Interviews are the main event of a job search as they have the potential to make or break a new opportunity. Like most things in life, practice makes perfect; preparation is key to leaving a lasting impression. Interviewing is a learned skill; very few people are naturally charismatic enough to walk into an interview room unprepared and win. To help you leave a lasting impression, remember these 3 P’s – preparation, practice and presence.
Preparation is an absolute must! Have you done all your homework for this position? At this stage, you should, at the very least, know who will be interviewing you and their role in the company.
- Tip: Review the interviewer's LinkedIn profile to learn their background, education and interests. Use this to identify commonalities and bring these up during the interview. Knowing your audience allows you to respond with more applicable and relative answers, demonstrating your understanding of the role.
Make sure you take time to research the company as well. Familiarize yourself with their vision and mission, as well as any recent stock prices, awards or major company news. Read recent press releases and review their social media presence for a look into their culture.
We all know practice makes perfect. There are many standard interview questions that you can review ahead of time, but be prepared for the unexpected questions as well. Conversation topics, such as career choices, reasons for wanting a new role and why you think you are the best candidate, should be expected.
Practice answering those standard questions with your family, friends and in front of the mirror. You should always be prepared to talk about your work history WITHOUT looking at your resume. The goal is not to sound rehearsed but rather to keep you at ease and allow you to speak comfortably and confidently. With practice, these questions are opportunities to showcase your abilities rather than cause areas for concern.
Once you’ve done your homework, researched the interviewers and company and practiced answering common questions, there is one final piece to making a lasting impression... presence.
Appearance, image and confidence are vital! Dress to impress because this will be the first exposure to your potential new employer. How you look and present yourself will help determine if your first impression is a lasting one. Make sure to wear clean and professional business attire. Pay attention to detail: ensure your shoes are shined, shirt pressed and the accessories you choose are appropriate. Just like the two previous steps, always remember your audience!
Knowing you look the part will help you feel the part, which brings us to the final piece of the puzzle: confidence. It starts with believing in yourself and trusting your instincts. Trust that the hard work you put in to prepare will pay off in spades when it comes time for the interview.
Prepare, practice and present yourself like the professional you are to ensure the impression you leave will be a lasting one!
Now it's your turn, what tips do YOU have?