It finally happened. After what has been (or feels like) weeks and months of waiting, your resume was picked from an avalanche of others and moved to the “interested” pile. The frustration of waiting has turned to excitement right around the time reality sets in. Every ounce of pressure to land this job falls on how well you do during that time slot. So, you panic, become nervous, maybe even lose a little sleep as you start to dread interviewing for your dream job.
What questions will they ask me? Will they like me? How can I be my best self? The truth is there’s no way of knowing what the interview will consist of and unless you plan on stalking or bribing them, which we don’t recommend. The only way you can gain an advantage is to prepare. These are the primary areas to focus on:
Dress for the Part
The key is to not only sound perfect but look perfect for the role. If the office has a laid-back atmosphere then business casual is a safe bet. However, some roles may require a little extra. Customer service positions might call for a tie and well-groomed appearance (no facial hair, tattoos, etc.) while places like banks or law firms may need a full suit. Some companies may be particular enough to mention dress code in the interview confirmation. If they do not, it’s ultimately up to what you think is most appropriate.
Being properly dressed not only reassures interviewers you’re capable and professional, it’s a huge confidence booster. Nobody is going to perform their best when they’re half-awake in a shirt they haven’t worn in years that now fits like a poncho. Take the time to do a little pampering and select an outfit which makes you feel great.
Know Your Audience
Aside from literally knowing a little bit about your audience, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do within their culture. Take a little time to get a feel for who they are, what they do and condense it to show your interviewer you understand the company and its goals. Websites like Glassdoor or Monikl.com can help you get a better perspective through the eyes of current and former employees. This will help decide what attitude to bring to the table. Is it ok to joke with your interviewer? Or should you be deadpan and serious the entire time?
Answer Basic Questions
No matter what format the interview will be in, at some point or another you’ll be asked some questions which are fundamentally the same regardless of job or company. Why are you interested in us? What’s your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? Have the basis of an answer already prepared takes away a lot of stress and shows your reflective, an admirable trait.
Get in the Game
We’ve all been there at one point or another. Whether you’re thinking about the weekend, if your oven is still on, it doesn’t matter from the time you walk in the door to when you’re driving home. Being focused and listening means giving the best responses possible with an Oscar-worthy performance. Give yourself enough time to arrive early and avoid the stress of traffic, maybe even brush up on some technical terms if the job calls for it.
A second interview is never a sure thing. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right or the company makes a decision based on factors you can’t control. However, with a few simple steps, you can walk in the door prepared and ready to rock, ensuring a top performance in presenting yourself