How to Nail a Job Interview

According to a CareerBuilder survey conducted by The Harris Poll, around half of employers (49%) know within the first 5 minutes of an interview if they are a good or bad fit for a position. 

Cover Letter and Resume Prep:

  • Research the company: history, mission statement, and competitors.
  • Tailor your resume to suit the specific job listing. 
  • Always send a cover letter and make sure to address it to the hiring manager, not just “To whom it may concern.” 
  • Include links to any blogs, portfolios, or websites. 
  • Have a list of soft skills closer to the top of your resume.

What are soft skills? 

Soft skills are those interpersonal skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, and conflict resolution skills. 

Pre-Interview Prep:

  • Prepare 3 to 5 reasons why you are the best person for this position and provide examples. 
  • Explain why you want this job, what you can bring to the table and why you want to work for this company. 
  • Predict the interviewer’s concerns or uncertainties about you and how you plan to overcome them.
  • Prepare for commonly used interview questions and practice your responses. 
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer. 

What to Bring:

  • Copies of your resume. 
  • Portfolio.
  • Notebook and pen.
  • ID.

First Impressions: 

  • Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your personality!
  • Maintain good eye contact, good posture, and speak clearly. 
  • Arrive at the interview location at least 10-15 minutes early. 

Conversations:

  • Make your selling points clear.
  • Keep your answers brief and focused. 
  • Take any opportunity you can to tie your answers back to your skill set. 
  • Closing statement: End with 2-3 of your strengths
  • Ask those 2-3 questions you prepared for the interviewer and what the next steps are.

Post-Interview Protocol:

  • Send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. 
  • Follow up with the company 2 weeks after the interview if you haven’t heard anything. 
  • Post-Rejection: Thank the company for their time and consideration and express interest in future opportunities. 
  • Post-Offer: Thank the company and express your excitement about the job opportunity. 

If you follow these steps you will surely create a great first impression. You will be well prepared for the interview which can only help you. Now go out there and nail that interview!

Sarah Limas

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