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When it comes to job interviews, you can either choose to view it as a nerve-wracking chore or a golden opportunity for future success. A positive perspective will make the interview seem less daunting, but you must also adopt a few more strategies to impress the hiring manager.
Good posture, a firm handshake and assured eye contact are nonverbal actions that reveal your confidence level. In terms of vocal cues, speak at an unhurried pace and never mumble your words. Even if your answers to the interview questions are well thought out, they won’t count for anything if the interviewer cannot understand you. The Transportation Security Administration suggests recording yourself performing a mock interview using a video camera or cell phone. Review the recording to ensure you look and sound confident.
Study the company and the industry before the interview. Make sure you are up to date on the latest news concerning the field and the company. Also, research the responsibilities of the open position so you can address specific questions about it and provide insights into how your experience and skills make a good fit. Not only does this provide you with a few potential conversation topics — it also helps you feel more knowledgeable and confident. Brainstorm a few topics before you walk into the interview, and ensure that you have a few opinions to share.
Search for a list of common interview questions. You can find these in books or online. For example, Forbes.com provides a list of 50 questions your interviewer is likely to ask during your meeting. Most of these involve your own strengths, weaknesses and preferences. Write down a few answers to each question. Even if the interviewer doesn’t ask any of these questions, the answers you brainstormed might help you address other questions.
The ability to answer questions won’t be enough. You must also have some questions ready for the interviewer. At the end of the interview, you will have a chance to pose a few questions of your own, such as who you might report to and what kinds of performance goals you will be given. This is an opportunity to get some extra information about the company and job. It also shows your interviewer that you are curious and enthusiastic about the job.
The interview process doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Remember to send a thank you email or letter to the interviewer. Express your gratitude for being given a chance to interview for the job and restate your interest in and qualifications for the position. This email will also keep you fresh in the interviewer’s mind. If you fail to secure the job, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer for some feedback or ways you can expand your search for a job in the industry.
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.