The interview process can be intimidating, but an interview is simply a conversation—about you! You might say, “I don’t like to talk about myself,” and that may be true to an extent, but think about your conversations with close friends and family. How often do you talk about how your day went or your accomplishments and feelings? All the time. So, first things first, remember an interview is an opportunity to meet someone new. Next, take these best practices into consideration to help you ace the interview:
Prepare. Research the company you are interviewing with and be prepared to answer questions like:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Tell me about a time you experienced conflict and how did you resolve it?
Your answers should be specific, show your personality and give real life examples. Lastly, at the end of every interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. Have a list of 3-5 questions handy—never say you don’t have any questions. Asking questions not only shows you are interested in the position but allows you to learn more about the company and the team dynamic.
Practice makes perfect—grab a sister or classmate and have a mock interview. If you can’t find a partner, rehearse answers in front of a mirror.
First Impression. Dress for success! It is always important to wear clothing that is professionally appropriate for the position you are applying. In most cases, this means business professional. Put on a nice blouse paired with a blazer, slacks and heels for a classic look. Be sure everything fits appropriately and that there are no wrinkles.
It’s also a good idea to arrive at least 10 minutes early. This gives you time to freshen up, review questions and provide leeway in case you run into traffic.
At the start of your interview, introduce yourself with a firm handshake and direct eye contact! Have a few extra copies of your resume, cover letter and examples of your work ready for anyone who may need them.
Thank You. After the interview, write a personal note or email addressed to the interviewer and his/her coworkers. Thank them for their time and reiterate why you believe you would be the best candidate for the position. Not only will this note give you brownie points, but shows you are respectful and care about the position.
Want more tips on the interviewing process? Check out these by womenforhire.com here.