7 tips to nail an interview

7 tips to nail an interview

Job interviews can often be terrifying. There’s a huge difference between reading someone’s qualifications on a resume and meeting them for the first time.

And so, there are a lot of helpful tips out there on what kind of questions to expect, how best to answer them, as well as how you should dress. So, we’ve decided to offer further assistance with some tips that are often overlooked by job hunters. But, in reality, they can sometimes make all the difference.

  • Do your homework on the organization!

We recommend looking up on three things in particular about the company:

i) Read their annual report. Understand the keywords they use in how they present themselves to the market. It’s highly effective to replicate those keywords while presenting yourself in the interview. If it’s a character trait that represents their company culture you should know it.

ii) Research the leadership team and who will be interviewing you. Scope them out on LinkedIn or Google them. Know their background and interests. If they went to the same alma mater as you, or they enjoy golf, wind-sailing, or if they enjoy curling just as much as you do, it would make for a good ice-breaker.

iii) Leaf through the company’s most recent press releases and the news for any mention of them. If they recently expanded their business (or lost some of it), be aware of it or any new initiatives they have.

Based on what you find out, come prepared to the interview with a list of 10 questions. And then choose the top three to ask when you summarize your interest.

  • Get a good amount of sleep the night before.

Remember to be well-rested, especially if you have a morning interview. You don’t want to appear groggy or half-asleep in the interview. And we suggest you to try to avoid coffee. A stimulant, coffee can make you jittery. So, if anything, we suggest Gatorade.

  • Acquaint yourself via the receptionist.

Receptionists are the eyes and ears of any organization. So, it’s always a good idea to acquaint yourself with the company via the receptionist or the first person to greet you as you walk into the office. The hiring authority may even ask them for their opinion of you. If you were even slightly rude or brash to the receptionist, the hiring manager might find about it. So, remember to give a good first impression with the company’s receptionist.

  • Take your jacket off and put your bag down (if you have one).

Like I said, some of these tips may seem minor and silly, but they can make all the difference in how the hiring manager perceives you. Taking off your jacket and removing your bag gives the impression that you’re relaxed, that you’re comfortable and that you’re happy to be there. You don’t want to sit down in the interview with the impression that you’re ready to leave already.

  • Maintain eye contact and pay attention to your body language.

Both of these are critical. It’s important to look your interviewer directly in the eye, as you’re talking to them and as they’re talking to you. But don’t stare. And keeping eye contact doesn’t necessarily mean looking the same way non-stop. Keep eye contact, but move your eyes around. If you have more than one interviewer, alternate between them. And this may sound weird but remember to blink.

Also keep in mind your body language. Between 30 and 60 per cent of an interview is influenced by body language. It can either give off the impression that you’re interested in the position and the organization, or that you don’t want to be there.

  • Have a closing statement at the end of the interview.

This allows you to reaffirm your interest in the position and sum up what you can bring to the table. But, as far as closing statements go, it depends on which of these three options you fall under:

i) You’re heavily interested in the position,

ii) You aren’t that interested in the position,

iii) Or you’re uncertain, but would like to continue on in the interview process.

This too can make all the difference. It leaves a positive impression in the hiring manager’s mind. It also helps to reaffirm your interest in working with their organization and remain memorable to the hiring authorities. Remember to keep your thank you note short and sweet. And keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to say thank you. Reaffirming your interest in the position is more important.

Also, if you had a morning interview, mail the note five hours later at the most. If your interview was in the late afternoon or early evening, try for a seven a.m. note.

The fact remains that job interviews are often about perception. Anything can happen that can lead the hiring authorities to judging you negatively. So, don’t give them a reason to.

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