Interviews can be extremely daunting. Have you been to interviews and struggled to make a connection or found you just didn’t know how to put your best foot forward?
Florida National University (FNU) is here to help with nine job interview tips that may help guide you on your job search journey.
Tip 1: Research the company you are applying for
Employers expect you to be prepared, know everything about the job, and to ask lots of questions about the role you are applying for. You can never learn too much about a company. They will know if you’ve done your research or not.
Tip 2: Dress for the role
This may be self-explanatory, but it’s extremely important. When employers call to ask you to come in for an interview, most will give you a dress-code (and if they don’t you should ask) but if you got off the phone before finding out, wear business professional attire. Lay it out the night before to prepare yourself – nothing is worse than being stressed about ‘having nothing to wear’ 30 minutes before an interview.
Tip 3: Arrive 15 minutes early
If you’ve ever been to an interview before, you know that traffic, time, and quite possibly the universe are never on your side. Everything that can go wrong, probably will. Avoid this by arriving 15 minutes early.
Tip 4: Practice your answers for common interview questions
There is a handful of questions that almost all employers will ask during an interview.
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?”
- “Why should I hire you?”
These are all common interview questions. Practice how you are going to answer these questions. Make sure they don’t sound rehearsed but know what you’re going to say.
Tip 5: Bring copies of your resume, a list of references, a pen, and a notebook
The hiring manager, or whoever is conducting the interview, will probably have a copy of your resume, but bring one anyway. Bring a couple of copies in case more than one person is interviewing you. Prepare and provide a list of professional references. Come prepared with a pen and notebook because you will probably need to write a few things down. A nice, professional leather padfolio is always a fantastic idea (you can find these at office supplies stores or even Wal-Mart).
Tip 6: Prepare questions for the interviewers
One of the last questions they’ll ask is “Do you have any other questions?” Do not ever say “no.” While researching the company, come up with some questions. You can ask about the work environment, why they (the interviewer) like working here, or how does someone in this position (the position you’re applying for) succeed. There are so many great questions to ask – and this will show you genuinely care and want the job.
Tip 7: Mirror their body language
Taking on the potential employers’ mannerisms is a great way to build rapport. If they place their hands in their lap, do the same. This is simple psychology – a type of nonverbal communication – that, if used properly, can be highly effective. Don’t make it obvious though – don’t ‘mock’ them.
Tip 8: Ask about next steps
After you’ve asked all the questions you’ve prepared, be sure to ask, “So what are the next steps?” You always want to know where they’re at in the hiring process. This way you know exactly when to expect a call if you’ve got the job. They will generally give you a rough timeline.
Tip 9: Send a personal thank you letter after the interview
Make sure it’s personalized. Don’t write the wrong company name because you’ve copy-pasted thank you letters to each employer. It’s often a good idea to write a personalized letter along with an email. The email will be immediate, and the snail-mail will arrive a few days later or even next week. This will put you back at the top of their minds when they receive the letter.
Florida National University Job Placement
We know searching for your dream job can be exhausting. Preparing before the interview is going to be the single most important and best thing you do for yourself.
Florida National University has a Job Placement Department that can help polish your resume, navigate the job market, help with interviewing skills, and more. Contact FNU today at 305-821-3333 to learn more information on how we can help make job searching easier!