Recent graduates and other job-seekers know how difficult it can be to land interviews for the roles they covet most. Getting your foot in the door is hard enough; especially during challenging economic times, so once inside it’s important to make the most of your interview.
Individual job roles require particular skill-sets, so interview styles show unique nuances according to the positions available. But there are universal strategies to follow, enabling you to put your best foot forward, regardless of the job you are trying to secure.
As you prepare to interview, keep the following thoughts in mind, to help increase your chances of landing your dream job.
1. Provide Proper Paperwork – Successful interviewing is all about leaving a positive lasting impression. Non-verbal cues like what you wear and how you conduct yourself during an interview are extremely important, but making your mark starts with furnishing documentation to support your job quest.
Your resume for example, represents a historical account of your employment and education successes, which serves as an ongoing reference throughout the application process. As job searches narrow, employers look back on the documentation you provide, using it to set you apart from other applicants. Your resume should be a concise accounting of the positive outcomes you’ve orchestrated in your life, showing potential employers the many reasons why you’re a good hire.
While a standard CV is okay to submit for more than one job, the cover letter included with your CV provides an opportunity to tailor your application to the job at-hand. In addition to personal salutations to the company and even the interviewer, your cover letter should include specific links between your qualifications and the posted job requirements.
Educational transcripts are appropriate to include among application materials, especially when specifically requested by employers. Samples of your work may also enhance your hireabilty. Even if you’re not applying for a job in a creative field (which would require an extensive portfolio of samples), including an example of your output is revealing to interviewers.
2. Learn About your Potential Employer – As interviewers prepare to get to know you better, it helps your cause to have a thorough understanding of the company or organization you are applying to. It is easier than ever to research potential employers, using web-based resources and social media channels. To impress your interviewer, memorize some of the information you find online, including core concepts like the organizational mission statement or recent developments found on the employer’s website.
Third-party information, like bits gleaned from news stories or facts shared by insiders, help reinforce your image as an informed applicant, when you are able to work these points into the flow of an interview.
3. Talk the Talk – Job changes are not always lateral, shifting to the same position at another company. Instead, entry-level and career-changing employment may be moving you to a new position or industry. For successful interviews, study the language and jargon associated with the work you’ll do, so you are able to communicate effectively with interviewers.
4. Bring the Right Attitude – Interviewers set the tone of meetings, to a certain extent, but it is important to show them your best professional demeanor. A serious, yet accessible approach is proper interview etiquette, showing employers you mean business, while still sharing a genuine look at your personality. Enthusiasm is well-received by interviewers, but you should also show restraint, to maintain your authoritative position. Without being disingenuous, integrate the values of the employer into your interview responses, as a way to relate better with your interviewer. And never use an interview to bad-mouth previous employers or co-workers; it shows poor taste and undermines your image as a team player.
5. Ask the Right Question – Turning the table on interviewers is a good way to illustrate your commitment to the work you are seeking. Focus on the role you’ll play within the organization, asking interviewers to expand your understanding of the position. As the interview unfolds, steer the flow to bigger-picture concerns like industry trends and other factors influencing the organization, rather than asking specific questions about benefits and other company policies.
Thinking on your feet is part interview success, but taking measures ahead of time covers all the bases as you strive to make a lasting impression. Impress your interviewer with all the right moves, including an informed, professional approach.
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