Many people are returning to the job market for the first time since the world shut down because of the pandemic. Job opportunities are becoming abundant. Competition can be fierce, so candidates need to rise above the rest if they want to land the job. Do you know what it takes to be a standout candidate?
After years of interviewing people, I am amazed how many of them lacked basic interview skills. In fact, several were not hired by me because their interviews were disasters or forgettable. The image and perception you exude does make a difference!
If you are failing to get hired or you are about to go on an interview, you need to read below. No matter what type of job you are applying for, these key points will help you land the right job for you.
Do Your Research
Take the time to learn about the company, the people, and the job. Nothing is more annoying than having to sit through an interview with someone who does not even know what job they are applying for. Why are you wasting my time? Before the interview, visit the business informally if possible to get a feel for the atmosphere. Check out their website, and Google the requirements for the job. Talk to others who work there or have utilized the business. Take an active interest in the job you want where you want, and during your interview, incorporate what you have learned into your responses.
Develop a Great but Simple Resume
Two mistakes candidates often make are either not bringing a resume to the interview or bringing a poorly done resume. Even first-time job seekers in high school should be able to produce a simple resume that showcases their strengths and experiences. Your resume helps the interviewer remember you, so give them one at the beginning of the meeting. On the other hand, a poorly done resume leaves a negative impression. If there are errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling, the interviewer will question your communication skills. A resume that is over two pages with redundant information shows your inability to prioritize and to be concise. In order to stand out, provide them with a simple yet well developed resume that refreshes their memory about why you are the best person for the job.
Dress for Success
Your appearance is your first impression. Make it a good one! There is not any job interview that is okay for you to show up with holes in your jeans, wrinkle or stained clothes, or skin showing in inappropriate places (underwear and bras too!). If you are interviewing for a professional job, dress like a professional. No exceptions or excuses. All other jobs, a decent pair of pants (preferably slacks), a nice shirt tucked in if made to do so, and clean shoes will suffice. All can be bought at reasonable prices at Goodwill, Walmart, and other bargain/discount stores. Remember your hair is also part of your package. Brush it! Something easy and simple to do that makes a big impact. When you dress for success, you instantly earn extra bonus points with the interviewer. Do not miss out on the opportunity.
Practice and Get Feedback
Interviews are not easy for anyone, and your nerves can ruin an interview. The best way to get past your nerves is to practice and get feedback. Ask a friend or relative to do a mock interview with you and to give you feedback. Research possible interview questions and script out your answers. Stand in front of a mirror rehearsing. If possible, record your mock interview to watch and learn how to improve. Simply, the more you practice, the more confident you will feel.
Mind Your Manners
Saying “Please,” “Thank you,” “Yes Mam,” and “No Sir” shows respect and are often overlooked by candidates. Also, being kind and respectful to the office staff or receptionist is a must. They will tell their boss if you are not. Under no circumstances should you use profanity during the interview or while waiting to interview. Employers want well-mannered employees to represent them. Model this in your interview.
Remember to Smile
People respond positively when others smile at them because that smile welcomes them. When doing an interview, remember to smile at everyone you meet, during the interview, and as you are leaving. This puts others at ease around you and gives the impression that you are a positive person. In addition, smiling is a natural way to calm your nerves. If smiling does not come naturally, make it part of what you practice ahead of time. A simple smile can make a big difference.
There are no guarantees on the outcome of a job interview. You cannot know everything an employer is looking for in an employee. However, you can set yourself up for a successful job interview by applying these key points. Do what is in your control to be a standout candidate. Good luck in your future endeavors, and do not hesitate to reach out to Writings by Kim for your resume and interviewing needs.