Top 10 Things to Do to Nail Your First Interview

Nobody likes being interviewed. It’s stressful and exhausting. However, it’s also a necessary step toward finding your next job. So how can you nail the process and get the offer? Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:

#1: Pick your clothes out ahead of time.

Don’t wait until the morning of the interview to choose your attire. Pick out what you’re going to wear a few days ahead of time in case you need to go shopping or get something dry cleaned. Make sure you have a business suit and appropriate foot wear. Also, keep jewelry to a minimum and don’t wear perfume or cologne.

#2: Research the company.

Before your interview, do your homework. Read through the company website, re-read the job posting, look to their social media profiles, and search for any news articles about them. Also, if you know who’s interviewing you, do some digging on their background, too. You’ll feel more confident walking into the interview and be able to provide intelligent, informed answers.

#3: Prepare for questions.

Another part of the prep process is preparing for common questions. Think about how you’ll answer “why should we hire you” and “what are your strengths” beforehand. While you don’t want to sound like you’re reading from a script, you also don’t want to get caught unprepared and stumbling for an answer.

#4: Ask your own questions.

In addition to preparing answers for common questions, come up with a list of your own. This will help you to learn more about the job and company, so you can assess whether it’s a fit for you. It will also demonstrate to the hiring manager that you prepared ahead of time.

#5: Give yourself plenty of time to get there.

If you’re running late, you’re going to arrive hurried and stressed. This isn’t the way to make a good impression. Plus, if you actually do arrive late, this is be a mark against you. It’s best to avoid this altogether by giving yourself plenty of time to get there, even if you have to risk sitting in your car for a while if you arrive too early.

#6: Treat everyone like they’re the hiring manager.

When you walk through the doors, greet the receptionist with eye contact and a warm smile. If you share an elevator with someone on your way to the interview, be professional and polite. You never know who will be reporting back to the hiring manager.

#7: Keep body language in mind.

When you’re first meeting the hiring manager, the impression you make matters a lot. To get off on the best foot, offer a firm, dry hand shake, make eye contact, and give them a polite, warm smile. During the interview, avoid nervous habits, like touching your hair, picking at your nails, or bouncing your leg.

#8: Be prepared for some small talk.

The hiring manager might want to chat for a few minutes before the start of the interview. Even if you hate small talk, indulge them and let them lead the conversation.

#9: Focus on your accomplishments.

When you’re answering questions, don’t offer vague or generic responses. In fact, it’s best to tell a story or give a specific example. The more you can quantify your accomplishments and offer facts and figures related to your background, the better. This will showcase your proven track record and also make you a more memorable candidate.

#10: Ask about next steps.

If the hiring manager doesn’t talk about what to expect next, ask about it. This shows them you’re enthusiastic and interested in the job. It also lets you know when to expect a decision, so you’re not sitting around waiting.

Ready for help acing your next interview?

At Happy Faces Personnel Group, we can help you succeed in your next interview, so you get the job you want. If you’re looking for your next interview first, check out our job openings too!

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