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When it comes to nailing that new job, there are several factors that need to be taken into account. As well as doing due diligence ahead of that first interview and researching the company you’re meeting with, it’s vital to remember that the first impression you make is arguably the most important thing of all.
Whether the economy is thriving or in a lull, employers will always need employees. It’s the cycle of life that regulates the job market as much as any other factor, and that’s why companies pay tens of thousands of dollars annually to recruitment and HR agencies to get the right workers in the door.
Employers know that when it comes to best practices, it’s worthwhile to invest in employing good quality staff, and especially those who will remain for the long haul and be loyal. A savvy employee going for that job will know a bunch about their potential new employer before they walk in the door for that all-important interview. Here are five ways to make sure you nail that job at interview.
#1 Prepare Yourself
The heading of today’s first tip is purposely ambiguous and broad. Preparing oneself for an interview involves a variety of factors, and they include doing your research, making sure your resume looks as good as it can look, and getting a good night’s sleep. Yes, nailing that first impression is that important, and there are no short cuts nor second chances when it comes to that. For your part, the best thing you can do is to try to arrange the various preparation factors in a constellation that works best for the interview. Take into account that some elements are out of your control, but the best advice is to do what you can to make sure everything is on point to land that new job.
#2 Keep it Real
One of the worst things a person can do when going for that first interview is to act fake or overbake things. It’s not hard to sniff out a lack of authenticity in a person, and that applies tenfold when it comes to something as formal and tense as an interview situation.
The principle is to be yourself, and by that, I mean to be brutally honest, even if it doesn’t seem prudent. Obviously, there’s that temptation to oversell yourself and impress, but that’s counteractive more often than not. Keeping it real is among some of the best advice when it comes to nailing that job at interview. Don’t be shy to joke and attempt to soften the atmosphere, especially at the start of the meeting. It’s usually awkward meeting new people anyway, and interviews can be uncomfortable and daunting for potential candidates.
#3 Ask Questions
Another powerful and useful tool to have in your arsenal when it comes to job interviews is to ask questions. Asking questions is a psychological cue that endears people to one another, especially strangers. Before attending the interview, do your research on the company and the position you’re applying for. Take a notepad with a list of 5-10 questions to ask your potential employers.
Questions that show you’ve done your due diligence and research will show that you’re a serious person and likely a serious candidate too. At the end of the interview, tell the employers that you jotted down a few questions and hope they don’t mind you asking them. In almost all cases, they will be pleased you showed initiative and took an interest in them.
#4 Know the Job
In keeping with my previous advice to do your research, one vital aspect to focus your attention on is the finer details of the job you’re applying for. Prepare a list of credentials and personal achievements that relate to the role you’re interviewing for.
Express calm confidence about your abilities when it comes to fulfilling the job on offer without sounding like a know-it-all or coming across as overly cocky. That balancing act is a delicate one, and it can be tricky to navigate. The best advice is to keep calm, answer any questions in a soft tone no matter what’s thrown at you, and ask a few relevant questions when you have the opportunity.
#5 Follow Up
A few days after the interview, it’s advisable to make contact with the employer, especially if you’re into the job and think that the interview went well. You have a few options, and they include a handwritten note, a text message, an email, and a phone call.
You don’t want to be pushy here nor to come across as too needy. The idea is to give a polite reminder that’s effective and as humble as possible. It’s all about building rapport, maintaining good eye contact, and implanting yourself as deeply as possible in the minds (and even better in the subconscious of the employers). Don’t let yourself be forgotten, be proactive, and make a lasting impression.