Being granted an interview is almost as exciting as actually landing the job. Someone working in the field in which you have envisioned yourself working has decided you might be good enough. The next step in the process is actually proving you are good enough. It’s been said that the more you interview, the better you get at it. While that may be true, and this might end up just being a practice round, there are some things you can do to increase your odds of actually getting hired.
1. Flaunt Your Education
If you went to an ivy league school, that’s great. That would be impressive in and of itself, but for various reasons, most people aren’t granted that opportunity. It doesn’t matter. It’s not about where you went, it’s about what you did when you went.
Be sure to tell your interviewer about any honors or extra recognition you received while you were pursuing your business education. Did you stand out among the crowd? How so? It’s not bragging. It’s being honest!
2. Dress Like One of the Team
How you dress says a lot about who you are. If everything about your dress is perfect, you could be perceived as uptight. But, if everything about your dress style is a mess, you could be perceived as disorganized.
Gone are the days when you had to show up to the interview in a suit and tie. Today, it depends. You might need a suit and tie, or you might simply need a polo and khakis. That’s how they dress at Apple. Company culture matters, and the company desires employees who will fit that culture. Do a bit of research on the culture of the company you’ll be interviewing with before deciding what to wear.
3. Share Your Values
Values matter when it comes to hiring employees. After all, no employer wants to hire a kleptomaniac. You don’t have to come out and say, “My values are x.” Simply share a bit about what you enjoy doing outside of work.
Are you sporty? That probably means you’re competitive and you work hard. Do you volunteer? That says you’re compassionate and respectful of others. These simple activities say a lot about who you are.
4. Practice, Practice, and then Practice
Practice everything. Practice your handshake. Practice your smile. Practice your answers. The more you practice, the more natural you will appear. While it’s okay to appear nervous, it’s even better to appear confident.
Know the answers to the tough questions, because they’ll be asked. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Give an example of a time you had to solve a big problem. What do you bring to this team? An answer of “uh” will not suffice.
5. Thank the Interviewer
Last, don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time. Not only is it polite, but it also keeps you in the forefront of their mind. You can thank them by email or snail mail, but by all means, send that thank you.
Interviewing is hard work. Nobody will tell you it’s easy. You’re basically selling yourself with dozens of other people trying to sell themselves. Being prepared is key, and by following these tips, you’ll put yourself at the front of the pack.