Interviews can be challenging during the best of times and now during the pandemic even more so. Selling your skills and expertise to a stranger while they drill you with unknown questions doesn’t come naturally to most, but is an essential step of the #interview process.
Let’s take a look at some tips to ensure you make a GREAT first impression!
Interviews are ALL about preparation! Make sure you spend a little time going on the company’s website. Find the specifics of the position you are applying to. Make a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and those that are critical for success in the job. Then make another and list all of YOUR qualifications.
Draw a line connecting the two that match up. Make it a point to casually highlight these things during the interview. Prove that you are a great fit for them! Also be sure to check out the company’s mission and anything important about them make a note of it. This will also help you prepare to answer interview questions about the company should they come up.
3-4 days before the interview, practice answering some questions and rehearse that elevator pitch so you are prepared to talk about who you are and what YOU bring to the table!
Show the interviewer that you appreciate their time by dressing the part! Your outfit acts as a first impression when you walk into the room or they see you on camera. Before you even say a word, your choice of clothing can say a lot about who you are.
Sitting up straight exudes confidence so avoid slouching. Instead keep your back straight and when appropriate lean forward just slightly to show you are interested. Avoid reclining back into the chair fully as this can make you seem bored or distracted.
Be sure sure to also avoid any habits that come out when you are nervous such as tapping your fingers on the table, having restless legs, touching your hair, biting your nails, etc. Also avoid crossing your arms or placing items in your lap; these habits indicate defensiveness, and nervousness when what you really need to convey confidence and strength.
When you are in an interview make sure to BE in the interview. What does this mean? No daydreaming, no looking at your phone, AND no looking down. Keep those eyes up and maintain great eye contact to let the interviewer know that you are there and listening to what they are saying. When they are speaking be sure to let them and avoid interrupting. Just sit there and quietly take it in!
Jot down a few important notes here and there. You want to show that you are being attentive and are interested in what they are saying, but you shouldn't be feverishly writing the entire conversation.
At the end of the interview be sure to follow up and thank them for their time. Mention that it was a pleasure speaking with them concerning the opportunity! After it's over, send a thank-you note via email to everyone you spoke to during the interview.
Need more tips? Check out how to ace your next virtual interview!
What do YOU think is important to do during an interview?