While nerves are normally high during an interview, being prepared can help you feel more comfortable and confident. Check out these tips to find out how to be prepared for the interview day!
Interview Body Language
Your posture, eye contact and hand gestures all contribute to the impression you make on the interviewer. The following examples of body language and behavior specific to the U.S. job market may help you assess your presentation:
- Posture: Your posture can convey conﬁdence or insecurity. Sit up straight to send a message that you’re comfortable and conﬁdent.
- Eyes: Maintain eye contact with your interviewer and others in the room. If you focus all of your attention on one person, you will not engage other interviewers.
- Hands: Avoid ﬁdgeting. Use your hands to express yourself in moderation.
- Language: Be clear and direct. Avoid the use of ﬁller words such as “um” or “like” between phrases or sentences. Try not to ramble and remember that silence is acceptable when you are thinking. Feel free to say, “Great question! I’m going to take a moment to think about this” and pause until you’re ready to respond.
Selecting Your Interview Outfit
During the job search process, first impressions are critical. Remember, you’re marketing a product (yourself!) to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire. Your outfit should be appropriate to the occasion and shouldn’t overshadow you. The employer should remember your positive attributes discussed in the interview, not what you were wearing.
Throughout the Interview
- Take deep breaths and remember that there’s a reason they wanted to interview you.
- Remember that they already think you can do the job — that’s why you've landed an interview! Now you can shift your focus to communicating why your background and unique experiences make you stand out.
- Ask questions! You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.
- Listen carefully to the interviewer and ask them to repeat their questions if needed.
- Relate your skills, accomplishments and objectives to the job you’re interviewing for and the needs of the company.
- Be specific in your responses and tell stories with examples of your experiences. Remember the STAR Method is a great tool for answering interview questions.
- Be on time! Arrive at least 15 minutes early for an in-person interview and 5 minutes early for a virtual interview. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the location.
- Be considerate and polite to ALL staff members. You never know who will provide input for a hiring decision.
- Turn oﬀ your cell phone and smartwatch.
- Avoid strong scents that may be distracting to the employer.
- Discard any chewing gum or breath mints before your interview.
- Greet your interviewer by name and give a firm handshake.
- Be enthusiastic and smile!