It goes without saying that landing an interview for your dream job is one of the most exciting things on the planet, however it can also be one of the most intimidating experiences you'll ever have. Luckily for you though, you've already made it past the first screening and now it's time to show your boss-to-be what you're really made of!
#1 Research the Business
Starting off, researching the company you're interviewing with might seem like a no-brainer but it's quite easy to forget during all of your other preparations. A good place to start would be to visit the company's website and thoroughly read through it. By doing this alone, you've already put yourself a step above your competition! But in the midst of all hard work and effort, we are always faced with the question "Why is this worth it?" The answer to that question is quite simple. It will prepare you for questions that could be thrown at you as well as help you to form your own questions. An applicant looks very appealing to interviewers if they are already up to speed on how the company operates, even more so if they are familiar with the position they would be filling.
#2 Bring Your Resume
This one might seem a little odd, you've already submitted your resume right? While that is correct, bringing a printed copy of your resume will earn you major points with an employer. You don't have to go crazy when getting your resume printed, two or three copies will be enough as there is a good chance that multiple people will be interviewing you. Printing on resume paper is always a good idea as it shows that you're willing to put a little extra thought into your work. Bringing your resume to an interview is a good idea is because it's an indicator to employers that you will come to your new job prepared and ready to get to work each day.
#3 Dress Appropriately
Looks can kill, and by that I mean that the way you dress can either kill your chances or it can help you kill it in your interview! Absolutely under no circumstances at all should you ever attend an interview in a T-shirt and jeans. During an interview employers aren't only listening to the responses you give, they're observing and judging literally everything they can gather about you and one of the first things they will be able to see is how you dress. You might be wondering "What should I wear to give the best impression I can?" The specific answer to that is better left to another article, however a good first step would be to start thinking of business casual attire (or even business formal depending on the position!) When dressing for an interview it is important to show that you care about your appearance while also being cautious to not over-dress. Looking sharp during an interview is yet another way you can show that you're willing to put in a hundred and ten percent into your new job!
#4 Speak Properly
This one doesn't need much explaining, no one ever got hired off of how much slang they knew! During an interview its best to leave jokes and silly phrases at the door so that you can put on your best professional face. It also goes without saying that you should be as polite as possible and to never swear during an interview. A really good guideline for this tip is to never say anything to an employer that you wouldn't say during church!
#5 Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is one of the biggest things employers look for during an interview! This is because making eye contact is a big part of non-verbal communication and it can hint at how you would conduct yourself during your new job. Therefore, it is important to maintain eye contact during the interview so that you can put your confidence on full display! If you have trouble doing this, I have a good trick to help you! instead of making direct eye contact try looking at the center of people's foreheads. As silly as it sounds, it will actually appear as if you're looking them in the eye! I used this trick myself for many years while I was still building confidence!
#6 Be Honest
Telling the truth isn't hard at all, but getting caught in a lie can be a very sticky situation! An interviewer will always ask about your skills and experience, when this happens just relax and tell them the truth. If you over-exaggerate your skills or outright lie about them it could lead to more questions and more lies. Should an employer ask about a skill that you don't have, be honest and tell them that you don't have experience in it. If you have other relevant skills there is a good chance that they will still hire you and provide training for the skill that you lack!
I promise that every single interview you ever attend in life will end with the phrase "do you have any questions?" This serves a purpose beyond simply making sure you understand everything that has been said. Employers use this as a tool to test applicants. By asking questions during an interview you show that you have a legitimate interest in doing your job to the best of your ability and that you have enough knowledge of the company as well as your future position to ask about procedures and policies. Even if you ask only one question during an interview, it is a thousand times better than just ending it by saying that you understand everything.
#9 Practice Makes Perfect
No matter how prepared you think you are for anything in life, there is always room for improvement! The one advantage you have in an interview is that you know what time it is happening. Because of this, you are able to use the time you have to make as many preparations as you need! Grab a friend ask them to help out by conducting a mock interview. Even if you can't get a friend to help, just looking in to the mirror and asking yourself questions will help out majorly! The more you practice and think about possible answers you could give, the easier an interview will be! Don't be afraid to do a dress rehearsal either, they work wonders for confidence!
#10 Follow Up
This one is really simple and doesn't need much explaining, but it can put you miles ahead of other applicants! After the interview is over, maybe a day or two later, write the company a thank you note. The note doesn't have to be over the top, something simple like "Thank you for the interview, I look forward to hearing back from you!" will be enough. If you don't hear back from the company for a few days, it would be a good idea to call them and ask if they are still in the hiring process. Doing both of these things will show that you legitimately care about getting the job!
Finding a job can be a difficult process, but if you've already landed an interview you've made it past the first test! I hope this guide can help you as much as it has helped me. Good luck with the job hunt!