Top 10 Ways to Be Successful in a Job Interview

Job interviews are tough. Of course, you are probably going to be nervous. That's completely understandable, and I think most hiring managers expect you to be nervous. They're probably nervous too.

Being nervous isn't a bad thing; it means you care. While you may not succeed at every job interview, here is my list of tips for you to give yourself the best odds of landing a job offer.
The Top Ten
1 Do Your Research

You should know a little bit about the company before you interview. Research the company's core values, mission statement, what their goals are, the history and culture, and the interviewer. They won't quiz you on who founded the company or what their third-quarter numbers were last year, but it's a good idea to have that information so you are in the know about what direction they're heading.

2 Dress Professionally

It goes without saying, but you should look professional when you arrive at the interview. That means piercings and tattoos need to be covered or removed. Generally speaking, some nice dress shoes, nice pants, and a button-down shirt (not a polo) is a good way to go.

I'd recommend a step above business casual. You don't necessarily need a suit and tie, but something you'd wear to a nice church service is a good place to start. When in doubt, remember it's better to overdress than underdress.

3 Be Prepared for Common Interview Questions

The worst thing you can do is be shell-shocked by some common interview questions. You should be prepared to tell them a little bit about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, why you want to work there, and where you see yourself in 5 years. When they ask those questions, that shouldn't be the first time you've thought about them. You should have some answers ready to go. Literally, just a quick Google search for common interview questions goes a long way.

If you need to practice, then grab a family member or friend to do a mock interview if you must. Being prepared will go a long way, and you will be less likely to freeze up during the interview.

4 Be Aware of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. You want to come off as confident as possible. We're talking about a firm handshake that's not a death grip.

Eye contact is important as well. Try not to fidget with your hands or feet, as it makes you look less confident. Also, sitting straight up is a must.

5 Arrive on Time

It's important to show up when you're supposed to. I recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early just to be safe. The last thing you want is to be stopped at a red light and then be late.

Remember, this is their time they're taking out of their schedule to interview you, so you should show respect to them and their time. Additionally, showing up 10 minutes early can help you settle into the environment.

6 Be Confident and Friendly

Confidence is a big factor. Being nervous is okay and completely normal, but in that case, fake it till you make it. You want to come off as confident and friendly because, at the end of the day, the interviewer is just trying to get to know you better.

This is a conversation about you. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, and you can sort of humbly brag about your accomplishments.

7 Be Authentic

Whatever you do, don't lie about anything in a job interview or resume. The hiring manager will probably be able to tell if you're lying. Also, you better believe that they will double-check your transcripts to make sure you have the degree you say you have.

They may also contact old supervisors or references to verify your claims, so make sure your stories align.

8 Avoid Political Topics
9 Be Polite with Everyone You Come in Contact With

From the moment you arrive at the location, you should be extra polite to everybody. You should be polite to everybody anyway, but that's neither here nor there. It doesn't matter if it's a security guard, secretary, or whoever you meet. You should be respectful and kind.

There's a good chance the hiring manager might check in with these people to report how you treated them.

10 Send a Follow-Up Thank You Email

This is something simple that goes a long way. According to a survey by TopResume, 68% of hiring managers say a thank you note matters. And in the same survey, nearly 1 in 5 employers dismiss a candidate completely for not writing a thank you note.

So, the TL;DR is thank you emails matter. It's not even complicated either. All you really need to say is something along the lines of "Thank you again for your time interviewing me." Then you can say, "I enjoyed talking to you about [blank]," then reiterate your interest in the position.

The Contenders
11 Ask Questions

An interview is not only a chance for the company to interview you, but also a chance for you to interview them. Asking the right questions related to the position can show the company that you're interested in the position. You can ask about the company's culture, what the day-to-day expectations are for this position, and what they expect from someone on the first day and after 3 months on the job.

If anything, it shows you're curious and want to learn more. Plus, it's a good way to check the company and make sure they actually live up to their core values and mission statement.

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