There are so many steps in the job-hunting process, from searching for positions online to accepting an offer. Perhaps the most important aspect, however, is the interview. Hiring managers look for so much in a candidate, it’s no wonder than interviewees are so nervous.
Fortunately, making a good impression on and off paper is simple. Here are five tips every job seeker should remember for an interview:
1. Research the Right Information
Of course you need to read up on the company where you’re interviewing, but concentrating too much on its website can do more harm than good. If you start throwing out facts you read on the company’s biography page, your interviewer is going to know that you’re just spouting off information you memorized.
Rather than focusing solely on the company, take some time to read up on general facts about the industry. Giving yourself a more generic information bank will allow you to talk about the company and industry without sounding like you’re reading off of a script.
2. Get Specific About What You Want
Another little-known tip for acing an interview is to get really specific about what you want. This includes what you want out of the position you’re hiring for as well as your overall career goals.
The easiest way to do this is on your résumé. List your career objectives and skills prominently, and be prepared to explain how the present position will help you advance those goals or enhance your skills.
3. Be Honest
Everyone’s prone to a little flub here and there, but elaborating on your résumé too much is the easiest way to fail your interview. It can be tempting to exaggerate about your previous job title or extend employment dates so it doesn’t look like you were unemployed for too long, but these little lies can only hurt you. No company is going to want someone who isn’t honest.
Remember, it’s better to not get a job because you’re not experienced enough than to lose a job for lying about your qualifications.
4. Spruce Up Your Resume
Résumés seem like a fairly standard part of the interview process, which is why you should get a little creative with yours. Hiring managers see dozens, if not hundreds, of résumés when they’ve got an open position. Submitting something a little out of the box can earn you major points, so long as it’s done right.
The key, of course, is to strike the right balance between professional and original. If you’re applying for an entry level-sales job, for example, you might want to model your résumé after a sales brochure, highlighting yourself as the product.
5. Think About Your Body Language
You can say all the right things in your interview, but failing to make eye contact or slouching in your seat can outweigh all your positive qualities. Hiring managers look for confident candidates. If you show poor body language they’re going to doubt your ability to properly represent them.
Some good rules of thumb to follow are sitting up straight, having a firm handshake, making eye contact throughout the interview and not fidgeting.
They seem simple, but these five tips have the power to make or break your interview. Find more helpful job interview and career advice here.