Finally! After all of that job searching, you have landed an interview at a company that you are excited about. Now it's time to get strategic and make sure that you perform your best and secure the job you have worked so hard to get.
This won't be easy, so prep yourself. Many companies take applicants they are serious about through multiple interviews with different hiring managers, co-workers and department heads to make sure you are a good "fit". Interviewing with a company means that your work history, prior accomplishments and personal brand will all be under scrutiny until you close the deal. Whether you are making a career move for a large salary increase, better benefits or maybe you are just entering the workforce; there is a lot on the line. Securing this job should be important to you and being prepared for your first interview will help position you as a top contender for the position! Before the big day, here are some things you can do to make sure you nail your interview.
1. Research the Company
Hiring managers want to see that you are showing up prepared. Before your interview, make sure that you have reviewed the company's website thoroughly, have a strong understanding of the different products/services the business offers and do a quick Google search to identify any recent media updates. Doing this will prepare you if you are asked a question about the company and will also allow you to work your knowledge of the company into your interview proactively.
2. Practice Your Responses
During your interview, you will be asked many questions. Make a list of some common interview questions and write down some good responses. Practice these responses out loud in the mirror or with a family member. This way, you will be fully prepared and not freeze when you are asked them in an interview. You may even want to have some witty responses lined up and ready to fire. Remember though, don't make it sound too rehearsed or you will come off a little robotic.
3. Ask Questions
Often times during an interview the types of questions an applicant asks shows a lot about their understanding of the role they are applying for, their thought process, and their ability to think critically. Hiring mangers love to see that you are asking intelligent questions that demonstrate your interest and excitement about the opportunity. Before your interview, make sure you have at least 4 or 5 good questions ready that you'd like to have answered before you accept the job. Remember, this interview is just as much you interviewing the company, as it is the company interviewing you.
4. Emit Confidence & Excitement
Be humbly confident during your interview. Make sure that you engage in eye contact, mirror body language and show the interviewer that you have what it takes to do this job well! In addition to confidence, make sure you visually show your excitement about the opportunity. Act like it is Christmas morning and by the end of the interview make sure that you leave a lasting impression that makes you irresistible as a candidate.
5. Close Correctly
Closing the interview is often the most difficult part of the entire process. It can often times quickly become an awkward exchange. Don't be that person. Understand that this is an interview and there is a clear path from candidate to new hire. You want to make sure that you remove any doubt in your interviewers' mind that you are the right fit for the position. Try using this word track at the end of your interview to make a strong close:
"Mr./Ms. _________, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I am really excited about the opportunity to work for ____________. Based on our conversation today, is there any reason why you think I would not be qualified or a good fit for this position?"
Asking this question will give you the opportunity to address any concerns that your hiring manager might have about bringing you on board. Use this as an opportunity to re-sell yourself and your skillsets if you need to. Finally, after putting any concerns to rest, you should walk out of that room with a solid understanding of what happens next. Make sure you close the interview by repeating your interest in the position and asking what the next steps are.
6. Follow Up
Always follow up after a conclusion of your interview. So many people go on an interview, only to hear nothing back from the hiring manger and have no clue where they are in the process. This is called limbo and is a place that you don't want to be. Make sure you send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you as soon as you get home. If you don't hear any responses from your hiring manager after the first week, send a follow up email and inquire if there has been any updates! By following up, you are staying at the top of the hiring managers mind and displaying your interest in securing the position.