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How to Prepare for a Job Interview and Leave a Good Impression

No matter how much job-searching experience you have, you always need to prepare for your job interview. You only have one shot at making a good first impression, so study these tips for a positive outcome.

Get information on the company, employer and the job opportunity

Every good job interview starts with preparation. If you learn as much as you can about the the employer, the company’s history, and the requirements of the job, you will be much better at answering interview questions. Check out the company’s website and other materials, and ask your network of contacts questions about the company and the job requirements. Always come prepared.

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Find common interview questions and prepare your responses

Another good trick is to prepare your responses to the most common interview questions. Make sure to ask the hiring manager what type of interview to expect – one-on-one or a group one, and will there be several members of the organization present. Try to determine what you’ll be asked and then compose detailed yet concise responses. There’s no need to memorize every answer by heart, it’s enough to develop talking points.

Arrive on time, relax and prepare

If you arrive late for your interview, don’t even try making excuses. To avoid getting late and blowing your job opportunity, come at least 15 minutes early. This way you will have time to settle down and complete additional paperwork in peace. You don’t want to be all out of breath and flustered when you enter the interview room or mess up the paperwork because you didn’t have enough time.  Arriving early will also give you an opportunity to get a glimpse of the dynamic of the workplace. Make sure you pack some extra copies of your CV and reference list, as well as your portfolio and samples of your work. Finally, pack some pens and something you can write notes on. Double check if your cell phone is off and if you were chewing gum, get rid of it.

Remember the importance of body language

While your responses and your professional results are the most important aspect of getting hired or rejected, your body language can also play a big role. Some of the positive forms of body language are smiling, eye contact, nodding, active listening and good posture. On the other hand, slouching, fidgeting, touching your face and hair, mumbling and looking off in the distance are all to be avoided.

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Dress for success

Even though you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, clothes actually says a lot about you. Prepare an outfit that fits the organization and its culture, but always strive to look professional. It’s always better to come overdressed than underdressed! Also, make sure your clothes fit, and that they’re clean and pressed. Don’t overdo it when it comes to jewelry, but a nice necklace or watch can look quite professional. Stores such as The Watch Shop have a variety of watches that are appropriate for your job interview. Additionally, avoid smoking or eating right before the interview, and if you have the chance, brush your teeth.

Send a thank you note

Interviewers will always appreciate common courtesy and politeness, so thanking the hire manager should be on your interview to-do list. Start the process while at the interview by thanking each person who interviewed you. You can also write a thank-you email after the interview. This will not automatically get you the job, but will certainly give you an edge over other candidates who didn’t bother to send thank-you notes.

Scoring a job interview is a great opportunity, so make sure to make the most of it by using these tips for an instant advantage over your competition.

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