The interview is nerve-racking for any job candidate because it decides the fate of your career. Interviews are intimidating, and the worst part is that as nervous as you may be, you know you cannot come off as nervous to the interviewer. To help you ace your interview, we’ve compiled a list of tips and things to remember before, during and after your interview. Good luck!
Before the Interview
- Do your research. The best way to prepare for an interview is to research the company and the position you’re seeking within it. The more you know the better, and you might even get lucky enough to stumble upon a list of popular interview questions on the company’s website!
- Make a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Interviewers want you to ask them questions. By creating a list and bringing it with you to your interview, you will be well prepared when they ask you if you have any questions, and they will see that you took the time to prepare for the interview. Need help generating questions? The Muse has compiled a list of 51 questions for you. You can also make a list of possible responses to popular interview questions that could help you along the way.
- Know where the interview site is. Whether that requires you visiting the interview site the day before or using satellite GPS to see where it is. You do want to get lost or look lost when you arrive to your interview.
- Get enough sleep, make sure you eat something and dress for success!
- Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Although you will be nervous, this will give you time to settle down and collect your thoughts before the interview begins. It also gives you enough time to use the restroom, check the mirror, find a mint, and most importantly, turn your cell phone off—we wouldn’t want it going off in the middle of your interview!
During the interview
- Be aware of your body language. Even though you’re nervous, you want be putting your best foot forward, so smile and stand tall! Don’t forget to greet your interviewer with a firm handshake.
- Don’t talk too much. The purpose of an interview is for the interviewer to get to know you and determine whether or not you’ll fit into their company. Yes, you will be having a conversation, but you don’t want to overdo it. Coming off like a chatterbox may be a turn off to the interviewer.
- Include the interviewer in the conversation. Remember that list of questions you prepared? You do not have to wait until the interviewer asks if you have any questions to ask them. Try to make the conversation as natural as possible, which would include you two conversing back and forth, not just the interviewer asking you questions.
- Be confident. Don’t let your nerves overcome the real you. Remind yourself why you’re the right candidate for the job and make sure you show the interviewer just that.
- End on a good note. You want to finish the interview with just as good as an impression as you made coming in. Make sure you thank the interviewer for their time, shake their hand again and keep smiling!
After the interview
- Send a thank you note. Whether it’s by email or a handwritten letter, sending a thank you note is an important part of post-interview etiquette, and it’s a great way to stand out to the interviewer.
- Don’t pause your job search. Even if you just completed the interview for your dream job, don’t put your job search to a halt just because you’re waiting to hear back from an interviewer. You would rather have multiple job options than none at all.
- Don’t assume that no news is bad news. The interviewer may have other things going on that could have delayed them getting back to you. Don’t assume that just because you haven’t heard from them yet means you didn’t get the job.
- Relax. You’ve done the best you could and the situation is ultimately out of your hands now. Take a deep breath and keep pursing!