No matter how many job interviews you’ve been on, the interview process never seems to get easier. Nerves, curveball questions, awkward moments of silence—interviews can get uncomfortable pretty fast. When you interview, you’re meeting new people, have to sell yourself, and make a good impression. Through careful preparation, however, you can make any interview a success. To better your chances of getting hired, take a look at our top four interview tips below.
1. Dress for the part
First impressions make a big deal, especially when it comes to interviewing. Before you even begin speaking, interviewers will take a look at how you present yourself. With that said, it’s important to dress the part for the role you’re applying for. In most cases, this means dress pants, a button-up shirt, tie, and a sports jacket for men, and slacks, a blouse, or a dress for women.
However, the idea of professionalism is changing in the workforce, especially with younger employers, who are focused more on your qualifications rather than the clothes you wear. For example, for more creative roles such as writing, graphic design, and tech jobs, you may be able to get away with business casual clothes for your interview.
2. Conduct a background check
Most employers conduct background checks on potential candidates. With that in mind, it might be worth running a background check on yourself using an affordable service like Shareable. You never know what piece of information from your past might show up on background checks, such as your personal information, evictions, credit score, and criminal history.
By conducting a background check on yourself, you’ll be able to make any corrections to clear up inaccuracies or remedy things that occurred in the past. This way, you’ll be able to clean up your background history and show employers you’re responsible and trustworthy.
3. Practice answering interview questions
Another important tip is to practice answering interview questions before you sit down in the hot seat. You never know what an interviewer will ask during an interview, which is why it’s important to prepare for a wide range of interview questions. There are interview practice apps you can download on your smartphone, or you can practice answering some of the sample questions below:
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
- What professional achievement are you most proud of?
- Why should we hire you?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- What do you like least in your current job?
- What do you look for in a company culture?
- What do you look for in a boss or manager?
- What are you most passionate about?
- How do you handle workplace stress?
These are just a handful of potential questions you might be asked during an interview. It’s also important to prepare for industry-related questions that might be asked to show your understanding of the intricacies of the job.
In addition to answering questions, it’s also important to ask questions to show the interviewers that you’re curious and interested in the job. Before you head to your interview, bring a notepad and write down some questions you can ask to show them what you’re looking for in a company.
4. Bring a copy of your resume and cover letter
In most cases, you’ll be required to submit a resume and cover letter with your online application. However, when it comes time for the interview, it’s important to be prepared with a hard copy of your resume and cover letter. Employers and managers are extremely busy and are most likely interviewing dozens of candidates. This means they might not remember everything listed on these two documents. Bringing a hard copy to your interview will show them you’re professional, responsible, and organized. It will also allow them to refer to it when asking you questions.
Interviewing can be extremely nerve-racking. However, by taking the time to prepare, you’ll be able to make a strong first impression and nail the job of your dreams. With these four interview tips, you’ll get hired in no time.