Congratulations! Your resume went through and you passed the phone interview. Now it’s time to take the next step: the in-person job interview. It’s a different level of challenges. When you’re sitting across a recruiter or hiring manager, hiding your nervousness, weaknesses, and mistakes can be more difficult. However, you can stand out in the right way by making a good impression and appearing more confident. Here are five tips to follow and impress at your next interview.
Preparation and practice helps eliminate anxiety and can make you appear more confident, as well as allow you to power through the jitters. You can get started on crafting strong responses and simulating an interview by reviewing common and tough interview questions. Memorizing your resume inside and out can also provoke prompt and thought-out answers.
Additionally, do a little research about the industry you'll be working in and the company itself. Check out the company's website, along with their social media pages to help you prepare. Become knowledgeable about the company's history, culture, and accomplishments. This tells your interviewer you are interested and excited about the position and company.
First impressions can be made before you even open your mouth. How? By your appearance. In most cases you should dress professionally for any interview, regardless of the work environment.
Dressing professionally, though, shouldn't come at the expense of your confidence. You should wear something that you feel confident in (as long as it's business appropriate). So go ahead and add a little flair or pop of color to an outfit. Keep in mind that it's better to be over dressed than under dressed.
Being on time seems like a no-brainer; it's in your best interest to plan on arriving early. You never know where traffic might backup, when bad weather will strike, or when parking will be next to impossible to find. Not to mention, arriving early will give you the opportunity to run to the bathroom, check your appearance, and organize your thoughts.
A good rule of thumb to remember: "If you're on time, you're late. If you're early, you're on time."
Even if it’s just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to communication, simply listening attentively to your interviewer and answering thoughtfully can make a difference. You can demonstrate that you’re receptive by exhibiting the right body language that can be as easy as making eye contact with the speaker. As well, don’t interrupt as it can make you come across as disrespectful or uninterested in what they have to say. Beyond giving your responses to questions, try to ask relevant questions whenever you can to show your interest in the job, the company, and the staff. If nerves are getting in your way, viewing the interview as a conversation between you and your interviewers can help.
You did your part in person, but it doesn’t have to end there. Make an impact after your interview by following up with a thank you note. This shows you're interested in the position and appreciate the time they took to meet with you. Want to stand out from the rest? Send a handwritten thank you in the mail. In a world consumed with emails, texts, and tweets, a handwritten note will leave a lasting impression. As well, it’s important to wait patiently but also know the right timing to follow up if you haven’t heard back after the interview. However, be aware that stalking their social media and repeatedly pestering the hiring manager with calls or emails would create an adverse effect.
A positive attitude and a professional appearance can go a long way. They obviously liked your resume enough to call you in for an interview, right? So gather your thoughts, prepare for those tough interview questions, and wear your best business attire.