Job interviews can be a stressful time for everyone. Having to be on your ‘A game’, coupled with the added pressure of wanting the position can often make the process feel overwhelming or daunting.
The good news is by following these smart job interview hacks you’ll easily increase your confidence and set yourself up for the best opportunity to secure the role. Even if you are still studying for a qualification, it’s a smart idea to be preparing for job interview success now.
1. Always arrive early. Always!
You’d be surprised by how many people find themselves rushing to get to their interview. Being late not only reflects badly on you as a candidate but puts you in a negative state of mind during the interview.
- Work out how long you need to get there, add on some extra arrive early time and then for good measure, add on some more.
- Research parking or public transport options well ahead of time. The night before is a great time to prepare, and you’ll also sleep better when you feel well prepared.
2. Dress to impress
It’s true that different industries require different standards of dress. However, it’s always preferable to overdress rather than under-dress. A good rule of thumb is to dress a little more formally than what employees would wear daily.
TRY THIS: Corporate office with dress shirt and pants? Add a tie and jacket. Creative workspace full of crazy prints? Try black pants and a block-coloured shirt.
3. Focus on the small details
It can be easy to forget about finer details, but they’re just as important. You don’t want to be runner-up because you paid less attention to your appearance.
- Think about details such as chipped nail polish, novelty key rings, the state of your handbag/wallet, your phone case and shining your shoes.
- Consider everything that may be on display to an interviewer and what it says about you.
4. Create a strong mindset
Focus on your strengths and why you are a great choice for this job. Make sure to mention your existing qualifications, any courses you are doing, and past successes relevant to the role.
TRY THIS: Sit quietly for one minute and breathe deeply both during the inhale and exhale. As you breathe deeply, focus on three key reasons you are a great choice for this job. This practice will slow down your heart rate as well as your speech, and make you feel more at ease. Do this the night before and on your way to the interview.
5. Preparation boosts potential
The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to perform to your potential.
- Research the position thoroughly, so you have a rounded idea of what the interviewers are looking for in an ideal candidate.
- Read the company website and download any annual reports. Make notes about when they started and why, what are their services, key members of management, etc.
- Have a mock interview with a friend or a family member if possible, to get you used to the interview format and to prepare for commonly asked questions.
6. Build rapport from the beginning
It’s easy to get tied down in the formalities of the interview process, but don’t forget that your interviewer is also just a person so they may be feeling pressured and nervous too.
- Try asking your interviewer a friendly question while walking to the meeting room.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the interview.
- Remember, an interview is your chance to learn more about the role and to decide if it’s something you’re interested in doing.
Thinking of it this way and remembering that they’re trying to impress you too can help with easing your nerves.
7. Friendly and professional follow up
Always send a professional email following the interview to thank the interviewer for their time. Explain that you enjoyed meeting them and learning more about the role and reiterate your interest in the position. If you haven’t heard from them in the agreed time frame, call to follow up on the status of your application. Your interest shows that you are proactive and organised.
Implementing these smart job interview hacks will instantly set you up for success in your next interview. If you are currently studying online, make sure to ask your learning mentor for help in preparing your resume and for any interview skills advice relevant to your diploma or qualification.