Job competition is tough—especially for recent graduates whose experience might not be as tip-top as the seasoned employee. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer receives around 250 applications. Of those, only four to six candidates are offered an interview, and (perhaps obviously) only one will have a successful job interview. So, be proud; you’ve got your foot in the door—now it’s time to impress your future employer.
Dress to impress
First impressions count in a successful job interview. According to Business Insider, people make judgements and assumptions about you within just seven seconds of meeting you. With such a tiny window of time to work with, make your first impression count with appropriate dress. The company should have a dress policy that you can find out prior to meeting, but if you are unsure, opt for minimalist, formal wear.
List your strengths
For introverts, it may feel out of your comfort zone to gloat about your strengths to strangers. However, this is an opportunity to positively apply your skills to the job you are applying for. Your key strengths should inhibit both soft and hard skills. Soft skills refer to skills that can transfer easily from one job to another. A soft skill may be how you manage yourself in stressful situations, or how you mediate conflict in the work place and get along with colleagues. Hard skills refer to specific technical abilities that you possess and are key to the role at hand—such as writing and software knowledge.
Positive body language
Your body language plays a pivotal role in all forms of communication and can affect how others perceive you. “You could be saying how great you are, but your body could be giving your true feelings away,” says Alison Craig, author of Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up & Show Up. Awareness of your body language can help towards having a successful job interview. Avoid closed postures like slouching and fidgeting, as this suggests that you are guarded and may not be taking the interview seriously. Appear confident, assertive and poised by sitting tall and keep your hands relaxed and open, sitting above the desk. When your hiring agent is speaking, lean in a little while listening and slightly mirror their movements to show engagement and curiosity.
Did you know that not preparing questions for your potential employer may make you seem uninterested in the role? 97 percent of recruiters surveyed by job board reed.co.uk said that candidates should bring a list of questions along with them to an interview. Come equipped with specific-to-the-role questions to ask your hiring manager. This will help you gather important information for yourself whilst confirming your interest in your new job. Questions to ask for a successful job interview include:
- Could you describe a typical work week in this company?
- Who does my position report to?
- Are there any prospects for growth and career advancements in this role?
- Which accomplishments would you expect from me within the first three months of employment?
- When should I expect to hear from you and how soon would I be expected to start?
Seal the deal with a follow-up email to your employer. Politely thank them for their time, explain that you enjoyed meeting and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Take this opportunity to affirm with the hiring manager in a couple of sentences the value you will bring to the company. Relatively few candidates follow up in this way after an interview which could damage chances of a successful job interview. This helps to ensure that it’s YOU on the mind of the employer, and not your competitor.