Job interviews have always been stressful events. It's a make-or-break situation where the future of your career depends on how well you can talk to strangers, which most of us would probably say sounds like an accurate description of Purgatory.
Toss in the economic downturn, leaving interviewees with stiffer (read: more experienced) competition than ever before and it's obvious why today's job interviews are such nerve-shredding events, sending countless worriers to Google to sort through an untold number of articles.
Well, below are the top five best job interview tips in one convenient article to soothe your troubled mind.
5. Dress Appropriately
Before you scoff and close this article, hear me out. Yes, everyone knows that you need to be starched and pressed for a job interview, Sunday best and all that. But what if I was to tell you it is possible to overdress for a job interview?
It's a very real thing. Coming into a jeans and t-shirt establishment with a three-piece suit on can truly damage your standing in the eyes of a potential employer. Best case scenario, you just look a little silly. Worst case scenario, you look nave. Overdressing (or underdressing) gives off the vibe that you have no idea what kind of business you are getting into.
Lots of articles will tell you to scope out the business and see what people who come and go are wearing, but that's creepy. In my experience, the best way to know what to wear is to ask. Shoot them an e-mail or a phone call and ask what's appropriate. That leads me into my next point which is...
4. Research the Company
This may sound obvious but you need to know the business you are trying to join. Learn about what they do, the area they serve and who their clients are. Trust me, knowing something about the people they do business with will allow you to give knowledgeable responses that your interviewers will remember. The more specific you are about what you can do for them, the better off you'll be. But you can't get there without research. Once you've done your research, you can't forget to...
Have a friend quiz you on possible questions they might ask. Memorize standard responses in case they ask you about any of your previous employers. Do whatever you can to not be caught off-guard and stammering when it comes down to the moment of truth.
There is something in your work history or application that caught their eye. Figure out what that was because that is why they think you will be useful. Find that connection and learn/recite everything you can about it.
If you do, you'll come out of that interview looking like someone who they could use immediately instead of a doe-eyed kid who they'd have to get up to speed.
And don't tell me you can't. Your potential future employers are just people after all. And like all people they don't want to be around a jittery mess who can't maintain eye contact. Also, extremely nervous people sweat. A lot. I hate to break it to you, but you aren't going to get your dream job if your future boss can smell you from across the table.
If that doesn't help, think about it this way. You're already in the door. They like you! Something about the collective bundle of experiences that makes you who you are caused them to pick up the phone and tell you that you are awesome enough to deserve an interview.
All that's left for you to do is prove them right.