Most people remember their interview for their current position. The nervousness and anxiety as all eyes are on you asking questions that seem to be pulled straight from a Google search for top interview questions. You know what I’m talking about: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What is your biggest weakness?”
An interview doesn’t have to be so nerve-wracking, especially if you keep in mind these tips I’m about to give you to help you rock that interview and leave no doubt in the interviewer’s mind that you are the one. I have interviewed several people and I am going to tell you a few things that I (and maybe even other interviewers) look for in a candidate.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm … or Job
When you are scheduled for an interview, it’s always best to show up at least 10-15 minutes early than one minute late. If for some reason you cannot make your scheduled time, or maybe you just had a change of heart, always call the company. Let them know you either need to reschedule. If you are no longer interested in the opportunity. let them know a minimum of 15 minutes in advance.
Dress to Impress
Dress appropriately and don’t forget to smile! This is your opportunity to make an unforgettable first impression, so be friendly. Smile! Shake the interviewer’s hand. Make eye contact. Don’t fidget in your seat. Sit up straight. And most importantly, be confident. Remember – you only get one chance for a first impression.
Do Your Homework
Do some research on the company you’re applying for. For example, before I started at ILSA, I did some research, but I was still not completely sure just what they did. I figured they helped insurance agents sell insurance by maybe finding them clients or something. I had no clue what ‘compliance for the insurance industry’ meant. It still didn’t stop me from researching as much as I could. Check out the company’s website, LinkedIn, Facebook, any materials/reviews you can find on the company. When you show that you have done your research – even if you are still confused – it gives the impression that you are genuinely interested in the company. That’s always a great thing. Don’t be scared to ask the interviewer to clarify what exactly the company does and the position you’re interviewing for if you do not understand.
Not only should you do research on the company, but it’s not a bad idea to research typical interview questions. I can guarantee you, you will find at least several interview questions online. Think about how you would answer that question. If the question or something similar comes up during the interview, you will be prepared. You won’t have to sit in silence awkwardly thinking about an answer as metaphorical crickets chirp in the background.
Interviewers may ask you to tell them a story about a time you did something, or maybe a time you tried something but failed. Think about these things in advance so you can naturally think of your best example to share. You don’t want to be that person who tells a dull example story; and then once you are driving home think, “Oh man, I should have told them the story about the time a black bear tried to eat my coworker’s five page document packet for a client, but I was like, no way! Not today bear! And I wrestled the bear for these documents, and we landed the account with a multi-billionaire!”
I don’t recommend making up a story about bears and billionaires, unless of course that actually happened. (And maybe you have a cool scar to prove it.) My point is, think about all your accomplishments and maybe some things you wish you would have done differently before the interview. Don’t be overly arrogant, but don’t be shy about your awesomeness either.
Your personality and attitude is key in an interview. Remember to be confident about what you can bring to the table, smile, be friendly, relax and just be yourself!
Check out this similar article on what employers look for in an interview:
- What Employers Most Look For in an Interview, from Pongo.