While the thought of job interviews can be nerve-wracking, it’s important to remember that an interview is essentially a sales call and the product being sold is you. You are the best person to speak on your own behalf, and with the right preparation, you can be ready to present your best self to prospective employers.

1. Research the company and the position

The more you know about the company and the position, the more comfortable and confident you will be during the interview. The company’s website is a great place to start.

Learn about the company’s culture, mission, values, history, and leadership team.

Understand the industry and the company’s competitors.

Research the position and the skills and experience the company is looking for in a candidate.

If you know who you will be interviewing with, research them on LinkedIn.

The more you know, the better you will be able to articulate how you can add value to the company and the role.

2. Prepare for common interview questions

No matter the industry, company, or job, most interviews will include common questions.

Some of the most common interview questions include:

• Tell me about yourself.

• What are your strengths and weaknesses?

• Why do you want to work here?

• Why are you leaving your current job?

• Where do you see yourself in five years?

• Are you willing to relocate?

• How do you handle stress?

• Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

• What are your salary requirements?

• Do you have any questions for us?

Prepare for these questions by considering your answers ahead of time.

If you have a friend who can help you conduct a mock interview, that can be a great way to get feedback on your answers.

Mock interviews can also help you practice your body language and eye contact, as well as your overall interview style.

3. Dress for success

First impressions are important, and your appearance can say a lot about you before you even open your mouth. To ensure you are making a good impression, dress to impress!

A good rule of thumb is to dress one level above the dress code of the company. Are they a startup with a casual dress code? Dress business casual. Are they a business casual office? Dress business professional.

If you’re not sure what the dress code is, ask the recruiter. They will be able to tell you what the dress code is and how you should dress for the interview.

4. Develop your own list of questions

Asking questions of your own can help you to better understand the role and the company, and it demonstrates to the employer that you are taking the interview seriously. Additionally, it can help you to determine if this is the right role and company for you.

Remember, an interview is a two-way street. You are evaluating the company as much as they are evaluating you.

5. Bring a copy of your resume and a list of references

Even if you already submitted your resume with your job application, it’s a good idea to bring a few extra copies with you to the interview.

Your interviewer may not have seen your resume, or they may want to refer to it during the conversation.

You should also have a list of professional references with you, in case the interviewer asks.

6. Practice good nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is just as important as what you say in an interview.

Good nonverbal communication includes making eye contact, using hand gestures, standing up straight, and speaking clearly.

You should also make sure to smile and nod your head when appropriate.

These things can help you make a good impression and show that you are confident and professional.

7. Send a thank-you note

It’s never a bad idea to send a thank-you note after an interview. This will show the employer that you appreciate the opportunity and are serious about the job.

You can send a handwritten note, an email or a LinkedIn message. Just make sure you send it within 24 hours of the interview.

8. Take care of yourself

Job interviews can be very stressful. It’s important to take care of your mental and physical health during this time. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating well and exercising.

You may also want to do some things that help you relax, like meditating, going for a walk, or listening to music.

The more you can manage your stress, the better you will feel during your interview.

9. Bring your best self to the interview

The interview is your chance to showcase your skills, experience and enthusiasm for the role. It’s also your opportunity to demonstrate that you are a great fit for the company and the team. Make sure you show up on time, are polite and professional and take the time to engage with the interviewer.

If you are interviewing virtually, make sure you are in a quiet, well-lit space and that you have a professional virtual background or are in a room that is tidy and free of distractions.

No matter what, make sure you bring your A-game to the interview. Be polite and respectful and remember to engage with the interviewer.

It’s also important to remember that the interview is your chance to determine if the company and role are a good fit for you. Make sure you ask questions and get the information you need to make an informed decision.

Conclusion

• Be sure to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and shake his or her hand before leaving.

• After the interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer. This can be done via email if you need to send it quickly, but a handwritten note is always a nice touch as well.

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