When searching for a new job, scoring an interview with a place you’ve applied is like striking gold. Though being selected for an interview is exciting, it can also be stressful.1 You’re one step closer to the job you want, but whether you receive the job is contingent upon impressing the person who will be interviewing you. No need to worry though, we’ve got your back. Here are some tips you can use to be successful in your next job interview.
Dress to Impress
Unless you’ve been given specific instructions2 on attire, you should usually plan to dress business casual when going on job interviews. This typically includes slacks or khakis, dress shirts or blouses, knee-length dresses or skirts, and dress shoes. Dressing in business casual will show you took care in your appearance for the interview and will give you a more professional look. Even if you show up a bit overdressed, that’s usually a better risk than showing up underdressed.
There are several things you can do to ensure you’re fully prepared for an interview.3 First, be sure you bring a copy of your resume with you. This way if the interviewer asks you questions about things on your resume you will have a reference point and won’t have to work off memory. If you need help with your resume, check out our blog post Creating a Resume for some tips on making your resume great.
Secondly, you should research the company you’re interviewing with ahead of time. By doing so you’ll be knowledgeable about the company’s mission, values, and culture and can use that to your advantage when answering questions. Your interviewer is almost sure to be impressed if you’re able to align your answers with the company. This will also show you’ve taken the time to ensure you and the company will be a good fit.
When going on interviews it’s a good idea to bring a notepad with you so you can take notes. As you and the interviewer talk write down things you think are of importance. This will not only show the interviewer you’re serious about the job, but it will also ensure you’re able to remember the things you find important. Make note of any questions you have as well so you can clarify anything you’re unsure of, which brings us to our next point.
In most interviews there will come a time when the interviewer will be finished asking you questions and will instead ask if you have any questions for them. No matter how thorough the interviewer may have been, it is always a good idea to have a couple of questions to ask.4 This is when you can reference your notes and ask about anything you’ve written down. If you’re unsure of what to ask, here’s some topics to consider.
- What benefits will be available to me?
- This could include, but is not limited to, health benefits, paid time off/vacation time, retirement benefits, or tuition reimbursement programs.
- How will my performance be measured in this role?
- This will give you an insight into what will be expected of you and what success will look like to your boss and employer.
- Is there room for advancement?
- If you’re interested in a long-term career or would like to move up within the company, this is an important question to ask. If there isn’t much room for advancement you may want to consider your other options.
1Babu, Sandeep. (2020, May 11). Retrieved from: https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/05/job-interview-anxiety-survey.html
2Heine, Amy. (2023, Mar 7). Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-dress-for-a-job-interview
3The Muse Editors. (2023, Feb 1). Retrieved from: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-ultimate-interview-guide-30-prep-tips-for-job-interview-success
4Indeed Editorial Team. (2023, Feb 27). Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/questions-to-ask-in-an-interview