In today’s post, I’m going to share 10 invaluable job interview tips straight from a hiring manager!
Going to a job interview is one of the most stressful and important experience anyone will ever face, especially if you’re brand new to the workforce or just returning to it.
Once you’ve found an opportunity on Indeed or CareerBuilder, and you’ve gotten that illusive call to come in for an interview, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of actually having to be evaluated in person by a prospective employer.
No matter how great your resume is or how qualified you are for a job, interviews are always difficult.
Recently I sat down for a no-holds barred conversation with a hiring manager for a major chain of dental offices in my area. Over the years, she’s been in charge of hiring for a wide variety of office and technical positions.
She told me that whether you’re applying for your very first part-time job as a teenager or climbing the corporate ladder, there are some basic pieces of advice that, if followed, can put you head and shoulders above other applicants.
Here are her top 10 job interview tips for anyone looking to get hired!
Research The Company
Of all the job interview tips my friend gave me, this one made the best impression on her when it happens in interviews.
Before you ever set foot in the offices of your prospective employer, know what the company is all about.
In this day and age, where EVERYBODY has a website, spend some time learning as much as you can about things like what the company is currently working on and what their company values are.
Incorporating this knowledge into your interview will help the interviewer see how you would fit into their working environment.
Have Questions Ready For Your Interviewer
Any hiring manager worth their salary is going to ask any job candidate if they have any question about the company or the job during the process of the interview.
Have at least two articulate question about the company or the job itself already prepared to ask.
I’m talking beyond the self interested question like “how much money does the job pay,” and “how much vacation time do I get.”
Employers are looking for someone who really has a vested interest in the job they’re looking to fill.
Some generic questions that you could tailor to the interview you’re attending might be something like “what is the company culture like here,” or maybe “can you tell me about what opportunities for advancement are available should I get this position?”
One of the best job interview tips I’ve ever heard was to practice before you attend the interview.
Look up some typical interview questions and practice what your answers might be to them.
For example, you might be asked to share three of your strengths and three of your weaknesses.
Think of answers that are honest, but present you in your best light.
Present Yourself Appropriately
Make sure your appearance is suitable for the job environment when you head to your interview.
While you may love your tight little black dress that shows off your curves, it’s probably not appropriate to wear in an office environment.
And make sure you err on the lighter side when applying perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
While four squirts of your favorite fragrance may not seem overwhelming to you, it will definitely distract the person giving your the interview.
Another one of the excellent job interview tips my friend offered was to bring extras!
Having extra copies of your resume and references can save the interview.
Don’t expect the prospective employer to have made copies for everyone who might need to see it.
Offering the extra copies makes you seem prepared and proactive, two qualities that are great for any kind of job.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Nothing can sink an interview faster than constant dings and ringtones coming from someone’s phone.
It distracts everyone’s attention from the task at hand, and can be construed as disrespectful.
And whatever you do, if your phone rings during an interview, DON’T PICK IT UP!!
Best practice would be to leave it in your car where it won’t even have the possibility of distracting you from the interview.
Be Excessively Polite
This is one of the best job interview tips I’ve ever heard. Always be polite!
Everyone you come in contact with at a place of employment has the potential to be giving feedback on you to the hiring manager.
Make sure you are polite and friendly to everyone you come in contact with.
From receptionists to janitors, any good workplace will consider every single employee to be a part of the team.
The last thing you want to do is alienate the beloved receptionist at the front desk by being rude and condescending.
Use appropriate greetings. Say please and thank you. And definitely make sure you smile at people!
Make A Good Introduction
When you first meet the person performing your interview, shake hands appropriately.
Don’t give the limp noodle handshake or the super mega firm wrestler handshake.
Find a happy medium that asserts confidence without being distracting.
Introduce yourself and be friendly. Stand up straight and make eye contact with your interviewer, especially in a group interview situation.
And remember, a little smile goes a long way.
Don’t Use Filler Words
This is one of the hardest job interview tips my friend offered during our conversation, but she said it made candidates really stand out when they followed it.
When people are nervous, they tend to fill empty spaces in conversations with filler words.
Things like “ummm” and “you know” don’t add any content to your responses.
Don’t be afraid of taking a beat to think before you respond.
It may seem like an eternity to you, but a split second of silence won’t hurt anything and will make you seem more intelligent than using filler words will.
Send A Thank You Card Or Email
This goes back to that manners thing.
Thanking someone for their time goes a long way in making a good impression.
Mention something specific from the interview that you enjoyed or reiterate why you’d be a good fit for this job.
This little bit of thoughtfulness shows a lot of respect to the interviewer.
Job Interview Tips To Help You Land The Job
No matter the industry or profession, following these simple tips can really help you stand out from the crowd in an interview.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize how important these things are, and how many don’t put any of them into practice.
Be confident in yourself and your skills, and you’re sure to land the job.
Have you ever aced a job interview? I’d love to hear your best tips in the comments!
10 Job Interview Tips Straight From A Hiring Manager