In the midst of technological advancement nowadays, the "back-to-the-basics" rule still applies when it comes to getting hired for a job. It does not matter if you are planning to apply for a million-dollar company or a small, independent firm. When you face an interviewer, it all boils down to how you present yourself. This is the deciding factor whether you will get hired or not.
So you have distributed your resume to prospective employers and you have determined the correct job to apply for. The next step is to schedule the job interview.
You can make the acquaintance of the assistant or the receptionist when you schedule for the interview, either by phone or personally. Be friendly and polite, as these people might provide information that can be essential to getting that job or, even just give you a background of the company or your prospective boss.
Finally, you show up for the interview.
The basic traits of being prompt, how you speak and carry yourself and even how you dress are all factors that contribute in making a lasting impression that will eventually get you hired.
Here are 7 easy steps on how you can improve your interviewing skills:
1.) Prepare for the interview.
First, dress appropriately. Once the interviewer walks into the room, or once you walk into the room to be interviewed, your appearance will be the first thing to make the impact. Dress appropriately, check your grooming and mind your posture.
Second, practice basic courtesy. Know where the interview will be held and be there with ample time to prepare yourself before the scheduled interview. Turn your phone off to avoid unnecessary distractions.
Use all your resources to make sure that you know the basics about the company. You would not want to be caught unprepared when asked about how you heard or what you know about the company that you are applying for.
Learn about your potential employer. In your mind, develop a clear picture of the company profile, also make sure that you prepared answers to a few basic questions, but do not sound scripted. This happens when you rehearse what you will be saying word for word. It is enough that you have an overview of what you will impart to the interviewer, and it is better to be spontaneous.
3.) Be cool
Step forward so that you are now seated and the interview is about to begin. Make a great first impression by maintaining eye contact, giving 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 off of his or her busy schedule to interview you.
Make sure to start on a positive note and set the proper expectations.
4.) Do not sell yourself short
In the course of the interview, answer the questions briefly and accurately. The key is to be honest, make sure that as a prospective employee, you impart to your future employer what you really are and what you can do for the company, not the other way around. Stay positive and do not give a bad impression about your previous employer.
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.
You may also put yourself in the employer's shoes. Ask yourself, if I were on the other side of this desk, what qualities should I look for in a potential employee? Would I profit if he works for me and can he contribute to the development of the company?
Do not be afraid to sell yourself but do not be overconfident. Just project an air that you are sure of yourself and your capabilities.
5.) Ask questions
Should you encounter a difficult interviewer, do not be intimidated. One who does not let you put in a word edgewise should be lightly reminded that you should do most of the talking since he is the one who needs to learn more about you.
6.) Wrap it up
As you near the end of the interview, make sure that all bases are covered. Now is not the time to discuss or even ask about the salary and the benefits that you will receive once employed. There is ample time for that once you do get the position and you are discussing the job offer.
Wrap things up by summarizing your strengths and pointing out your positive traits. Finally, as you end the interview, make sure to thank the interviewer again for his or her time, thus leaving a lasting impression.
7.) Follow up
Send that all-important thank you note after the interview. Thank the interviewer for the time that he took with you and for giving you that opportunity. Make sure that you know who to contact for follow-up of the results.
A lot of research has been made about the interviewing process. Here is a brief run-through: