“Killing” the Interview

So you’ve landed the big interview at a company you really want to work for. Now what?  Interviews are a hugely stressful event because your performance is important and the outcome is uncertain – so here are a few tips to help you ace that interview.

It’s crucial that you feel prepared and calm on the big day. One way to do this is by thoroughly researching the company beforehand—a simple google search can turn up the company’s website and social media links, a good place to start. Make sure you dress appropriately before the interview, usually in business professional attire. Eat and drink the morning of and make sure you’ve gotten plenty of sleep the night before. Arrive early—ten to fifteen minutes is a safe bet. Allow yourself some extra time to get there, because traffic conditions can be unpredictable and you don’t need that extra stress.

Make a great first impression
When you get there, greet the interviewer with strong eye contact, a sincere smile and firm handshake. Project assertiveness through your body language and tone of voice. Show confidence, but also deference to the interviewer as it engenders likeability. Be friendly–engage in small talk with the interviewer, asking about their day or some personal effect you may notice in their workspace.

Sell yourself
Emphasize leadership roles you’ve held in the past or times you have taken initiative. Be honest about your abilities and limitations—it will show. Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask any questions you might have about the company, expectations, and culture. Talk yourself up, but keep it real—showing your personality is the key to making a lasting impression.

At or near the end of the interview, tell them you think you’re a good fit for the company, and that you are looking forward to hearing from them. Afterwards, send a follow-up—with an email or a hand-written card—thanking them for the interview.

Interviews are definitely stressful, but with proper techniques you can reduce your nerves and improve performance.