So You Have An Interview…

It’s not a secret that the economy is, well, let’s just say unreliable at the moment.

In fact, that would most likely be an understatement about the current unpredictability of Wall Street. As a direct result, many Americans are in need of employment. Who knows? You might even be one of them. For some folks on the hunt for an occupation, all that is needed is a small chance to prove their experience and value to a prospective employer. An interview is exactly the type of opportunity that most job seekers are relentlessly searching for.

Let’s role play for a second… So you’ve been looking for a job for months, scouring the internet, newspaper and other resources for a possible shot at getting a foot in the door. You’ve applied everywhere. You’ve called and checked up on every single application, sometimes twice. Finding yourself at wit’s end, just when all hope seems lost, the phone lets out a ring, breaking the silence. With the excitement of a child on Christmas, you make a rabid, almost psychotically happy blitz to the receiver. After a brief conversation with the person on the other end, you seemed to have reached the light at the end of the tunnel. You finally have an interview with a possible employer. Quickly, however, you realize this will be the first interview you’ve had in quite some time and anxiety sets in. What if you don’t look the part of the job you’re applying for? Do you have a resume ready? What questions will be asked?

While it can be intimidating, an interview is really almost no different than an ordinary, everyday conversation. An interview’s entire meaning is to obtain more information from the questions asked. And while you may not know what is going to be asked of you, that certainly doesn’t mean you cannot be prepared!

Here are some things to remember when you are going to have an interview:

  • Have an appropriate appearance

Before you even have a chance to open your mouth, you will already have been judged based upon how you look. However unfair or impersonal that might sound, it is the truth. I can remember an interview with a previous employer before my time at Incept. Dressing for success is never a bad thought, and I knew it. Even though it was a simple job, I made sure that my appearance showed that I was interested in the position. At the end of my interview, the human resource manager actually commented on how professional I looked compared to other applicants and genuinely appreciated the notion. Having appropriate attire at an interview can set you apart from other applicants.

  • Be confident through speech, eye contact and body language

It’s easy to the look the part, but do you have the intelligence to back up the look? If an employer bases their first judgments of you off of your appearance, then their next assessment will be based upon their personal interaction with you. If you have a strong vocabulary, use it to your advantage. Avoid using slang words, and watch your “um”s. Maintain eye contact when speaking or being spoken to. Don’t slouch or fidget with your hands. Having proper posture and calm, collected movements will not only add to your confidence but also to your professional demeanor.

  • Be honest

Honesty is always the best policy. It is easy to show enthusiasm in a company if you are in desperate need of employment, but if the job is a job where you do not see yourself happy or productive, then why lie? Explain things when you have the chance to in a professional manner – not with just a simple yes and no. Do so honestly.

Here is a great link to more dos and don’ts of a job interview.

What are some tips you would suggest for someone that is nervous about an interview?