15 ways to nail a job interview
Everyone knows that job interviews can be nerve-wracking. Many people seek to start a job search as the new year begins. As someone who has interviewed hundreds of candidates over the years– both for Empower Network and for other companies – I wanted to provide you with some tips to help you successfully nail your interview and land that job. Find and master a few pieces of advice so your next interview will be successful.
Many people have asked me, “Jonathan, what can I do to nail my interview?” So I decided to share the top 15 ways to nail your next interview (results not guaranteed). Here they are:
1. Look the part and dress to impress. The dress code formula is quite simple: If you look good, you will feel good; if you feel good, you will exude confidence; if you exude confidence, you will portray yourself well and impress the interviewer; impressing the interviewer will help you land the job. Looking the part is a significant part of playing the part.
2. Leave the dead fish at the door. Practice your handshake before entering your interview. Give the interviewer a solid, Cronstedt-style handshake. Leave the dead-fish-wimpy-sweaty handshake at the door and shake the interviewer’s hand confidently and strongly.
3. Maintain comfortable eye contact. Eye contact is a sign of confidence and engagement with the person you are communicating with, both of which are crucial in an interview. Now when I say “Maintain eye contact,” I don’t mean the “I’m staring directly into your soul” or the hypnotic “You are getting very sleepy…you will hire me for this job…” kind, but just a general sense of facial engagement.
4. Watch your body language. Be very conscious of how you carry yourself. Avoid fidgeting, clasping and unclasping your hands, crossing your arms, tapping your hands or feet or anything else that may be distracting or perceived as stemming from a sense of nervousness.
5. Be prepared. Come prepared with answers to potential questions. Consider the types of questions you may be asked, given the company you’re interviewing with, and have a general idea of how to answer. For example, you’d get different questions at an interview to work for Empower Network than you would for an accounting firm. This will lessen your chances of rambling, not knowing how to answer or providing an answer that doesn’t reflect your true thoughts. Have concrete examples of times you’ve succeeded to back up the answers you consider.
6. Be caffeinated. Have a little bit of coffee before the interview. People who drink coffee do everything better. Period. But really. Coffee is the Jonathan Cronstedt way. Drinking coffee will give you the extra boost of adrenaline and the kick you need to nail your interview.
7. Ask smart questions.Ask your interviewer informed questions about her company or the job you’re applying for. You can do this by saying, “After perusing your website, I wondered…” This will show the interviewer that you cared enough about the interview to research the company and that you’re serious enough about the position that you want to know as much as possible about the company.
8. Do your homework. Like the previous tip, going into the interview informed is extremely important. Know as much as possible about the company, because not knowing as much as you should will make you look foolish.
9. Tailor your answers. Know the job description for the job you’re applying for; tailor your responses to fit the company’s requirements for the job.
10. Get excited. Act excited about the job you’re interviewing for.You don’t have to be over-the-top, Jonathan Cronstedt-excited, but you want the interviewer to know that you want this job. Express your interest in the position and make sure the interviewer knows the seriousness with which you are approaching the interview.
11. Create a solid portfolio. Make sure your portfolio is an accurate representation of everything you’ve done and reflects everything you’re capable of doing. Present your portfolio in an organized, neat, clean fashion. Include several copies of your resume, printed on clean, nice paper.
12. Know your stuff. Please, please, please make sure you know your resume inside and out. Do not fudge any details or throw a little something extra in there to make yourself sound better or appear more interesting. I’ve stepped around a bug on the sidewalk to avoid killing it on more than one occasion, but I’d never put “Jonathan Cronstedt saves lives every time he goes outside” on my resume. Not only is this unethical, but it will come back to haunt you.
13. Take care of yourself. Get a good night’s sleep before the interview, eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water. So, basically, everything your mom told you to do growing up.
14. Send a thank-you note. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but sending a written thank-you note speaks volumes. In our technology-driven era, written communication goes a long way.
15. Follow up. Follow up with the person who interviewed you. Some people who do the hiring get bogged down; a quick follow-up is a great way to put yourself back at the top of the hiring manager’s mind during the lengthy hiring process.
I hope these tips help you in your search for a job in the new year.
Bonus tip: Keep in mind that imperative in this age of social media is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that your Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other view-able social media platforms are cleaned up and don’t include inappropriate content that could lead to you not being hired.
Best of luck in 2015! If you end up deciding you want to own your own business instead of working for someone else, consider starting or buying a business, and if you’re looking to join Empower Network and get to know me, Jonathan Cronstedt, the opportunity is always there for you.
Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network, a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company. Jonathan enjoys new technology, traveling, spending time with his wife and red wine.
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