You have landed an interview for your dream job. Be proud. This can be hard to do, depending on the job. According to Glassdoor, the average job opening attracts over 200 resumes and only two percent of these will get a call for an interview.
Allow yourself to be excited for the opportunity to compete for a single position. With your excitement should come a desire to ace the upcoming interview. To ace it, your work begins long before the actual interview.
There is a lot to do before the interview. Learning everything you can about the company in which you are interviewing will help you relate to the interviewers. You can personalize your answers by connecting your answers to those like the company.
For instance, if they ask you to define your strengths, you can answer by saying,
“I enjoy helping others, which I notice is one of the core principals of this company.”
Researching each of the people on the interview committee will be helpful also. You can tailor your answers to include the strengths of the committee members. This will show the committee you know how to prepare.
Practicing how you will respond to questions will set you up for success in an interview. While you cannot predict which questions will be asked, there are ordinary questions to help you practice. Many interviewers will want you to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, what you can bring to the company, and why this is your dream job.
Be prepared before the interview. What you wear does make a difference. You want to look your best. This is your dream job, after all. Professional attire tells them you take pride in your appearance. This can also tell them you will take pride in how you work for their company.
Sometimes the culture of the company is not suit and tie. Do your research to learn the culture so you can know how to dress the best for that company.
Clean up your social media profiles. Organizations are looking at online profiles to see what you do in your spare time. If you post pictures of yourself getting drunk at parties, companies will be less likely to hire you. If you share pictures of your volunteer work, you become more attractive to the committee.
Make extra copies of your resume to take along with you just in case they need extras.
During the Interview
You can ace the interview. Arrive early to your interview by at least ten minutes. Be polite, professional and shake hands with everyone. In addition, sit up straight, listen well to what the members are saying, and do not interrupt. Be able to reflect what you are learning from the committee about the job.
When answering questions, answer as concisely as possible. Don’t take ten minutes to answer a question and do your best not to go off course, rambling about topics unrelated to the interview questions.
Do not take your cell phone into the interview. If you must take it in, turn it completely off. If you are distracted by the ring or vibrations of your cell phones, this will not impress company members.
Remaining calm during an interview is key. Keep in mind that even though this seems like a dream job, it is not the only dream job out there. Remind yourself that it is not the end of the world if you do not land the job. Remembering this can help lower your anxieties because you are not placing all your bets on this one job.
Take time before you answer questions. Answering rapidly can come across as nervous. You want to get the answers right, not fast. Have questions ready so that when they ask you if you have questions, you have them.
Do not ask questions about vacation pay or how often you can take leave. This will tell them you are already thinking about not working. Instead, ask why the position is open, how your performance will be evaluated and the management and culture of the organization.
If you find yourself feeling excited about the job, don’t be afraid to let the committee see your excitement. Your enthusiasm will impress them, if you don’t overdo it.
Post-Interview with the Company
Many people think that if they haven’t heard from a hiring committee soon after the interview, they will receive unwelcome news about the job. This is not true, however. It can take committees weeks and even months to complete interviews and decide on who to hire.
Following up the interview committee must be done within a few days after the interview. Follow-up does not require a formal letter or phone call. Instead, send them a brief email.
Your follow-up should thank them for the opportunity for interviewing. More importantly, a follow-up can give you a chance to offer information about yourself that you may have forgotten to say in the interview.
You can also offer ideas you have for the position that came to you after leaving the interview. This shows them you are still thinking about the job and how you can make it better.
Post-Interview with Yourself
Self-reflection after your interview is just as important as following up with the company. Ask yourself questions to see if this is still your dream job or not. Occasionally, an interview can change your views on how great a job really is. So, is this still your dream job?
Other questions can focus on whether the job will use your talents and skills, whether you will be able to complete the tasks required, and if the job will offer the right amount of challenge.
Further areas to reflect on include whether the job will meet your financial needs. Also, will you be able to contribute to society and will this job help you meet personal and professional goals?
With these tips, you will be better prepared for your interview, getting you one step closer to landing your dream job.