Getting a new job is always a challenge – especially for recent graduates whose experience might not stack up to seasoned employees. According to Glassdoor, a corporate job offer receives around 250 applicants. Of those, only about five are offered an interview, with only one having a successful job interview. Getting an interview is an accomplishment on its own, you’ve got your foot in the door – now it’s time to impress.
Dress to Impress
First impressions are everything, and it is no different in a successful job interview. According to Business Insider, it only takes seven seconds for people to make judgements and assumptions about you. That is a very small window of time to make your first impression count, so it is important to dress appropriately. There should be a dress policy for the company that you can find out prior to the interview, but if you are unable to find that out, it is best to opt for minimalist, formal wear.
List Your Strengths
It may feel a bit uncomfortable to boast about your strengths to strangers, but this is a good opportunity to apply your skills to the job you are applying for. Include both soft and hard skills when discussing your key strengths. Soft skills are those that can easily transfer from one job to another. A soft skill may be how you conduct yourself in stressful situations, or how you can help manage and mediate conflict in the workplace and get along with colleagues. Hard skills are specific technical abilities that are key to the role at hand – such as writing and software knowledge.
Positive Body Language
Inside an interview or out, body language plays a pivotal role in every form of communication and affects how others perceive you. Alison Craig, author of Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up & Show Up, says, “You could be saying how great you are, but your body could be giving your true feelings away”. Being aware of your body language can help you have a successful job interview. Avoid closing your posture with acts like slouching and fidgeting, as these can suggest that you are guarded off and not taking the interview seriously. You want to sit tall, while keeping your hands relaxed and open, which makes you appear confident, assertive and poised. When the interviewer is speaking, lean in while listening and slightly mirror their movements to show that you are engaged and curious about what they are saying.
If you don’t have questions prepared, you risk giving the perception that you are uninterested in the job. A survey by reed.co.uk found that 97 percent of recruiters believe that candidates should bring questions along with them to an interview. Showing up to the interview with specific questions will help you gather information you need and confirm your interest in the job.
A follow-up email to your prospective employer can help seal the deal. Thank them for their time, make a note of how you enjoyed the interview, and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Take the opportunity to reaffirm the value you will bring to the company. Few candidates follow up after an interview, which could damage chances of a successful job interview. This helps ensure that YOU are on the mind of the interviewer, not your competitors.