About 15 years ago I asked my mentor for help regarding an interview. I was very nervous about interviewing with this large company. He knew that I was an introvert and he gave me some advice that has helped me land jobs with ease ever since. These tips have stuck with me as a candidate and now as an interviewer for my own company.
Your interview is based 50% on what you wear. A first impression means everything when it comes to an interview and is based mainly on what you look like before you even shake hands. Dress not only provides a first impression, it also gives you confidence because when you look good you feel good. Studies show that if you are better dressed than the person interviewing you, you are more likely to respond to questions and scenarios with confidence and eloquence. Even if you are completing a phone interview you should still dress as if you’re having a face to face.
With dress being 50% of what your interview is about, what you know is 40%. Interviewers are impressed when your responses include some information that you may have received from them regarding the company or information you read about prior to the interview so it is important to do your research.
The next tip to interviewing is to understand the job description. How awkward is it to get questions from an interviewer about something in the job description and not know what they are talking about. Knowing the job description will prepare you for the questions that you’re going to be asked. This also gives you the opportunity to prepare questions for the interviewer about the position which displays interest and investment on your part.
The most important tip of all is to know your resume. It’s most embarrassing when your resume details experience that is of interest to the interviewer and you forgot it was there. That’s a quick way to be declined for a position. Not knowing what your resume says gives the impression that you lied in order for you to get called for an interview which in reflects negatively on your character. Knowing what is contained in your resume also allows you to be prepared to cover any possible gaps in experience or qualifications prior to being asked.
To fill in the final piece of interviewing, 10% of your interview is what you say. Your speaking etiquette and diction provide your second impression for an interviewer. You must come into the interview with an upbeat attitude and be well spoken. If you are dressed appropriately and you know what you know, you will have no problem. Lastly, if you’re interviewing by telephone, stand up. If you stand during the phone interview, you are more relaxed and confident and your tone will reflect that.
Having great interviewing skills is one of the primary tools for success. Many people learn through practice and public speaking classes. Local organizations and even recruiting companies offer workshops to give you tips, practice, and critique on how you interview. Find those resources and increase your chances of landing the job you want.