Your best efforts have payed off, the written application was successful and now you are invited for a job interview! So far, so good, but… the stress is just now kicking in: How to present yourself in order to make a lasting and positive impression and get that proposal for your dream job? Don’t panic - with the right preparation and a few tricks you can use during the actual interview, there’s nothing that can stop you.
First things first: you will need to prepare thoroughly for the interview. Gather all available information that you can find about the company you’ve applied to. It’s easiest to go online and find the company’s website, where you can find out a lot about its history, its mission statement and its values. Now you can make all the logical connections between all these and your own qualifications, start thinking about the answers to the questions to be expected and train for the interview by practicing these answers, either alone, in front of a mirror, or with the help of your sympathetic friends. Some of the typical questions that you are sure to encounter are as follows: What can you tell about yourself? What do you know about the company? Why do you want to change positions? Where do you see yourself in five years? By asking these, the recruiter tries to find out, whether you are a good fit for the company. If you keep these in mind, you’ll be able to impress with your thought-out answers.
The next step is working out all logistical issues. Confirm the date with the HR department and plan your journey in a way that ensures you will be there on time and unrushed. Always allow for a time buffer, as traffic is unpredictable and there could always be a traffic jam or some issues with public transportation. Make sure that you are dressed for the occasion and, when in doubt, don‘t be afraid to check back with the HR department about any dresscodes you should be aware of. Obviously, your attire should be clean and crisply ironed, but be also aware that less is always more in terms of fragrance and, if it’s the case, make-up.
During the actual interview, act confidently. Pay close attention to your body language, as it can give away your nervousness or insecurity. A moderate amount of nervousness is to be expected given the situation, but think of it as another good opportunity to demonstrate that you can withstand stressful situations with grace. Assume a good, confident posture and don’t forget about that firm handshake! Be polite and friendly and, while speaking, use a lowered voice, be clear and slow down your word flow – you will project self-confidence. Don’t be too shy and use humour to lighten up the mood, but don’t act like a know-it-all. To boost your likeability, try mirroring your interviewer, that is using the same body language as them. This doesn’t however mean to mindlessly mimic each and every of their gestures, but involves subtler cues, like crossing your legs shortly after they have done the same. Take notes during your conversation – it doesn’t just make you look like a professional, but will also help you think about possible questions about the company that you can ask the recruiter when they offer you the opportunity.
Now you can relax and be pleased with yourself, because you have definitely left a good impression. All you still need is a little bit of patience – the company’s answer will reach you shortly!