Do you struggle in job interviews? Do you get nervous and feel the employer won’t get to know the real you?
I used to struggle with nerves and feelings of inadequacy during interviews. That all changed once I started practicing some strategies I learned from professionals and books.
So, if you or someone you know struggles with succeeding in an interview, consider these strategies to win the next one.
Strategy #1: Know yourself.
Your number one asset in succeeding in an interview is knowing who you are. You must know your personality tendencies, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and future career goals.
Renowned author and New York Times bestseller, Dan Miller says it this way, “85% of the process of finding the right career direction comes from looking inward.”
85% of the process of finding the right career direction comes from looking inward. – Dan Miller
When you have a better understanding of what makes you unique, it will show in the interview room.
Strategy #2: Do your homework before the interview.
Too often, some of the best-qualified candidates fail to do their homework before being interviewed. Do you need a job? Sure you do, but why do you need this particular job?
If you have done your homework before the interview, you should know a lot of information about the company. What industry are they in? What department will you be in? What do you know about the position you applied for?
Those are a few of the questions you will need to be prepared to answer.
Strategy #3: Come to the interview prepared and confident.
Take time to practice your answers to interview questions with a colleague or friend and ask for their feedback. Maybe there is a strange way you move your head when you answer questions or you laugh more than you should. Learn from these practice sessions to boost your confidence.
On the day of the interview make sure to arrive early. The last thing you need is the stress of being late. Also, bring multiple copies of your resume, a notebook, and a pen to take notes during the interview.
Appearance is key – wear a suit and tie for men and a dress or pantsuit for women – not too baggy and not too tight or revealing.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one!
Strategy #4: Be upbeat and relaxed during your interview.
If you’ve done your homework and taken care of all the pre-interview details, it’s time to relax and let your true personality win them over. Most interviewers make an initial hiring assessment within the first minute of meeting the interviewee. So, stand up, make eye contact, smile, and shake hands with the interviewers.
When it’s time to take your seat, keep good posture, and subtly place your palms face up in your lap to allow your body to relax. This is your moment to not only impress the interviewers but also ensure this job is the right fit for you.
Interviews tend to follow a standard format: getting to know you, questions about the position, behavioral response questions, and wrap up time for you to ask your questions. Understanding this format should allow you to feel prepared and relaxed.
Strategy #5: Follow up after your interview.
This step is critical to placing your name back into the minds of your interviewers. When your interview is finished, send a thank you email or note to the interviewers letting them know how much you appreciated their time and if you are still interested in the position.
Then, a few days later, call to see where they are at in the hiring process and express your interest in joining their team.
Remember, if you want this position, do what most interviewees are not going to do and follow up! Put yourself in the driver’s seat and keep the process moving forward.
The secret to succeeding in a job interview is to remember that there is no secret! Practice, preparation, and follow-up will win the day.