Very few things produce more anxiety than a job interview. There is a lot riding on your performance, a lot of unknowns going in, and a lot of scrutiny being focused directly at you. But if you know how to conduct yourself, and you make some preparations in advance, you can walk through the door with a level of confidence that really helps cut through the nerves. Follow these tips for any job interview you go on.
Make sure you know the location of the job interview, have directions to get there, and plan on arriving about 10 minutes early. This helps you calm down a little before you meet with your interviewer, and also helps you avoid being late.
Turn Your Cell Phone Off
Do this before you even enter the building. And don’t just set it to vibrate, turn it off entirely. You need focus in a job interview, and nothing is more embarrassing than a ringing phone, or more distracting than a buzz in your pocket.
Dress Professionally but Appropriately
You should go to any job interview dressed in professional attire, but don’t overdue it. It is just as bad to wear too much perfume or to come dressed in an outlandish suit as it is to show up looking disheveled. Be sure to look yourself over head to toe in a mirror to be sure you aren’t missing any details.
Bring the Essentials but Nothing More
It is appropriate to bring an extra copy of your resume and possibly some supporting documents if you need to prove you have certifications or training. Bring these in a folder or briefcase, and don’t bring anything else. Walking in with an oversized bag, a cup of coffee, a tablet computer, and a mouth full of gum makes you appear disorganized and unprepared.
Speak Confidently, Clearly, and Succinctly
If you are nervous, this can be a challenge, so try practicing before hand. There are a number of common interview questions that you can prepare answers for in advance, just make sure you don’t sound scripted. In all of your responses, deliver the information directly, act like you believe in what you are saying, and avoid being rambling or long winded.
Make Eye Contact and Smile
A job interview is designed to evaluate your personality as much as your credentials. Frame yourself as a person that is good to be around by making eye contact – but not constant eye contact – and smiling when appropriate.
At the end of the interview, express your interest in the position, thank the interviewer for his time, shake hands if offered, and make a quick exit. There is nothing to be gained from trying to linger or engage the interviewer in chit chat.
If you take these steps, you can make the focus on the interview about your skills, experience, education, and potential – exactly what a job interview is supposed to be about. Find more tips and tricks to help job seekers by consulting with The Concorde Group.