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7 Easy Steps to Improve Your Interviewing Skills

When it comes to interviewing, the “back-to-basics” rule applies. It doesn’t matter if you are applying to a Fortune 500 company or a small, independent firm. When you face an interviewer, it all boils down to how you present yourself. This is almost exclusively the deciding factor as to whether you will get hired or not.

Here are 7 steps to help you improve your interviewing skills and land that job!

1.) Prepare for the interview.

First, dress for success! Your appearance will be the first thing to make an impact so dress appropriately for the role. Check your grooming and mind your posture. If you aren’t sure how to dress, ask your recruiter for guidance. Are you interviewing at the corporate headquarters or a manufacturing facility? Do you need loafers or steel-toe shoes? You don’t want to be under or overdressed.

Second, know where the interview will be held and be there with ample time to park, visit the restroom and check in at reception. Turn your phone off to avoid unnecessary distractions.

2.) Research.

You will most likely be asked how you heard about the company or what you know about the company. Make sure you do your homework. Research the company ahead of time. How long have they been in business? What is their main product or service? Who are their clients? Have they been in the news recently? You don’t have to have a stat sheet for the past 3 decades but have a generalized overview of the organization.

3.) Be cool.

Maintain eye contact, give the interviewer a firm handshake, a friendly smile, and a polite greeting. Sit only when you are asked to do so and do not forget to thank the interviewer for taking time out of their busy schedule to interview you.

4.) Don’t sell yourself short.

Make sure that as a prospective employee, you impart to your future employer who you are and what you can do for the company, not the other way around. If ever there is a time to toot your own horn, it’s in an interview. Don’t be arrogant or overbearing but give an honest and confident assessment of your skills and accomplishments. Show them the value you bring to the organization.

If you are applying for your first job, do not let your lack of experience hinder you from gaining the advantage against more experienced applicants. What you lack in experience, make up for in confidence and eagerness to learn. Again… confidence, not arrogance.

5.) Ask questions.

DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT leave an interview without asking questions. Especially when the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?”. Not sure what to ask. Here are some ideas.

6.) Wrap it up.

Wrap things up by summarizing your strengths and expressing your sincere interest in the role. Ask the interviewer when you should expect to hear from them. Make sure to thank the interviewer again for their time, give another firm handshake, leaving a lasting impression.

Now is not the time to discuss salary and benefits. There will be ample time for that once you are discussing the job offer. Now that’s not to say you can’t discuss it if they bring it up, but don’t be the one to open that door.

7.) Follow up.

Send that all-important thank you note after the interview. Thank the interviewer for the time they took with you and for giving you the opportunity to learn more about them and their company. Briefly mention why you want the position and what you will bring to the table. Let them know they are free to contact you if the need any further information to aid them in their decision-making process.

In summary, put your best foot forward. Prepare well, research the organization, make a short list of your biggest accomplishments as well as questions you plan to ask the interviewer. Dress appropriately, show up on time and be polite to the receptionist. (They are interviewing you, too.)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the interview. Good luck! You’ve got this!

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