In a previous blog, we provided tips and suggestions on how to build a strong resume and begin an effective job search. Now, we will dive into how you can enhance your interview skills.
How to Prepare for an Interview
Typically, an employer will focus on hearing about your “hard skills,” meaning those that can be measured – like how quickly you got a project done and how much return-on-investment (ROI) it yielded, or how many new followers you earned a company from a social campaign.
“Soft skills” – such as hearing that you’re a ‘team player’ and are ‘hard-working’ – will not have much bearing on the process, so focus on what makes you the best candidate for the job with these interview tips.
Know the Company
Do some homework on the company you’re interviewing with to give yourself an edge during the meeting. Research when the company was established, know their specialty, and see what the company is likely to do in the future.
Make a Lasting First Impression
The first minute of the interview can make or break you. Use this time to engage the interviewer by relating your skills to the job requirements. Now is the time to tell them what you have done, any awards or certifications you have earned, and explain why you make a good candidate for the position. How you answer questions is also key to making a good impression. It’s important to fluently convey your skills and accomplishments.
Maintain good eye contact and body language. Both go a long way and are key indicators that you’re respectful, engaged and confident. Remember: interviewers are human, just like you. It’s important not to feel intimidated. Instead, remain authentic and let your personality shine.
Dress for Success
How you look and present yourself at the interview can be just as important as what you say. For professional positions, it’s recommended that both men or women choose a navy blue, dark grey or dark tan suit. Men should be well-groomed and it’s suggested that women wear minimal jewelry and keep their hair tied back (if it tends to get windblown). Job candidates who are seeking positions in a gym or health facility may dress less formally. They should wear slacks and a business shirt for the one-on-one interview and bring their gym attire in a separate bag so they can change for any practical assessment.
Practice Interviews with Career Services
Swedish Institute offers its students an exit interview with the director of career services to evaluate their preparedness for graduation and their transition into the work force. “We offer our students direction to ensure they are putting their best foot forward,” says Richard Gardner, Director of Career Services at Swedish Institute. “The best advice I can offer our students is to keep themselves current and know where the industry is going. It’s critical to seek ways to keep yourself relevant in the field by keeping up with certifications and continuing education.”
Following these interview tips are a guaranteed way to improve your skills and stand out among the competition.