Sweaty palms. Nervous laughter. Long, anxiety-riddled pauses. It happens to everyone on a job interview, especially when you really, really need the job or really, really want to work for the company you’re interviewing with. There are ways to control that energy when you step into a job interview and even turn it to your advantage, however. Here are some expert hints and tips to help you make a great, lasting impression on any hiring manager, and ace any job interview.
Study Up – If there’s one thing that will seriously cost you the job, it’s not being familiar with the company. Do your research the moment you set up an interview. Familiarize yourself with every aspect of the organization up-front, from its functions to its core values.
Look Sharp – Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. Make sure your suit isn’t wrinkled, and there’s no lipstick on your teeth. Double-check the address while you’re at it and be on time for the appointment: Showing up late will give the impression that you don’t take the appointment seriously.
Check Yourself – Body language is important to keep in mind during a job interview. Recruiters notice if you don’t make eye contact or slouch. Be confident in yourself, and be conscious of yourself. Make eye contact, shake hands firmly and sit up straight. If you have to, remind yourself to do it.
Leave a Paper Trail – Never show up to a job interview without a few copies of your resume. If you think you’ll be meeting with other parties besides the recruiter, print out five just in case. Someone could pop in during the interview just to say hello. Store these documents in a folder so they don’t get crumpled up.
Be Yourself – Interviewers want to know who they’re hiring. This isn’t the time to put on an act. Keep some of your “quirks” in check, too—this isn’t the time to drop F bombs, gossip, or badmouth your former employer.
Pay Attention – It’s easy to get lost in things the interviewer is saying and miss certain important points when you’re anxiety-ridden. Listen closely to details that could be important or come up later in the interview. Pay close attention to what’s being said so that you can respond well and come up with questions for prospective employers as you go.
Be Your Own Hype Man – Finally — and most importantly — be your own cheerleader. You’re there to get a job, so show the interviewer why the company needs someone like you, what differentiates you from other candidates, and what unique skills and insights you can bring to the table. It’s not just about your talents themselves — it’s how you’ll use them and fill a gap that the organization may have, as well as what you’ll do to set yourself apart.
Need more tips on how to ace an interview and score a new job? Read on!
Suzanne is a journalist in Queens, New York. She’s interned at Rolling Stone, NBC local media, Mashable and the Queens Chronicle. Though she’s from upstate New York, she considers herself a Queens girl. If she’s not writing or editing, she’s probably scrolling through goat Instagrams.