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11 Things to do During an Interview

We discuss here regularly the things you should absolutely NOT do when interviewing.  But what about the things you should do during an interview. We’ve listed below the 11 things to do during an interview that will help you in the process.

Interviews are your single best step to landing that coveted position and taking the time to know what to do and what not to do may be the deciding factor. You will never really know what the job interview will consist of, but with such a tight labor market, you want to make sure that you take every step possible to increase your chances. 

You should be prepared to the best of your abilities. By following the 11 tips below you will feel less anxious and more prepared to handle any questions that come your way.

Look Sharp and Professional

Looking sharp and professional is one of the most important parts of the interview process. You will want to wear fitted clothing, which is ironed and wrinkle-free. In addition, you should wear clothing which is fit to your body and avoid baggy clothes or clothes which are too small. Lastly, wear neutral colors which blend in. You don’t want to wear clothes which are too bright or too dim.  You shouldn’t look to be the center of attention but look to be professional and buttoned up.

Be on Time

I cannot stress how important it is to arrive EARLY to your interview.  The absolute worst thing that can happen is to arrive late to your scheduled interview. Arriving late shows that you are not able to plan your time accordingly and is a waste of valuable time that should have gone to speaking in person.

Many hiring managers have strict schedules, with limited flexibility.  If you arrive late, you are only cutting into your own time with them. I always recommend arriving between 15-20 minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin and to take the time to relax and freshen up.

Research and Be Prepared

The interview is YOUR time to shine. You should come in fully prepared, with a thorough understanding of the role and of the company. You want to have an understanding of the role and what will be expected of you.  You should research the position and any information relating to the roles & responsibilities online. In addition, having a solid understanding of the company and the company culture will allow for you to ask more meaningful and pertinent questions.

Listen, Then Speak

Too often, people are looking to speak without fully understanding or hearing the question.  You should be mindful of your listening skills and ensure that you are answering the full question. Additionally, you want to take the time to answer the actual question and not bounce around with your response.  By taking the time to fully listen, you’ll be able to prepare a thoughtful and cohesive answer.

Be Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is contagious. By portraying a sense of excitement and enthusiasm while at the interview, you encourage the interviewer to do the same. You don’t want to portray a sense of dullness or not wanting to be there. Come in prepared and enthusiastic and your chances will increase substantially.

Ask Questions

An interview is a two-way street. You are interviewing for the open position while the company is interviewing for your interest in working there. You should ask pointed, direct, and honest questions about both the position and the company. Your genuine interest will be conveyed and will show the interviewer your interest in the position. However, you should look to avoid questions concerning pay, time-off, and religious, political, or sexual in nature.

Give the Specifics

When answering questions or providing examples, you want to provide specific, direct examples. Don’t be vague! Answer directly and with an example of how your professional work is tied into it.

Posture Matters

When sitting in an interview, you will want to sit upright with correct posture. Keep your hands on the table or on your resumes on the table. Keep your line of sight directly at the interviewer. 

You should ensure that you’re not shaking or bouncing your leg.  Don’t tap on the table with your fingers or other item. In addition, keep your feet on the ground and try and avoid crossing your legs, which can come off as rude in some cultures.

Follow Up

After the interview, typically within 24 hours, you will want to send over a thank you email. The thank you email is a follow up from your interview, taking the time to thank the interviewer for their time. You should also look to add additional highlights from the interview. This showcases your listening and the areas in which you would be of assistance to the company. Follow up emails are extremely important and should be sent within 24 hours after the completion of the interview.

Be Prepared

It’s a simple concept, but you should be prepared for all possibilities. Bring extra resumes, arrive early, and study potential common interview questions. You should take the time before the interview to prepare for the interview. You don’t want to be asked a question and be off-guard or unsure how to answer.  Prepare and replay your answer to yourself beforehand.

Breathe

Too often, everyone is so nervous about the interview, they have no time to focus on themselves. Take the time before and during the interview to breathe and relax. Having a cool, calm, and collected demeanor will help you and the interviewer. You should utilize breathing exercises and clear your mind to help stave off stress and nervousness.

No one can guarantee how a job interview is going to go, but definitely research these tips and practice on a family member or friend.  Feel free to also check out our post on things you should take with you to an interview as-well-as things you should not take with you.

Give it your best shot and hope for the best!

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