Have you been going on interview after interview, only to feel deflated and unsuccessful with your job search? As a jobseeker, interviews are often the only opportunity you’ll have to showcase your qualifications, and most importantly, your character, work ethic, and career goals to employers. Investing time and effort in interview preparation can be one of the most impactful ways to change the trajectory of your job search and give you an edge over the competition. Here are three practices to help you put your best foot forward during the interview process:
Get organized the night before.
Just as you would get ready for a big event or exam, take some time the night before your interview to prepare. Planning your outfit, printing copies of your resume, and reviewing your transportation arrangements for getting to the interview can play a major role in your performance. While this may not seem obvious, doing even the most basic preparation will help you gain mental clarity so you can arrive at your interview with better focus and confidence to discuss your qualifications. In addition, getting into the habit of being organized throughout the job search process will ultimately benefit you in many ways, from better time management to less stress.
Put your phone away and get in the right headspace.
All too often, candidates show up to interviews with their cell phone in hand, scrolling or texting in the waiting room. While it may be tempting to stare at your phone if you’re feeling anxious, this behavior may indicate to the employer that you’re preoccupied and not focused on why you’re there. Furthermore, there are many more useful things you can be doing while you wait. Rather than whip out your phone to check for updates, use your time before the interview to review your resume, go over your key talking points and do some reflection on why you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Be ready to engage in a meaningful, two-way conversation.
Understanding that an interview is an opportunity for you to engage with employers in a meaningful way can make or break how you’re perceived as a candidate. By coming prepared to every interview with intelligent questions, as well as your thoughts about how you’d fit within the workplace culture, you’ll demonstrate that you’ve researched the company and have a genuine interest in the opportunity to be part of their team. Remember, an interview is a chance to gain insights about an employer, so you can also determine if you’re a fit not only for the job at hand but for the work environment at large.
In achieving any goal, failing to plan is planning to fail. Following the practices above can help you take better control of your professional future, putting you in the driver’s seat of your own success and allowing you to make the best first impression possible.
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