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It’s both nerve-wrenching and exciting to attend an interview, especially when it’s a job you really want. You must find a way to compose these extreme emotions and get across that you are the woman for the job. Easier said than done…right? I understand. I’ve been on many interviews in the past and have had to calm my nerves in order to bring out my best. Here are my top five ways to impress your potential employer and land that dream job.
Your Education and Experience
In some cases, graduate recruitment is a priority for employers. So they may be primarily interested to hear all about your education. A degree or specific training will impress them if it fits the job. And, the discipline it takes to graduate is a desirable attribute that most employers look for. This is even more impressive if you obtain good grades. Make sure you let them know anything that would be beneficial to the job for which you are applying.
Don’t count yourself out if you don’t have a degree but have substantial experience. There are many employers that believe experience is just as important as the piece of paper that says you have a degree. Make sure to have quality documentation for both your education and your work experience. Use specific examples of your best work in school and on the job.
Your Communication Skills
It’s important to demonstrate good communication skills from the start. That means that resume and cover letter needs to be top notch if you want to impress anyone. If you don’t know where to start, try a resume service or a friend who recently went through the process. And, always let someone else proofread it before it goes out.
Speaking and writing well are both skills that all employers want to see. Practice makes perfect. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend that you are in the interview already. Pay attention to how you come across. Do you smile? Are you making eye contact? Do you know what you are saying without hesitation? This is your chance to express exactly what you want to say. You might want to talk about your skills and why you are a good fit for the job. Remember to be yourself so your true personality shines.
While it is essential to be qualified for the job, it’s important to also show initiative. Employers want a candidate who is willing to go the extra mile or think outside the box. Ask quality questions and be ready to discuss topics that pertain to the company and the products or services they offer. If the opportunity arises during the interview, share what unique problem-solving skills you have.
Researching Before an Interview
Research your potential employer before your interview. This shows you have a genuine interest in the company. This one thing could separate you from the rest of the potential candidates. It will also give you a greater understanding of the business and what your job might entail. Don’t be afraid to look up former or current employees of the company to ask them how they feel about the company and its culture.
Dress for the Job You Want
Finally, wear what makes you feel confident and is appropriate for the job and company. For example, you wouldn’t show up for a construction job interview in a suit and tie. Just like you wouldn’t show up to an office job interview in jeans. A potential employer will want you to look smart and will be making judgments on your appearance. This isn’t the time to be overly made up or to wear every piece of jewelry you own. Unless it is a creative position that requires a unique or funky persona, go for a more conservative look.
Your appearance is especially important if you are applying for a job that requires you to work with customers or groups of people outside the company. Again, it’s a good idea to scope out the business before hand to get a general idea of what the dress code is like. Focus on looking smart, clean, professional and to fit into the position and company.