5 Tips To Ace Your Interview – Part 2
Interview Prep Has Never Been Easier
We recently sent you part 1 of our 5 best interview tips. We truly hope you found that information helpful.
As promised, here’s part 2 – chock full of good advice, you won’t want to miss this.
Being late is a deadly sin when it comes to interviews. With technology being so prevalent, it’s easier than ever to be punctual. Traffic information can be consumed in real time – so, carefully plan your route, and add an extra 20 minutes for good measure!
Senior Recruiter Belinda Desmond from System One’s MOUNTAIN division tells us, “Being late can sabotage an interview and set a very negative tone.” She further states, “I see so many candidates not take this advice seriously. Being on time shows respect for your interviewer’s time. It’s hard to come back from being late, even if you’re the most qualified candidate.”
In cases where being a few minutes late is completely unavoidable, call your interviewer to notify them of this delay. Provide a reason, and an estimated arrival time. Be professional and accountable – and when you arrive, express sincere apologies and thank your interviewer for being so accommodating.
Does the old adage of ‘dressing for the job you want’ still apply?
In today’s flexible work environments, many companies have a relaxed dress code. Candidates now tend to dress informally for interviews. That’s not inherently a bad thing. However, it seems many have taken it too far: half of all hiring managers report that candidates wear inappropriate clothing to an interview.
On our end, we’ve seen it all: sweatpants, yoga pants, a Dora the Explorer backpack (!), and hoodies galore. Let’s put these in the ‘inappropriate’ pile.
We’re not necessarily saying you must acquire an expensive suit. We just think there’s a happy medium between ‘suit’ and ‘sweatpants,’ and that happy medium is a nice pair of slacks with a button-up shirt and jacket. Same applies for women – blouses, blazers, pencil skirts, and pants are always good choices.
If you’re interviewing for a leadership position, you may need to pony up for a suit. While it’s typical for entry-level and associate positions to be less formal, leadership positions still require professional attire.
In all cases, be conservative when wearing jewelry, and nix the perfume or cologne. Many people have allergies or sensitivities to strong scents, so err on the side of caution and leave odors behind.
Don’t overlook your facial expressions. 38% of job seekers forget to smile during an interview, which can be a deal breaker for hiring managers. Relax, and smile – it shows the interviewer you’re happy for the opportunity.
Here’s some additional guidance:
- Clothes should be comfortable, neat, and ironed. Avoid items that are too tight, worn out, or revealing.
- Wear simple, dark tones and avoid loud patterns.
- Brush your teeth before leaving for the interview. Don’t smoke on your way to the office.
- Sit up straight. Avoid exaggerated gestures.
- Speak with confidence. Don’t mumble.
During an interview, you should be focused on your interviewer. Candidates have lost opportunities because they were obviously distracted and disengaged. Your interviewer should have your undivided attention. You should be present and engaged, smiling, asking questions, and making conversation.
Today’s most obvious distraction comes from cellphones. Mute your phone. Don’t just put it on vibrate – completely silence it before your interview. You need to be fully focused, and it’s hard to do that when you feel (and sometimes hear) your phone buzzing.
Subconscious behaviors can also create disruptions, like watching the clock, not listening to the interviewer, or fidgeting too much. A great way to avoid these types of behaviors is to make eye contact during the interview. Eye contact conveys confidence, honesty, and preparedness. It also says you’re engaged, interested, and ready for this job. Surprisingly, studies show that as many as 68% of all job seekers fail to make eye contact during an interview.
Interviews have been compared to first dates for a good reason. You’re essentially presenting the best version of yourself to a potential long-term relationship. So, put your best foot forward: be prepared, ask good questions, arrive early, wear proper attire, smile, and give them your full, undivided attention. Your positive demeanor and preparedness are bound to get you noticed.
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