer questions using your most recent experience (within the past year). If the only answer you have to a question draws upon an experience from over a year ago, that’s okay—just make sure you clearly relate it back to the job.
- Remember you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. You are an asset right? So make sure to ask at least 2-3 questions at the end if the interview.
- “How is work-life balance at this organization? What is the office environment like?”
- “I am very interested in this position because of ___, what are the next steps in the process? What can I expect?”
Lauren Mathews is the Marketing Coordinator for Leadercast. Follow her on Twitter to find lots inspirational quotes, hear about her love for list-making & Vanilla Coke, and get the occasional commentary on wedding planning.