Top 5 Tips to Ace Your First Interview

Is there anything more difficult than a job interview? It’s difficult for both parties, but for the candidate there’s a lot on the line.

There is no shortage of advice on how to get through an interview. In fact there are more than 10,000 books on the subject on Amazon. Seriously.

Take 5 and Get Prepared

  1. Dress for the occasion. Consider the job you want to get and choose a wardrobe that puts you in the best light. If you are interviewing for a high-level position, you need to look the part. Moreover, if you are well-dressed, you will be more confident, and that comes across to the interviewer.
  2. Be prepared by getting a good night’s sleep. Prepare all of your materials the night before with all required paperwork neat and complete. Bring extra copies of your resume, a pad for note taking, pens and pencils. If you have been provided with potential interview questions, take time to study and consider your responses.
  3. From the moment you walk onto the property create positive energy. Be bright, be polite, be on point. When you get to the outer office, go ahead and shut off your cell phone. Take a few deep breaths and get focused.
  4. The first 3 to 5 minutes often sets the tone for how an interview will go. If you get a rocky start there’s usually an opportunity to redeem yourself and reestablish rapport. Be aware of your body language—it’s every bit as important as your words. Control you finger-tapping and knee-jerking. Sit with your back straight and arms unfolded. Don’t look too comfortable and don’t lean forward—be open, with good posture.
  5. Be thoughtful. Don’t feel a need to answer too quickly. Allow the interviewer to deliver the questions for your consideration. If you want to gesture to make a point, keep your hands at tabletop height, and never above your chest.

When you leave the interview, don’t rush. Get your things together and rise from the chair smoothly. Shake hands with the hiring manager and the person who brought you into the room. Don’t feel awkward if there are several people in the room—just reach out to the key people and depart with confidence.

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