Looking good on paper is important to get you in the door for an opportunity, but the interview can make or break your chances. This is your time to reinforce your skills and experience while making a connection with the interviewer and company. Any number of missteps can scare away a potential employer, leaving you without an offer. Because the interview can be challenging, consider these tips for making a great impression.
Do your research
Casually exploring the company before applying isn’t enough to carry you through the interview. Take ample time to learn all you can about the company, the position you’re interviewing for, and your potential co-workers. The more you know going in, the better you’ll fare during questioning.
Make sure you practice
While you can’t predict precisely what will be asked, you have a general idea. Talk through your answers, either with a mirror or friend/family member. Find ways to connect what you’ve done to the job opening and emphasize that in your responses. Aside from developing your answers, this can also help to detect any movements that could be distracting.
Work on your handshake
It’s likely (in a non-COVID world), you’ll start the interview with a handshake. This normal gesture can affect your first impression for the good or bad, depending on how well you do. A good handshake is firm, but not crushing. A weak handshake is something people remember, so don’t get caught with a limp response.
Speaking of handshakes, make sure you aren’t reaching out with sweaty palms. This nervous response is normal, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take a moment to correct it before the big moment. Either find time to go to the bathroom to dry off or subtly use a tissue.
Perfect your attire
What you wear to an interview depends entirely on the position and company. It is essential to know about both so you can arrive in the right ensemble, neither over- nor under-dressed. Heading in the wrong direction of outfit choice can be awkward and begin the interview on an uncertain note.
Be excited and passionate
A job interview is not the time to play it cool. You want them to see you care about what you do and the opportunity at their company. Make sure your enthusiasm is anchored so you can demonstrate why you’re a good fit rather than show straight excitement without support. An interviewer will be able to tell between the two.
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