It’s an exciting moment. After working on your résumé or application and doing everything perfectly, you get the call—the company wants to have you in for an interview.
You have a foot in the door, but how do you go from getting the interview to getting the job? You’ll want to make the best impression that you can; here are just a few suggestions of things that you can do to have a successful interview:
- Be on time. It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t be late for your interview, but you should actually try to be a little early — 10 minutes or so. If you can, take a practice trip to the interview location ahead of time so you can see what the transportation situation looks like. Anything can happen, so add some extra time to pad it. Being early will make you look responsible; being late, even if you have a good reason, will make you look less reliable.
- Consider your appearance. Before the interview, think about what people at your target employer normally wear to work, and dress one step up. If business casual is the norm, consider wearing a suit, ironed shirt and (for men) a tie. If it’s a casual workplace, you don’t need to show up in a suit, but you should make sure that you are well-groomed and your clothes are neat and clean. Sit up straight, make eye contact and speak clearly.
- Know what you’re interviewing for. Take some time to re-read the job description and check out the employer’s website. Being able to talk about the company and the position intelligently will show that you care about the position and your career.
- Ask questions. You should look at an interview as a chance to see if the position and company are a good fit for you, too. How many people are on the team? What is the work environment like? If the person performing the interview will also be the supervisor, ask about his or her management style and how they prefer to communicate with employees.
- Make your weaknesses strengths. The trick to a successful career is to keep improving, so when you’re asked about any weaknesses that you have, talk about how you’re turning them into strengths—“I’ve been working on my time management skills to be more efficient.”
You can improve your interview skills, plus explore new careers and get tips on finding a job by registering for a free account on GoodProspects. You’ll gain access to a network of peers, experts and virtual mentors who can support you on your career journey.