Part 2: The Day of the Interview

Step 1. Get there on time.

on time interview

Nothing looks worse than arriving to a job interview late. Show up at the appropriate time, ready to go. If your interview is in an unfamiliar area, drive to the location the day before to make sure you aren’t late because you got lost. Aim for no more than 10 or 15 minutes before your assigned interview time.

  • While it’s important to show up on time, showing up too early can be frustrating for potential employers. If they told you to be there at a specific time, that means they want you there at that time, not 30 minutes before. If you want to make a good impression, follow instructions specifically.

  • Stay busy as you wait, writing notes or reviewing the job description and company information. Keep documents and materials in your left hand so you are prepared to get up and shake hands as soon as the interviewer comes out to greet you.

Step 2. Be Yourself

be yourself interview

At an interview, you’ll likely feel nervous and want to perform your best. It’s a scary situation, no doubt about it. But Try to remember that you don’t need to put on an act to get a place in the project. You just need to be yourself. Focus on remaining calm and listening closely to the conversation as it unfolds. Be yourself.

  • Interviewers expect you to be nervous. Don’t worry about saying so. It might help to get it out of the way and get to know your interviewer on a more personal level, which can help you to stand out. Don’t be afraid of small talk.

Step 3. Listen closely and pay attention

listen interview

One of the worst things you could do in an interview is have to ask an interviewer to repeat their question because you weren’t paying attention. Don’t disqualify yourself by letting your mind wander. Most interviews won’t take more than 15 minutes, and certainly never longer than an hour or so. Focus on the conversation at hand and respond actively.

Step 4. Think before you speak

think interview

Another common mistake in an interview is talking too much and too quickly. You don’t need to fill awkward silences with chatter. Especially if you’re a nervous talker, don’t feel the need to fill the space with talking. Sit back and listen. Don’t give away too much.

  • When you’re asked a question, you don’t need to have an immediate answer. In fact, it can be a turnoff for an interviewer to feel as if you’ve given no thought whatsoever to a complicated question. Slow down and think about it. Pause, say, “That’s a great question, let me think about a good answer.”

Step 5. Sell yourself in conversation

sell yourself interview

In general, the purpose of the interview is just to get to know you as a person. They’ve got your resume, your experiences, and your essentials on paper. What they don’t know is you.

  • An interview isn’t an interrogation or an argument. It’s a conversation. Participate in it. When the interviewer is talking, pay close attention and listen to what they are saying, listen, and respond honestly. Some interviewees are thrown when interviewers don’t instantly launch into a series of questionnaire-style questions.

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