Have you ever thought about how each person reading this blog could have at least one thing in common? It’s kind of hard to believe right, but I’m willing to bet that if you are reading this, you have had to interview for at least one job in your life. What was going through your mind before the interview? Were you thinking about “how can I impress this hiring manager so they will want to hire me?” I know I felt that way when I was recently in the job market.
I don’t know how you feel about interviewing, but I find that it can be kind of scary. But is it the fact that we’re interviewing that we’re scared about, or is it the fear of the unknown? I think that not knowing what your future has in store is the scariest part about the whole thing. But remember this: everything happens for a reason. You are there to interview because 1) it is going to be good practice for the interview that you need to nail for the most perfect job or 2) because it is the most perfect job and you’re going to nail it. Knowing that no matter what happens during that interview, you are going to be successful somewhere, should be enough of a confidence boost to help you knock the boots right off that hiring manager! But, if you’re still feeling unsure about how to impress your potential employer, check out these five additional tips.
- Be Prepared – Before your interview, do your research. Learn everything about the position you are applying for, the company you are interviewing for, and the person you are interviewing with. There is a good chance that the hiring manager is going to ask you what you know about the company, why you want to work there, and if you have any questions. Having good thought out answers to these questions (and having a list of questions for when they ask) will show your potential employer that you have a vested interest in their organization.
- Be Confident – Next time you find yourself heading in for an interview, make sure you take your confidence with you. They chose to interview you because you looked good on paper, so show them why you are the right candidate for their role. To do this, maintain eye contact, smile, and listen. They will be able to see your confidence because you will be the one that kept the conversation flowing by being concise and clear.
- Be Yourself – Just like with being confident, you need to be yourself. Don’t make up stories or non-truths just to impress your potential boss. If you have a sense of humor, show that. If you are passionate about something, explain it. If you are yourself, and they don’t choose you, then the organization wasn’t a good fit for you. The right job will come along and it will make sense why the first one didn’t work out.
- Be Memorable – The hiring manager is most likely going to meet with several candidates before making a decision. You don’t know if you are the first candidate or the last, so you want to make sure you are memorable, so even after they interview the last person, they still come back and say, I liked them because of (insert that memorable thing that you came up with.) A few suggestions: connect on a commonality, ask unexpected questions, master your response to the “tell me about yourself” question, and/or include stories with your answers.
- Be Determined – After your interview, make sure you follow up with a thank you. Thank you cards are great, if they aren’t planning on making a decision right way. But it seems like a lot of companies are moving fast these days, so it’s okay to send a thank you email. It’s also okay to follow up after giving the decision makers time to think. If they tell you they’ll have a decision by mid-week next week, send a follow up on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning just to let them know you’re still interested. I just wouldn’t recommend emailing or calling every day.
Remember, you’ve already gotten past the hard part: getting the interview. Now all you have to do is go in there with your head held high and be the subject matter expert they are looking for. You’ll be able to sell yourself and impress that potential employer in no time! Tell yourself you can, and you will.