You’ve submitted dozens and dozens of resumes to various openings, and then it happens – your phone rings, and it is a hiring manager wanting to interview you! Earning a job interview means you’re one of the top candidates for an open opportunity, but then the next hurdle becomes proving you are, in fact, the best person for the job. To do that, you need to take your interviewing skills to the next level.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare 

Preparation is key to every successful interview! The week before your interview, research the company, think about your responses common interview questions, write down thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer and practice with trusted friends and mentors. The night before your interview, lay out your suit, make sure it’s ironed, print out copies of your resume and go to bed early. These seemingly little things can make all the difference.

Consider Your First Impression 

Never underestimate the power of your first impression, because at the end of the day, people want to hire people they like. Make sure you look polished with a neat suit and tidy hair; ladies, wear minimal makeup, jewelry and perfume. As you walk in, have a firm handshake and smile ready for your interviewer. Then during your interview, be professional and refined, yet friendly, personable and outgoing, as this will help you stand out to your hiring manager.

Avoid the Little Pitfalls

Things like body language and how you answer questions can become pitfalls for interviewees. Carry the confidence you conveyed in your first impression throughout your interview. When we get nervous, people tend to speak quickly, so make an effort to slow down and speak clearly. Also be cognizant of your body language. Are you employing hand gestures or are you sitting there with your arms folded? Be natural in your body language, but make sure it’s conveying your interest and enthusiasm.

Follow Up Afterwards

Your post-interview follow up can be a huge part in sealing the deal for the opportunity! Always send a handwritten or email ‘thank you’ immediately after your interview. If your hiring manager gave you a timeframe of when they’ll make their decision for moving forward, you have another opportunity for follow up. Let’s say your hiring manager said he/she will be in touch in two weeks about the decision; it’s definitely appropriate for you to follow up two weeks and one day later. This will convey your interest and give you another excuse to reiterate how you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

Job interviews can be difficult, but they’re also an opportunity to shine! Follow this advice and take your interviewing game to the next level.

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