10 Helpful Tips that Will Set You Apart at Your Next Job Interview

Job interviews are stressful. There is no denying that. The words alone can cause panic, fear, and stress to arise within. Certain questions may fly through your mind. What research should I do? What should I wear? How do I act? What should I say? What shouldn’t I say? However, if you know how to prepare, you will be set up for success. You will go into the job interview with confidence and present yourself well. If all goes well, along with a little luck, you are more likely to hear positive news. 

Everything, no matter if we like it or not, starts with a first impression. It is essential to make a good impression by researching the company you are going to interview with. 

1. Look up the company

If you just google the company name, lots of information is already online. Look at the company’s website, their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. Make sure to also follow company news in order to be informed of recent events or mergers. You should look at the core values of the company such as teamwork, leadership, and integrity and look at your own life and specific instances in which you demonstrated these values. This shows that you have done your research and that you care. You can never overprepare–your passion and preparation will help to set yourself apart from other people who are interviewing. 

2. Look into who is interviewing you

Before the interview, if not already given, ask for the names of the people who will interview you. Search for them on Facebook and LinkedIn and see if you have any mutual friends or connections. You might be able to find out some information about people who work in the department you are applying into from LinkedIn or the company’s website. Also be sure to look at alumni networks and community pages to see if they went to the same school or if you have friends that know them. If you can get someone who knows them to recommend you, you are sure to score some points as there is a level of trust established.

Once you have done research on the people you are interviewing with, look at the job description and think of examples and reasons of why you will do a good job with the duties listed. Make sure to take examples from work experience or education to show that you have what it takes. If you went to seminars, read books, or won awards, also make sure to stress that. It is important to show how you were an asset at your last job, how you helped the company make a profit, and how you helped to attract new business. 

3. Dress professionally

Dress for a job interview, even if you are interviewing at a start-up or tech company where people dress in t-shirts. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a full-on suit wherever you interview, but you should make sure to dress professional and conservative relative to the industry. Even though most job interviews are conducted over Zoom these days, it is important that you convey the message that you are serious about the job. Dressing too casually may not convey that message. Make sure your clothes fit, that they are clean and that you look like you have showered. 

4. Clean up your social media

Many companies and recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile and other social media such as Facebook. Be sure that your pages show the image that you want presented to your interviewers. Laws are in place that prohibit people from making hiring decisions because of factors such as disability, religion, race, and pregnancy. There are also many states that forbid employers from asking for social media usernames. Some have just stopped looking at accounts altogether in order to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Many still do check though. Even if your account is private, remember that nothing is truly private on the internet. 

5. Treat people with respect 

Make sure to greet the people and engage with the people you are interviewing in a friendly, yet professional manner. Don’t ever use profanity, wait patiently if the interviewer gets distracted, and send a thank you after you finish your job interview. 

6. Silence your cell phone or other alerts

If you are interviewing in person, make sure to turn off your cell phone. It is easy to get distracted from your phone if it rings or vibrates. If you are interviewing over the screen, make sure to have your alerts on silent or do not disturb during the time that you are interviewing. Seeing an alert for an email or text pop up in the corner of your screen can be very distracting. 

7. Be on time

If you are interviewing in person, make sure to be early to your interview. Map out the time and route on how to get to the exact location. Make sure to leave early as you don’t know how much traffic there will be or if you will need to take an alternate mode of transportation. If you are interviewing over the screen, it doesn’t hurt to be there a minute or two early. 

8. Show that you are serious 

Bring a piece of paper or notebook with key points that you want to make and have this easily accessible. Even if you sent your resume over email, bring a physical copy if you are interviewing in person. Make sure that you have a pen and paper ready during the interview to write down any key points, even if it is over Zoom. 

9. Write a Thank You

At the end of the interview, make sure to thank the people who interviewed you for their time. After you leave, be sure to send them an email thank-you 24 to 48 hours after. If you interviewed multiple people, make sure that each of them is unique. This demonstrates that you are really interested and that you are willing to make an extra effort. 

10. Relax

Before the interview, make sure to relax. Don’t stay up the night before stressing. If you have done your research and preparation, there is nothing else for you to do. Take some deep breaths, imagine yourself going into it with confidence, and tell yourself that you will nail the interview. After envisioning this, take your mind off of it and do something for yourself. Get a good night’s rest, take a hot shower, and eat a hearty meal. 

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– https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/career/preparing-for-a-job-interview/

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