With fall coming in hot, the season brings with it a sense of fresh starts and new beginnings. If you’re considering applying to a new job or starting up a side-hustle, read on! Here are some great ways to improve your interview skills this fall!
Do your homework
Read up on the company and position you’re applying for and maybe even have some handy stats to share during the interview if appropriate. Demonstrating knowledge of the company and the person you’re interviewing with (but don’t be creepy) shows you have a real interest in the job and that you’re already invested in the company.
Dress for the job
First impressions are everything, especially during an interview! It’s better to err on the side of professionalism, even if the company you’re interviewing for tends to be more casual. Opt for clean, crisp clothing that isn’t too tight or revealing (unless you’re trying to get a job at Hooters or as a swimsuit model, in which case, you should dress accordingly!).
During your interview, your interviewer will be giving you information it’s important you catch, both for the sake of the job itself and for engaging with what they’re saying and asking relevant follow up questions. Employing active listening skills by taking a few notes and making eye contact will demonstrate your communication abilities.
Use professional language
Use professional language during your interview and avoid using inappropriate slang or curse words that indicate that you’re not a professional candidate. Avoid being too familiar during this first encounter and try to match the interviewer’s tone and pace. Be professional, but warm and personable in an appropriate way.
Have a few applicable questions prepared before the interview. Ask intelligent questions that dig a bit deeper than information you can (and should) find online. Listen well and ask follow up questions; ask for more information, learn about the day-to-day of the job, and try to get a feel for the company culture. This will show you have a genuine interest in the company and what the interviewer is saying.
Engage in strong non-verbal communication
Not doing this could end the job interview before it even starts! Of course, things are a bit trickier during times of Covid, so you’ll need to adapt to new virtual methods. Make strong eye contact, smile, nod your head, engage in active listening, take notes when appropriate, don’t fidget or use your phone, be present, and don’t get distracted, even if they do!
Prepare your answers ahead of time
Be prepared to answer some of the typical questions that most interviewers ask. Practice talking out good responses that highlight qualities that make you a good candidate and other topics you want to talk about. Figure out how you want to market yourself before you go into the interview, and be able to discuss specific points on your resume, interesting and relevant personal experiences you’ve had, etc. and use those practiced talking points to answer the questions you’re asked during the interview.