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How to excel at any job interview

Job hunting has grown increasingly stressful. Gone are the days of getting hired on the spot. Now there is an entire screening process that includes: submitting a resume and/or cover letter online, phone interview, virtual interview, and then finally the in-person interview. All of which, after completion, you may still walk away without an offer. Sounds exhausting right?
However don’t let the process get to you. Landing a job you love is possible by being prepared.  Below are 5 quick tips to help you survive the in-person job interview, have confidence and bring your A game. But these can also be applied to your phone interview and virtual interview (if required).
1. Always arrive 10-15 minutes early for your interview (no matter the format). 
Punctuality is key and being early shows initiative. It conveys to the recruiter that you value your time. You would be surprised how many potential candidates flub this small detail. Be the candidate that gets it right. Even if you’re not the most qualified having refined people skills can help you land any offer. Just remember, arriving early is being  on time.
2. Appearance matters. 
Men you should wear suits to your interviews. Ladies you should wear a pant suit or a skirt and blazer. If you do wear a dress make sure it is a dark color and does not go above the knee when sitting down.
Your outfit does not have to be costly. It just needs to be neat and clean. All that matters is that you put your best foot forward and the recruiter recognizes that you take pride in how you present yourself.
3.  Know the company.
Research the company you are interviewing with. Know their values and what they are looking for in the perfect candidate. Read over the job description and look for keywords. For example like, “sales experience,” and “experience working with children”. During the interview make sure to mention your qualifications related to the position you have applied for. Have examples already prepared of what you contributed or learned at previous employers so that you can answer interview questions related to your background. Thus further proving to the recruiter why you are perfect for the position they are offering.
For example If you were interviewing for a sales position you might say something like,” During my last job I greeted customers as soon as they walked through the door and educated them on current sales. By doing this we boosted our sales each day by $1000.” Turn everything you say into a benefit.
Additionally, always bring 2-4 copies of your resume with you to the interview. For a phone or virtual interview ensure your resume is within reach in case you stumble while discussing our work history. Do not read the resume word for word but instead use it as a reference point.
4. Don’t be nervous.
Take a deep breath and be confident especially if you are interviewing for a position in leadership.  We all start somewhere.  Always remember that the person interviewing you was once in your same shoes.
5.  Be an active listener and be prepared to ask questions.
Stay engaged and maintain eye contact during the interview. Smile and ask questions once the interview is over. Ask at least two follow-up questions, for example:
Example Question # 1) When can I expect a follow-up about my interview?
Example question #2) What qualities are you looking for in the ideal candidate? 

The job search may not be simple but it you can make it easier by being prepared.  Most of these tips are redundant but they are crucial to advancement in the hiring process. Here are some tips I shared to help you perfect your resume. I hope you enjoyed the post.
What are some of your tips that have helped you land job offers in the past? Share them below.

Photo by John Baker

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