Often nervous and panicky before an interview? Everyone is! It’s okay to feel this way before an interview, but here are tips to get you well prepared and keep you calm and collected!
- Do your research
Do your research on the company, the interviewee and the job. Make sure you are well versed on the position, the company, and the job posting so that you can discuss specific points that make the potential employer know that you are right for the position. Often, you will hear the interviewer ask “do you have any questions for me?” at the end of the interview. Asking a couple of relevant questions will make you sound interested and well prepared. Furthermore, it can help you understand and sound more confident. Ask questions about the potential employers leadership style, or the culture of the company, which show that you are interested in being the perfect fit for the job.
- Practice helps you feel confident!
Go over common interview questions and answer them yourself prior to the interview. Come book a mock interview with a career peer at the SLC next semester to help you brush up on your skills! When someone else is watching you interview, they can give you tips on how to improve your body language, or how to answer interview questions appropriately. Practicing for your upcoming interview will make you feel confident in the way you conduct yourself.
- Dress for Success
The first thing your potential employer notices is what you are wearing. Make sure you look professional, and that you don’t wear jeans, sneakers or distracting accessories. A good rule to follow when dressing for success is that less is usually more! Make sure to wear business professional or business casual clothes, depending on the job. Your expression is also part of your attire! Make sure you are smiling and that you are looking into your potential employers eyes when you address them.
- Remember where you are and who you are
Body language and the tone you use will have a lasting impression on the person who is interviewing you. Make sure you do not use slang or act overly cheery or friendly. It is okay to make a few jokes or laugh to build rapport, but do not cross the line. Keep good posture, and smile where appropriate. Avoid fidgeting, playing with pens and make sure to turn off your phone! Nothing is worse than a cheesy ringtone in the middle of an interview.
- Arrive early
Arrive about 10-15 minutes early. The person before you could end early and you do not want your employers waiting for you- it makes it look like you don’t care about the job. Furthermore, there could be additional paperwork for you to fill out, and you want to make sure you have enough time to fill it out. Also, be sure to pack extra resumes and cover letters, and pens and paper just in case you need to take notes.
Remember, it’s okay if you have trouble in your first few interviews- it takes some time and practice to build up enough confidence! Obtaining an interview is always an achievement, and can be a learning experience for every future interview you will experience. Good luck!