In your job interview, details matter. One of the best job interview tips you can have is to know that how you handle each individual step in your interview tells that potential employer a tremendous amount about you and how you’ll approach the job. Here are 3 opportunities for you to stand out from your competition and get the offer:
Make a great first impression by dressing well for your interview. What that usually means is that you should try to aim for conservative, but stylish. An ideal goal to shoot for is to look like you’re on top of style trends while avoiding things that could potentially offend an interviewer (like a tattoo) or distract from your message (like strong scents or a low-cut blouse).
Body language is part of your physical presentation. Smile, lean slightly forward when you talk, and be calm—no nervous, fidgety gestures. (See these 3 Confidence-Building Body Language Tips for Your Interview.)
Pre-interview prep work is crucial. Why? Because more often than not, the best-prepared candidate is the one who gets the offer. When you’re super-prepared:
(1) you don’t waste your limited interview time finding out things you could have learned on your own (a huge hiring manager pet peeve)
(2) you can come up with in-depth, knowledgeable questions to ask based on your research, which gives you a much better conversation and is incredibly impressive to hiring managers;
(3) you can come up with and practice targeted answers for typical interview questions,
(4) and you can create your 30-60-90-day plan (more on that below)
As part of your pre-interview preparation, go through your brag book and highlight things that you think will really play well with this interviewer at this company. When the time is right in the interview, you’ll be presenting job-relevant information—it’s evidence that counts.
Don’t forget to coach your references! Give your references a heads-up that you’re going for this interview, and maybe even remind them of particular instances or qualities that will be especially helpful for this position. (See these rules for references.) Good references can be the finishing touch that convince the hiring manager to offer you the job.
In 20 years of hiring, recruiting, interviewing, and coaching, the best interview planning and preparation I’ve ever seen is to create a 30-60-90-day action plan for what you’ll do in the first 3 months on the job.
Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated (it can be as little as a page per section) but it does have to be customized for that position at that company to show that you’ve thought about the position and how you’ll be successful at it for this particular company.
When you put together your plan, you can think about what you’ll say in the interview to show that you’re going to be able to step in with a small learning curve to start producing results for them fast. Everybody in a white collar job – accounting, insurance, sales, administrative positions, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, and more – needs to bring a plan to your interview. You will seem confident, capable, and prepared to do this job successfully.
It’s important that your confidence and professionalism shines in your interview to make the best impression. If you’re unsure about how you come across in job interviews, make the investment in a personal interview coaching session.