14 tips to help you ace your next job interview
You’ve written an amazing resume and have gotten called about doing an interview. Congratulations! Now for the hard part – the actual interview.
Interviews can feel impossibly difficult if you’re not prepared (think sweaty palms and lots of “uhs” and “ums”). Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a great interview…and maybe even get the job!
1. Be prepared.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but my number one interview tip is to be prepared. Know who you’re interviewing with and be well versed in the role. Use LinkedIn, the company website, Glassdoor, etc. to figure out what the company does and who they are. And while you’re on LinkedIn, check out the profile of the interviewer to gain insight into their background as well.
2. Dress appropriately.
Dress one step above the company’s everyday attire. For example, if you are interviewing with a company that wears shorts and flip-flops, you wouldn’t want to wear a suit and vice versa.
3. Get specific.
Be prepared to talk specifically about your experience and your work. For example, hiring managers want to know your numbers if you’re in sales. And be able to talk about a specific project and what role you played in it. The company wants to hear what YOU did, not what the team did.
4. Be consistent.
Make sure everything – your LinkedIn profile, your resume and what you say in your interview – all match. Otherwise, you risk looking dishonest and/or disorganized.
5. Don’t overshare.
Be transparent but don’t give away too much information. For instance, don’t talk about your most recent trip to the bar or other overly personal things happening in your life.
6. Get there early.
Arrive 10-15 minutes early to make sure you’re on time. Things happen, so allow extra time for the unexpected such as traffic, parking snafus, wardrobe malfunctions, etc.
7. Keep it clean.
Don’t badmouth your existing company. It’s just in poor taste.
8. Have questions ready.
Go into the interview with an idea of what you want to ask about the company, the role, etc. The interview is for you to gain knowledge about the company, too. So, in a way, you’re interviewing the company as well. And try to avoid asking a list of cookie-cutter questions at the end of the interview. Make your questions flow naturally with the conversation.
9. Shake hands properly.
Stand up to shake the interviewer’s hand if you’re sitting when they come in to meet you. And don’t be a dead fish hand shaker, but don’t squeeze their hand until it’s purple either.
10. Keep it confidential.
If you’re interviewing while working, be selective about who you tell. Don’t tell co-workers or friends or anyone that you know can’t keep a secret. This is especially true in sales. If your company finds out, it could give them an excuse to fire you. And make sure the company you’re interviewing with knows to keep it confidential as well.
11. Know your non-compete.
If you have a non-compete, usually in a sales or production role, have basic knowledge of what it says. That way you don’t get caught in a difficult – and possibly legal – situation with your new employer or your former employer.
12. Be professional.
You’re there for a job interview, not to make besties. So, act professionally at all times.
13. Be aware of scents.
Some colognes and perfumes can be overpowering, especially to a person that is sensitive to smells. You don’t want your interviewer’s nose to be running profusely during the interview because you decided to load on the cologne.
14. Mind your cell phone use.
Know if your cell phone is on or not and turn it to vibrate. And DO NOT check it in the middle of the interview. It is extremely rude and whatever it is can wait for you to get out of the interview. It’s not worth losing a job over.
Now you’re ready for your interview. But, if you need additional help with your job search, reach out to us. We have recruiters on staff that specialize in IT and creative job placement that can help further coach you through the process.
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