If you’ve got yourself an interview with a leading graduate recruiter, it’s not enough to have a sparkling CV, a good cover letter, and all the key facts about the company and the role you’re applying for at your fingertips. You’ll also need to know how to conduct yourself correctly to ensure you make a good impression. This is how to prepare for a job interview.
During a job interview, the employer will confirm that you do in fact meet all the job requirements. Once he or she confirms that you have in fact told the truth, and you are as skilled as your resume implies, the interviewer will want to know what kind of employee you will be. Will you be a hard worker? Are you enthusiastic? Are you likable? One of the most important things the employer will try to determine is whether you will be you be a good fit.
How to prepare for a job interview
1. Dress appropriately
To prepare for a job interview, it is important to factor in what you will wear. The clothing you choose is going to have a considerable impact on the impression you make on the interviewer – and the outcome of the interview. People form impressions of others within a few seconds of meeting them, so the significance of what you wear is immense.
For an academic job, formal dress for an interview is essential. However, you need to wear clothes that you are comfortable in. Buying a new suit for the event sounds like a great idea, but you can feel as though you’re wearing someone else’s clothes! It’s more important to be relaxed and confident than it is to be overly polished.
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2. Arrive Early
After doing your practice run before the interview you should now know how long it takes to get there, so after factoring in how long it will take for you to get ready, you should always be at least 10-15 minutes early for an interview. This shows you are well prepared and you get to show off some time management skills before they even meet you. Plus it is just good etiquette.
3. Show Enthusiasm
A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky. One of the most neglected interview skills is listening. Make sure you are not only listening but also reading between the lines. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said.
4. Thoughtful Pauses and Clarifications
Some people think that when they hesitate when answering a question, this gives the impression that they are unsure of themselves and their material. The opposite is true. Think of how a normal conversation works; there are natural pauses while you think of a response. Do the same in interviews: this will show that you are thoughtful, and giving considered answers and not simply repeating memorized passages without a moment’s hesitation.
5. Leave An Impression
When, as things are drawing to a close and the interviewer asks “do you have any questions,” be ready with some. As much as possible, your questions should let the employer picture you in the role for which you are a candidate. You can ask, for example, what a typical day at work is like or about any special projects you would be involved in.
Say again how interested you are in the position, thank them and shake their hands once more before you leave, still smiling. Do not turn back on your phone until you have left the building.