We’ve all had bad interviews. You know, the kind where the interviewer asks you a question that you weren’t expecting, and you babble something incoherent. You know at that moment that you just blew it, but you press on, hoping that maybe you can get back on track with the next question.
Let’s be honest though. That unexpected question has thrown you off and you are starting to sweat. You were nervous before, but now you are terrified.
Don’t panic. There are some easy ways that you can set yourself up for success. Here are some ways you can interview with confidence:
Dress for the Job you Want
Show that you are a serious candidate by dressing professionally. This can mean different things for different companies so if you aren’t sure, you can always look at how employees are dressed on the company’s website. You can also ask the interviewer what the expectations are. They will appreciate that you cared enough to ask.
Both you and your clothing should be clean and neat. Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes. Your interviewer may have allergies and you don’t want that to hurt your chances. Keep jewelry and accessories tasteful.
Don’t Be Late
Many job interviews fail before they even begin because the candidate showed up late. Don’t let this happen to you. If there is any question about how much time you need to get there, try a practice run the day before. Showing up late for the interview sends all the wrong messages about what they can expect from you as an employee.
Look online for common interview questions and practice with friends or family. Have them help you get used to unexpected questions. The key to not getting flustered by a surprising question is to know how to take a moment before answering. Learn how to slow down and think before you speak.
Interviews aren’t supposed to be interrogations. It can be easy to forget that an interview is supposed to be a conversation. You should interview them just like they are interviewing you.
Make sure you research the company thoroughly before your interview. Create a list of 3-5 questions about the company. These questions should reflect your genuine interest in their business and their plans for the future….not just their benefits package. You should avoid discussions about salary or vacation time until you receive an offer.
Remember, the people interviewing you want to know what it would be like to work with you. Nobody is going to hire someone that they wouldn’t want to work with.
Show them that you can be personable, knowledgeable and reliable. Don’t go overboard with personal anecdotes and don’t talk badly about your previous employers. Avoid talking about politics or religion at all costs. Stay on topic and show that you are a good communicator and collaborator.
Above all, be the best version of yourself. Use these tips and you will land your dream job in no time.