UPDATED: April 18th, 2018 – Few experiences can be quite as stressful as a job interview. The outcome of the interview can be the difference between a consistent income and continuing to languish in unemployment. Fortunately, a number of confidence-boosting exercises exist that will increase your chances of acing the interview and getting that job.
1st. You need to do due your diligence. You should not only study the company to which you are applying, but also try to ascertain what will be expected of you in the job you are applying for as well.
Read over the specific job requirements listed on the job posing and be prepared to share the related experience you have with those requirements. This will show the employer that you are well-qualified for the position.
Social media can give you access to company employees and previous customers or clients that may have shared information on the company or job online, but if you know someone who already works for the company, ask them questions. They will be able to give you the most detailed information and potentially share a non-sugar-coated perspective of the job and company.
Finding out information on the person that will be conducting the interview can also be extremely helpful, as it can give you an idea of how to behave during the interview without relying on social cues.
2nd. Doing practice interviews are a great way to prepare yourself and increase your comfort and confidence levels during the real interview. Search the web for some sample questions and put them together on index cards. Practice answering the questions in front of a mirror to note your body language and facial expressions.
If you have a friend who has experience doing candidate interviews, it would be great experience for you to have that person run you through a practice interview and give an honest critique of your responses.
Additionally, be sure to have some good answers prepared for some of the standard questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Sometimes employers can throw out oddball questions during the interview and it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
3rd. Scrub your social media presence of anything that might prove embarrassing or reflect negatively on you. Prospective employers can and will look at your Facebook profile as well as other social media posts to see if there are any red flags for you as a candidate.
Those pictures of you dancing naked at a college party and those tweets of you venting about a previous employer need to go. Anything that you wouldn’t want to do in front of your employer should be hidden from your public account.
You should also check back on your employment history and ascertain if anything there might bite you in an interview. Make sure that you have answers ready to explain that reprimand or that personality conflict from your previous job, should such come up.
4th. On the night or even the morning before the interview, have a relative or friend give you a pep talk. You have already decided that you are a fit for the position just by applying for it.
Having someone else also tell you that you have the talent, experience, and education to get the job, would be a real validation that you can take into the interview. Accentuate the positive and cast aside the negative.
5th. Finally, you need to look, dress, and act the part of a serious and qualified job applicant. Wear your best interview suit, cleaned and pressed. Get your hair styled the day before and, if you have facial hair, make sure everything is trimmed and neat.
Act friendly, but professional. While the interview is just a conversation, it is one for a distinct purpose. Take your cues from the person interviewing you. Be kind, but do not act too familiarly. Laugh at his or her jokes, but not too boisterously and above all, be sure to stay professional.
Shake your interviewer’s hand firmly, look him or her in the eye, and when the interview is over, thank him or her and reiterate that you are very interested in the position and hope to hear about a decision soon.
If you want to continue your preparation by doing some more research on interview do’s and dont’s, check out this Quick Guide To A Successful Interview.