It is completely normal to feel a bit uncomfortable “selling” yourself or fielding unexpected questions from a group of strangers. For most, the prospect of having to meet and impress new people can seem downright dreadful. However, interviewing is a skill you can learn. With the right preparation (and my 5 tips), you can feel confident that potential employers will see your true value and in turn, you’ll improve the chances of getting that job you really want.
- Remember the interview process begins before your first actual interview. The interview process starts with the very first email or phone conversation you have with your potential employer. Always remain professional, even if it is merely an email to confirm the date of your phone interview. This may seem obvious to most, but grammatical errors in initial emails are all too common. This sends the message that you may not take the position seriously.
- Check your watch. Being punctual is of course a must, but let’s not get carried away. Arriving 20 minutes early for your interview does not win you points. In fact, it can be flat out awkward. Often people want to be plenty early to allow for traffic or a few wrong turns. This is great, but it’s smart to wait in the car or in the lobby until five minutes or so before your interview.
- Dress for success. I know you have heard this one a time or two but never forget it! We are a casual crew here so it seems appropriate to dress as though you fit in at PMG, right? Wrong. Remember you are still going to a job interview where first impression is everything. You want to convey the message that you want the job and that you are a hard working professional that deserves the opportunity. Shorts and t-shirts just don’t send the same message that slacks or a skirt and a nice shirt do. Send the right message! If there is ever a question as to what is appropriate, ask your recruitment consultant or HR representative before the interview.
- If you want the job, say so! Show your enthusiasm for the job and the company with your body language and your tone of voice. Let your potential employer know you think they work for an amazing company. Making an effort to show sincere interest can make all the difference – so speak up! This is also something to mention again in your thank you note.
- Above all, be honest. Nobody wants to sit in an interview to hear about your negative qualities and hiccups throughout your career, but don’t lie about them either. If you have to lie your way through that interview to land the job, there is a good chance that job isn’t really a fit for you and it won’t be long term. As my late Father-in-Law would say, the truth will set you free!