Easy Ways to Impress at an Interview


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Every once in a while, I meet a job candidate who swears they love interviewing. Extreme introverts tend to fall into this camp. They love talking to people and feel confident in their ability to present themselves well, so the interview process isn’t a stressful one for them – it is actually fun and enjoyable.

For most people, though, there is at least some level of anxiety involved in interviewing for a job. Even for job seekers who are otherwise confident in their abilities, it can be scary to put yourself in front of a hiring manager for judgment and consideration. Especially when you really need that job.

Practice and preparation is key. The more you practice your interview skills, the better prepared you will be for any question that may come your way. But beyond that, there are a few things literally every single job seeker can do to improve their chances at an interview. These don’t require you to drastically change your personality or join Toastmasters to improve upon your public speaking – they just involve thinking ahead, and implementing a few simple tactics to garner the attention of the hiring manager in front of you.

Dress To Fit In

Everyone knows you should dress nicely for an interview, but what most people may not realize is that what constitutes as “nice” may vary from corporation to corporation. Finding candidates who can fit into the corporate culture is becoming more important to hiring managers every day, with a focus on building companies people actually want to work for and teams that are productive as a byproduct of their ability to work together.

So what does that mean for you, as the interviewee? Well, it means that taking some time to learn about that corporate culture could help you to pick out that interview day outfit.

Consider visiting the corporation prior to your interview and paying attention to how current employees are dressed on any given day. Do most of them seem pretty decked out, or are jeans and button downs more commonplace? Does this seem like a trendy company to work for, based on the attire of their employees, or do they appear to veer more towards the conservative in work apparel?

Once you’ve made your observations, you can begin to select your own interview outfit. Strive to dress a step or two above what you witnessed (avoid actually wearing jeans to an interview, even if that was all you saw anyone else in) without overreaching (wearing a three-piece suit to that casual office, for instance, would be overkill). You still want to look nice, and as though you have taken this interview seriously, but you don’t want to appear to be so stuffy that you wouldn’t actually fit in.

Show Up Early

It is always better to be early for an interview than late. So strive to show up 15 minutes ahead of your interview time, check in at the front desk, and then wait patiently where you are instructed. Consider bringing a book along with you – one that might spark a conversation with the interviewer, and that you can actually provide commentary on. People almost instinctively ask, “What are you reading,” when they begin interacting with someone who has a book in their hands. This opens the door for a true connection with the interviewer, as opposed to being caught staring at your phone when you are called back.

Know the Company

Spend some time researching the company, looking into recent press releases and innovative new programs they are launching. If you can bring these things up in an interview, and comment on why you see them to be so exciting and how they increase your desire to be a part of the company, you will be showing the interviewer that your passion and excitement is actually about this job – not just any job you can get.

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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