Ah, job interviews - those nervewracking tests of a person's confidence in the face of questions and speculation. I can't speak for everyone, so I am only speaking for myself when I say interviews are the worst. I never trusted adults who told me over and over that the key to a successful interview is practice. Basically, I was told by every successful person in my life that the only way I could ever ace an interview was to try and fail over and over in interview after interview until eventually I would get it right. Now with a number of interviews under my belt, I can confidently say that this advice is true...except, there are things you can do to make every interview the best it can be. Preparing before your interview and walking in on a strong foot are two components that you can control in order to succeed. Read on to find out specific ways you can succeed in a job interview!
1. The Handshake and Smile
Extend your hand until your thumbs interlock with the thumbs of the person's hand you're shaking, and remember to squeeze the person's hand no harder than they are squeezing yours.
Have a happy and interested countenance in your interview. No one likes an angry employee; if you're frowning the entire interview, you're giving the impression that you don't even want the job you're interviewing for.
Make sure that your resume is neat and organized, and above all, remember to update, update, update. You should have a base resume - one that you work off of and add to every time you want to apply for a new position. Almost no two positions will require the same resume from you, so it is important that your resume reflects relevant attributes and focuses on the expererience you have that is applicable to your potential job.
You don't have to be a Computer Science Major to have a LinkedIn account. More and more companies lately require that you have a LinkedIn account, and it is a good way to network and sell yourself as a competent employee.
Not all positions will require a portfolio of your past projects, but positions in the art or writing fields will want to see the work you have done in the past.
Steam or iron your outfit - you want to look sharp and send a professional first impression.
Don't wear sweatpants or jeans. The saying "dress for the job you want" doesn't apply for interviews; when it comes to applying and interviewing for a position, its best to dress better that the job you want. An interview is your time to pull out all the stops and really sell yourself as a competent and worthwhile employee. How you are dressed during the interview has a considerable affect on what kind of impression you give your potential employers. For instance, if you are applying for a job as a Resident Assistant at your university, oftentimes you will be wearing everyday clothes on the job. For the interview, though, you should be dressed work professional.
Make sure your clothes match - no black shoes with brown belts, or other clashing combos.
Ask other people what they think of your interview outfit - you are trying to impress your interviewer, so asking for more opinions can only help.
6. Be Well-Groomed
You don't have to be prom ready, but it is important that you are decently put together and practice good hygiene (in everyday life, but especially in an interview).
7. Practice Q and A
Research background information on the company you are applying to; get a grasp on the company's motto and the attributes your interview will be looking for in a potential employee. Then come up with a list of common and possible interview questions, then practice your responses. Have a friend or family member act as a stand-in interviewer, so that you can practice your responses to another person. Interviews can be nerve-racking, so the more you practice, the easier it will to get past the nerves and get through the interview smoothly.
Have your own set of questions for the end of the interview. At the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask "Do you have any questions for me?" Even if you don't have questions - have questions. Having questions for your interviewer shows that you are really interested in the job position and you want to work for them. Also, asking your interviewer questions is a good way to learn more about how the company really functions and if you would be a good fit for the position.