Tips For a Successful Interview

Interviewing for a new position can be a stressful, exhausting and time-consuming endeavor. Even the most prepared candidate can be intimidated by the challenges presented when interviewing. In fact, if you ask around, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone who actually enjoys the process.

The initial joy of securing an interview after applying for a job is often quickly replaced by feelings of anxiety.  Whether you have been called upon for a phone interview or asked to come for an in-person interview, you have likely already begun to feel apprehension about how you will do.  Anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to interviewing. A healthy level of nervousness can actually help propel you to do your best by ensuring you take all the necessary steps to properly prepare. On the other hand, if you let that anxiety get the better of you, you may come across unprepared and be quickly dismissed from further consideration for the job.

Here are some tips for making the most out of an interview opportunity.

Practice Makes Perfect.  

One of the most effective ways of preparing yourself for a polished performance is practice. There are a variety of ways to practice interviewing. If it’s been a particularly long time since you’ve gone through the interview process, the best place to start is with a family member or friend. Sit down with someone that you are comfortable with and go through a mock interview. This will give you a good start to determine what you need to work on to prepare for the real thing. Some of the things to think about during the mock interview include:

  1. How quickly do you produce answers to the questions asked? If you need several minutes to gather your thoughts after each question, you will need to take the time to sharpen your focus and find ways to expedite your response time.
  2. Are you able to come up with appropriate examples of your skills? No matter what type of position you are interviewing for, you can bet that you will be asked to produce actual examples of how you used the necessary skills required in previous positions. If you draw a blank for each example you are asked to provide, you will need to take time drafting these examples and preparing appropriate responses.
  3. Are your responses delivered in a confident manner? If your voice shakes when answering a question or you are unable to hold eye contact with the interviewer, more practice is needed. Repeat your responses over and over until you are able to steady your voice and be confident in your delivery.

Do Your Due Diligence

A job interview provides two kinds of information. First, it gives the interviewer an idea of who you are. Second, it shows the interviewer exactly what you know about the company and the required skills for the position. Doing due diligence to research the organization as well as the open position will help you stand out among the other candidates. As you review the background of the company and the job qualifications, compose a list of questions to ask during the interview. This will show that you’ve already taken an interest in the company and also provide you with a better idea of the company dynamics. Remember, you are interviewing the company at the same time they are interviewing you.

Don’t Come Empty Handed

At bare minimum, you should always have at least two professional copies of your resume with you when you walk into an interview. One is for you, and the second is for the interviewer. Yes, they will likely have a copy already, but you should be prepared for any circumstance. Having a copy for yourself will allow you to review exactly what the interviewer is looking at during the interview. It can also help you focus on the key attributes that you want to concentrate on when answering questions.

Always bring a notepad and pen so that you can jot notes about the position and notate any information that may require follow-up. Also, be sure to have a list of references and contact information so that you can complete any additional paperwork at that time. And lastly, if you have a portfolio to showcase your work, be sure to bring that with you.

Stay Positive

Don’t let negative thoughts beat you down so that you walk into an interview already looking defeated. Stay positive and remember you must’ve done something right to get the interview in the first place. Push the negativity out of your head and replace these thoughts by visualizing a positive outcome. If you find that you keep coming back to negative thoughts, take the time to explore these feelings and determine what is preventing you from getting past it.

Interviewing is stressful. But if you learn how to use the stress in a productive manner, it can actually motivate you to succeed.

Sentinel Background Checks provides of variety of individual screening services which can help you prepare for employment. Call our professionals at (888) 725-2535 or visit clearcandidate.com to see how we can help you stand out to a potential employer.