Five Ways To Win Your Job Interview
Late May and early June are exciting months, spring has burst open, the flowers are dazzling and the birds are singing. You're still gazing at the diploma that was recently placed into your hands as you smiled for the camera in your cap and gown astonished at how quickly the actual moment of anxious anticipation had passed.
So, You Just Graduated. Now What?
Whether you've finished high school, a two or four-year education and you're not part of the idle-rich set, what's next is a job and the rest of your life. And unless you've got one lined up you'll be attempting to schedule and then go on job interviews.
If you thought the studying, observing and critical thinking to pass tests were behind you, it's just beginning, for winning in the job interview requires not losing the job interview.
Five Ways To Win Your Job Interview
One of the keys of winning the interview and 90% of everything else you'll encounter is to simply not lose. And that means homework and a little bit of granular detail about your target companies could take you a long way.
1. Don't be surprised by interview questions. You pretty much know what they're going to ask. The internets are filled with free advice on the very latest in resume preferences and interview questions you're likely to face and many have interviews with actual HR people from reputable firms. Compile a list of questions and sensible answers that highlight your strengths. Get someone to sit across the kitchen table from you and ask the questions randomly and hear yourself saying them out loud. You'll be more likely to be prepared for almost any question and more confident when you're answering it.
2. Know the name of the interviewer. While it may sound simple many HR experts agree that even though you may have been on four interviews already this week, it's critical to know exactly to whom you're meeting with now. Always address them by Mr., Mrs., or appropriate title unless and until you're told differently and always yes ma'am and no ma'am. They won't want to hire an ill-mannered jerk to work with them, so always be polite.
3. Learn all you can about the company. No matter how many companies you're targeting know a few interesting things about each of them. Not just the basics, but a few in-depth nuggets that would suggest to the interviewer you're really interested in the work. As well, this kind of research will help you determine whether you'd actually like to work with the company or not. Perhaps you'll be able to work an example of that knowledge into your interview answers demonstrating you already feel a sense of pride regarding the organization.
4. If you sense it's not going well, or you start getting nervous this is where the kitchen table practice comes in. Remain positive and confident and don't give the impression you think you're slipping. Continue to answer questions in a confident manner, the mere fact that you stayed cool when the interviewer may have actually formed one opinion of you, could make an impact and get you reconsidered. This also shows that you won't freak on the job when things aren't going so well and the pressure is ratcheted up. Stay confident, positive and upbeat at all times.
5. No social media invites, please. This may come as a shock to some, but not everyone is on social media and not everyone who is, wants to be your friend, especially one you just met and had an interview with a few hours or days earlier who may be a potential co-worker, boss or the person that rejected you. And clean up your own act, those photos of you with your head in the porcelain bowl at the frat party need to go if they were posted in the first place. You're demonstrating responsibility and maturity now not the shortest Daisy Duke shorts at Spring Break.
In a tightening job market, simply getting the interview at least puts you on first base, it's important you not get thrown out before you can get to second. The key to winning is not losing, at least on the small points you can control, such as your knowledge and personal interest in the company.
You have nothing to lose, you didn't have the job when you walked in the door and if you don't get it you've lost nothing but have gained a little real-world experience to learn from so you still win. And if you do get the job then congratulations. So you see, don't get nervous, study and do your homework and all you have is everything to gain.
Bonus No. 6 Lastly, send a thank you note, not a text or email. A note made out of paper with your handwriting on it and a stamp on the outside of the envelope. It's a personal touch especially in the digital age and will almost always separate you from the rest of the pack of job seekers. Have fun and good luck.