I realize that this is most likely a major opinion, but I still feel there is some truth that many people are scared of interviews and the whole process that is necessary to get one. I just want to say that regardless if you don’t like public speaking, or just get nervous in certain situations; interviews are not as scary as many people make them out to be. Now the fear of public speaking is certainly a real thing and unfortunately, it is something that people need to work on so that it is no longer an issue. I cannot offer advice on how to 100% get over your fear of public speaking (if you have one), but I can offer solid advice on how to ace an interview once you get one. There are several key points to make note of:
Prepare for the interview, before the interview! Too many students and other working professionals wonder why they did not get a job in some situations and fail to realize that maybe their preparation for the interview had something to do with it. I cannot stress enough how people need to know the ins and outs of a company, watch any available company videos, and look up what the hierarchy is at a company – who’s the CEO, CFO, President, etc. If you know a lot about the company, it will certainly show the interviewer that you took this opportunity very seriously.
2. Good Eye Contact
This tip much like the first tip seems obvious right? Good, it should be, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that most people still don’t follow it. Good eye contact in an interview gets you major bonus points with the interviewer and yet some people for whatever reason feel the need to look down at the ground or look to the side during the interview. When you do not show the interviewer great eye contact, it can often make them wonder how or if you will be taken seriously in any public situation. Practice good eye contact with family, friends, etc. and it should certainly become second nature by the time of your interview.
3. Don’t Act Like You Know Everything & Ask Questions
Listen, I realize there are many people in the world that may have done phenomenal research about a company and the subject matter that they would be dealing with if they got the role that they applied for, but the thing is that it is important not to come off as a no-it-all. Instead, make it known that you studied a lot for the interview and subject-matter, but you still can learn a lot more. Companies often like to hear this because it lets them know that you did your homework and there is room for the company to help you grow. It is also crucial that you ask questions during the interview. Ask questions about what you may ask? Ask the interviewer about the company culture, benefits, and the day-to-day role of your position. Your employer will surely be impressed with your interest in the company. Also, these questions help you map out if working for this company is something that makes sense for you.
4. Be Confident, Not Cocky
Many people probably see this phrase and say “What’s the difference?” There is a big difference between the two. Confident shows the potential employer that you believe in your abilities and want to be successful. Cocky shows them that you are just full of yourself and no one really wants to work or deal with someone that is cocky.
5. Follow Up Properly
It is important to follow up properly after an interview because 1. It’s polite and 2. It can often set you apart from the competition. Writing a thank you letter or email to the interviewer shows them that you really do care about getting the position. As easy as it is to do this, I still don’t hear about too many people doing it. It is a crucial last step in the interview process because it allows you to thank the interviewer once again (always thank them after the interview as you are leaving as well), state the reasons that you would be good for the position (once again), and end it with a great closing statement that makes the employer say “Hey, I want this person working here!”
Good luck to anyone that is interviewing for a position now or in the future!