9 Ways to Nail Your Next Job Interview
- As the old adage goes, “dress for success.” An interviewer will rarely deduct points for dressing up. For men and women, play it safe — a nice conservative suit should do the trick. And please, leave the jeans at home.
- Don’t slouch. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Your body language will tell the interviewer a lot about you. If you come in lacking enthusiasm and confidence during an interview, the interviewer will assume you won’t bring either to the job. “How could you possibly be an interesting person if you are not interested in the person interviewing you or their business?,” asks Paul Brockbank, CEO of Logoworks.
- Be memorable in some way. You don’t want to be outlandish, but you should try to leave a lasting impression through your conversation. “Have something you laugh at together,” says Mike Faith, president and CEO of Headsets.com. “It’s kind of like a date and laughing together adds some big weighting.”
- Walk into the interview room with an expectation of success, but be humble. Don’t act like the job is already yours — because until you have an offer, it’s not. “We will literally count how many times an applicant says ‘we’ versus ‘I,'” says Josh Linkner, president and CEO of ePrize. “That’s one thing we always check.”
- An interview is an opportunity to showcase your personality — but make sure it’s your professional personality. Don’t talk to an interviewer as you would some of your friends. Hiring managers often use tactics to relax the candidate in order to find out more. “I try to interact and observe and make assessments of their behavior,” says Sean Callahan, CEO of iLight Technologies.
- An interviewer does not want to hear you whine. If you complain about your current boss or job, then the interviewer will leave with a negative impression of you. “One of the things I look for is if they suffer from victimitis,” Linkner says. “It’s a disease that can’t be cured.”
- “CEOs of growing companies don’t always have a game plan that is engraved in stone,” says Tim Williams, managing partner of Media Storm. “A candidate therefore should recognize this and base some of their questions around ‘current change’ and ‘possible/upcoming change’.”
- Be on time, turn off your cell phone, and don’t interrupt. You could have all the proper qualifications, but someone else may as well. The difference will come down to the details. If your cell phone starts playing “Jingle Bells,” the job could go to the other guy. “Anyone’s appearance, demeanor, timeliness… are checkmarks,” says Gerard Ferro, CEO of SunRx.
- While you’re the one being evaluated, don’t forget to size up the interviewer as well. You don’t want to point out her flaws, but take note of her responses to your questions — it may well determine whether you even want the job. “Study the CEO’s reactions of these questions to make sure that they are a leader that can handle inevitable change,” Williams says.