Top 12 Interview Tips for Career Seekers – Before & During the Interview
It’s safe to say, that we’ve all been there, in one capacity or another. Having searched long and hard to find that ideal job. A job that will meet our financial needs, further our career on the career path we’ve chosen, and hopefully, enriches our lives in more ways than just monetary gains.
But it’s a competitive market out there. And depending on the industry of your chosen career path, landing a job within it or even getting an interview has become exceedingly challenging.
Then, one morning, you open your email and see that an employer you’ve had your eye on and applied for a position, requests a time to schedule an interview with you. If you’re like me, your initial excitement at the prospect of an opportunity with this employer will have you bursting at the seams with elation.
Then, reality sets in. You realize that it’s likely that a vast multitude of eligible candidates likely received the same invitation for an interview. Now, it’s time to identify how to separate yourself from the back. How can you make yourself stand out in the eyes of the hiring manager?
How can you make the presentation of yourself impactful and memorable? Because, ultimately, when that hiring manager sits down to sort through all of those other applicants, you want to stand out in their mind to be deemed as the most qualified and capable candidate.
In order to be successful, one must first project an image of success at all times. The content contained in the remainder of this article will give you the tips and tricks you should be cognizant off to land the job you desire.
Before the Interview
- Prepare for common interview questions. Come up with answers to the classic interview questions ahead of time so you’re not caught off guard if they come up during your interview. Your answers don’t have to be planned out to the tee, but you should have a general idea of what you want to say. After all, you don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script. The interviewer wants to see your personality, so let it shine!
- Practice, practice, practice. Thinking about what you want to say is a great start, but why not go a step further? Get together with a friend and have a mock interview. Speaking your answers out loud to another person adds a new level of authenticity. By the time you get to the actual interview, you’ll feel like a pro. You’ll be much better fielding those questions the 100th time you hear them than the first.
- Clean up your online image. Your interviewer WILL search your name on social media. No matter how well your interview goes, you will not get hired if your social media accounts reflect poorly on your character. A good rule of thumb is to delete anything online that you wouldn’t want your family to see. Don’t give your interviewer any reason to doubt you!
- Dress appropriately. Appropriate attire can mean different things depending on the position you’re interviewing for. Just be sure to look professional. Arriving at an interview in an inappropriate dress can signal to your interviewer that you aren’t serious about the position, and that’s certainly not the case!
- Have all of your paperwork ready to go. You’ll definitely want to bring a few extra copies of your resume as well as anything else you might need, like professional references or copies of any certifications you may have. Make sure to carry all of your papers neatly in a folder to prevent wrinkles and tears. Plus, you’ll look much more professional and organized than you would if your resume was buried in your purse or briefcase under old candy wrappers, trash, or other papers.
- BE ON TIME!!! We can’t stress this enough. Your interview is the first chance you have to prove why you’re the perfect fit for the job- don’t give your interviewer any reason to doubt your reliability. Do whatever it takes to arrive 5-10 minutes early. Choose your outfit the night before, wake up early, allow time for traffic, and consider doing a practice run a few days before the interview. On top of creating a good first impression, allowing yourself plenty of extra time will cut down on stress and let you focus on what’s really important- getting hired!
- Silence your phone! Setting it to vibrate is not enough. The last thing you want is for your phone to ring during the interview. Aside from being unprofessional, it signals to the interviewer that you’re distracted or not serious about the position. Avoid those misconceptions by simply silencing it or turning it off completely before you even enter the building.
During the Interview
- Remember, your interview starts the moment you pull into the parking lot. Be respectful to everyone you encounter. They could be your future teammates, and they could also provide valuable feedback about you to your interviewer. A little kindness goes a long way!
- Be confident! If you’ve done your homework and prepared well, you have nothing to worry about. Try to relax and stick to what you’ve rehearsed. Nerves will only get in your way.
- Be honest. It can be tempting to embellish the truth to make yourself look like a better candidate, but your interviewer will cross-check the information you provide, and they will find out the truth. Discovering that you lied during your interview (or on your resume) will immediately destroy your chances of getting hired. The company wants someone they can trust, so play it safe and tell the truth. Make the most of your skills and experience, but don’t exaggerate to the point of dishonesty.
- Avoid dead air and filler words. If the interviewer asks you a difficult question, you won’t want to sit in silence while you think of an answer, but be careful not to fill the space with placeholder words such as “like” or “um.” It might be helpful to come up with a phrase ahead of time that you can fall back on if you find yourself caught off guard and needing a moment to think. A good way to buy time is to acknowledge that it’s a tough question! Saying something like “That’s a good question. I would have to say…” shows the interviewer that you can think on your feet, especially while under pressure- and those few extra seconds can be just what you need to get your thoughts back on track.
- Ask questions. Yes, the company is interviewing you to see if you’re a good fit for the position, but you’re also interviewing them to see if the position is a good fit for you! Before your interview, do some research on the company and come up with a question or two to ask your interviewer. Not only will you get a better idea of what working with the company could be like- by asking questions, but you’re also showing the interviewer that you’re interested and excited about the position!
These tips boil down to one simple statement: Be prepared and act professionally
Your skills and experience will speak for themselves- they already got you the interview! It’s up to you to convince your interviewer that you’re the perfect candidate for the position. So read through these tips one more time, take a deep breath, and apply for that job you’ve been eyeing!
Complete Healthcare Staffing Is One of the Fastest Growing Specialized Recruiting Agencies in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia Area
Complete Healthcare Staffing focuses on matching people with perfect positions in the perfect field, which means they spend a LOT of time interviewing candidates. Read on for some insider tips on how to ace your interviews and land the perfect job.
When you’re finished, visit their website and apply for one of their MANY open positions. It’s the perfect opportunity to put these tips into practice!
Ojt.com Is Here to Support Job Seekers in Getting the Training They Need to Obtain the Career of Their Dreams
OJT supports Complete Healthcare Staffing in their endeavors. There are many occupations within the healthcare industry that will assuredly provide job seekers with the kind of family-sustaining careers that will last a lifetime. Complete Healthcare Staffing works with employment seekers in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.
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