Note that even the most well-prepared response will fall short if it does not answer the exact question you are being asked. While it’s important to familiarize yourself with best answers, it’s equally important to listen carefully during your interview in order to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are looking for.
Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready. In almost every interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Otherwise, you might come across as apathetic, which is a major turnoff for hiring managers.
Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seems to be a good fit for the company's culture.
You can do this by tying what you’ve learned about the company into your responses. For example, you might say, “I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well-versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.”
You should be able to find out a lot of information about the company’s history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.
Not only will planning out everything (from what shoes you will wear, to how you’ll style your hair, to what time you will leave and how you’ll get there) buy you time in the morning, it can help reduce job search anxiety, and it will also save you from having to make decisions, which means you can use that brain power for your interview.
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy, and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.
Be on Time (That Means Early) Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Take into account the time of your interview so you can adjust for local traffic patterns at that time. Give yourself a few extra minutes to visit the restroom, check your outfit, and calm your nerves.
Try to Stay Calm During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to exude confidence.
As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to pay attention to the question so that you don’t forget it, and listen to the entire question (using active listening) before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, especially when he or she is asking questions. If you need to take a moment to think about your answer, that’s totally fine, and is a better option than starting out with multiple “ums” or “uhs.”
Check out these tips on avoiding job interview stress to help keep your nerves calm. If the thought of a job interview puts you in panic mode, reviewing these interview tips for introverts will be a great place to start.