After my friend asked me for advice on how to have a successful job interview, I created a list of what keeps me professional while meeting with potential employers. Here are some steps I like to take when going on interviews that have landed me jobs in the past.
Research the company you'll be interviewing for, beforehand. Interviewers like to know that you've done your research. Knowing a little about the company can also help with the Q&A portion of the meeting when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. You can say something like,"I saw on your website that a.b.c. Can you tell me a little more about that?"
Dress in business casual attire. (Dress pants and a blazer or button-up blouse work best). Make sure your nails are trimmed, and your hair and makeup look neat and polished.
Bring a copy of your résumé in a polished-looking folder, and writing samples if applicable.
This one might be obvious, but when the interviewer appears, make sure you STAND UP and THEN shake their hand.
Sit up straight and look in the interviewer's eyes during the interview. Good posture and body language will make you appear more confident.
Be engaging. Listen carefully to what your interviewer is saying, but when it's your turn to talk, avoid short sentences. Explain in detail your work history and how that applies to the job you're shooting for. What skills from your past jobs can you apply to this specific position?
Sell yourself! What sets you apart from the other interviewees? For example, if you interned for a news company... not many people can say that! Tell them that working for a news company has given you the opportunity to greatly advance your writing skills and work under pressure which could benefit this new position tremendously.
Avoid using words like "just," "um" and "like." Talk slowly if it helps.
If the interviewer doesn't go into much detail about the job description (they usually do), ask what a typical day on the job is like.
When they ask if you have any questions, don't say no! But make sure you don't ask a question that you could have easily found the answer to on the company's website. A great question to ask is, "what's your favorite part about working here?" This shows that you're truly interested in working for the company. (Don't ask this question if they already answered this while telling you about the job).
At the very end, after the “bye byes” and “nice to meets yous,” say, "I look forward to hearing from you." Saying this makes you sound eager for the job and confident that you'll be hearing from them again, but not arrogantly so.
The way you present yourself at a job interview could make or break the way your potential employer sees you. Do you have any other tips for a successful interview?