No matter what you do for a living, job interviews are the most important meetings you’ll ever attend. It is important to prepare and give the right impression, as a single interview could change the trajectory of your career. Use these three tips to ace every job interview and take the next step in your career.
Boost Your Confidence
It is natural to be nervous in a job interview. Hiring managers expect to see some signs of anxiety, but they also expect that your nervousness will subside after you settle in. If you are still projecting nervous energy well into the interview by fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, or stumbling over words, they may think you lack the confidence to handle the job or that you are hiding something.
There are many ways you can boost your confidence when you are heading into an interview. Some people find listening to relaxing or even pump-up music beforehand will put them in the right frame of mind. It also helps to lay out your clothes and materials the night before so you aren’t rushing the day of the interview. Leave extra early so you don’t get flustered by traffic and be sure to get parking and building entry details, as well as the name of the person you’ll be meeting with. Make sure that you use positive self-talk before the interview and visualize yourself making a great impression.
Leverage Mock Interviews
One of the best ways to boost confidence and become a master of the interview process is to participate in mock interviews. Mock interviews are a simulation of an actual job interview, giving you an opportunity to practice, build confidence and receive professional feedback. These sessions help you learn how to answer tough questions, develop a strong presence, improve communication skills and reduce stress.
Students and recent graduates can do mock interviews at their college career center. People in the workforce can do mock interviews with career counselors and coaches. If you have a mentor or someone you trust who conducts job interviews, you can also tap into your network to ask for some help.
Be Nice to the Front Desk Attendant
This might seem like a silly piece of advice, but it is vital. Treat the receptionist – and every person you meet in the building – as though you were meeting the CEO. Why? First, it’s just the right thing to do. More importantly, hiring managers often ask the receptionist and anyone else you engage with in the lobby what they thought of you. If you were rude, standoffish, or anything but pleasant and personable, the hiring manager will probably hear about it. Consider yourself under the microscope from the moment you walk in the door until you walk back out.
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