Have you been successful at securing interviews, but can’t seem to seal the deal? It’s a common issue. A job interview is an unusual situation, and you probably don’t have a lot of experience in that situation. Many people naturally shine in interviews, while others need practice to hone their skills. Time and effort are all you need to become a master at job interviews.
Learn to impress your job interviewer and get the job:
- Clean up your social media and digital presence. Approximately 90% of employers check all your digital and social media platforms of interview candidates. Along with creating a LinkedIn Profile that showcases your personal career brand, you need to go through your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other accounts. Delete anything that might seem unsavory to a potential employer. Be aware that recent court rulings give employers the right to ask you to log into social media accounts and allow them to poke around your account. Setting the security preferences isn’t enough. Get it all out of there.
- Be prepared for “Tell me about yourself.” Have your story ready to go. Avoid talking about your education and job history. Your interviewer can already see that information. Tell your basic story, focusing on the attributes that would make you valuable to their company. Keep it interesting and under two minutes. Show that you’re a real person, rather than just another chemist or salesperson.
- Be on time. Even one minute late for an interview is one minute too many. By being late, you give the impression that you don’t care, don’t have control over your time, or don’t respect the time of others. Any lateness can destroy your opportunity. On the other hand, it looks ridiculous if you show up 45 minutes early. Ten minutes early is perfect. Plan for the worst and try to be 15 minutes early. You can always wait down the street until the appropriate time.
- Know your weaknesses. The second most common question is “What are your weaknesses?” Avoid cliche answers like, “I try too hard” or “I care too much.” Give an honest answer and follow up with the solution you’ve implemented. “I can struggle with staying organized, but I’ve developed several habits and systems that greatly increase my organizational skills. For example, I create a to-do list the night before and prioritize my tasks for the day.”
- Get plenty of practice. There are many books and websites with the most common interview questions. Practice answering them aloud. Record your answers and listen to them. How do you sound? Are your answers concise and professional? Do any of your responses send the wrong message or raise additional questions? Get Noticed, Get Hired (my #1 Amazon New Release in the Job Market and Advice category) is filled with interview tips if you want to check it out. More practice will result in a more comfort at interview time.
- Video record your practice sessions. After you have your responses down pat, it’s time to work on your body language. Do a little research on effective body language and give it your best shot. Record your practice sessions and review your mannerisms and physicality. Are you presenting yourself and a confident and competent future employee? The perfect verbal responses will fall flat if your body language is incongruent. Some experts believe your body language is the most important factor.
- Know the company. Know the company’s primary products and competitors. You might find out through your research that you’d rather work somewhere else! You’re also likely to be asked what you know about the company. Be prepared with a knowledgeable answer.
- Dress appropriately. A suit and tie are a safe bet for men 97% of the time. Women can’t go wrong with corresponding attire. The key is to look clean, neat, and professional. Ensure that your clothes fit properly. Even the finest clothes look frumpy if poorly fitted.
Job interviews can be stressful. You need or want the job, and the interview is often the final stage in the process. There’s a lot riding on that conversation! Job interview skills can be learned by anyone willing to put in the effort. Become an expert at the job interview process and get the job. If you need more help, check out the other resources on my website.