How To (and How Not To) Nail Your Next Job Interview

Have you ever been to a interview and come out feeling like you were missing something or that maybe it could have gone just a little bit better? Or maybe you feel a little under-qualified for a specific position, but would just die for that particular job?

If so, there may be a few tips and tricks to help improve your chances of landing your next job.

Interview Tip 1 | Dress

First off, you most definitely DO NOT want to show up in pajamas, basketball shorts or just your typical day-to-day clothing, but you also don’t need to rent a new tux and shine your shoes for each and every interview. Studies have shown that over-dressing can sometimes be just as harmful as under-dressing.

Where is the balance? Dressing just one step nicer then the actual job your applying for is going to be your best bet. For example, if you were about to interview for a mechanics position, you would be just fine to show up in some nice khaki pants and a polo shirt. It shows that you’re confident, and respectable by putting in the extra effort, but not that you’re overcompensating or trying too hard to impress.

Employers are looking more for confidence, then fashion, unless of course you’re applying for a high fashion magazine, or modeling firm. If so, you’re on your own, good luck.

Interview Tip 2 | Punctuality

BE ON TIME! 3 minutes before your scheduled interview is not on time. Plan to be between 10 and 15 minutes early. No earlier, no later.

Interview Tip 3 | First Impression

Whether you like it or not, the employer will most likely have made his decision if he will give you the time of day within the first 30 – 60 seconds of meeting you and starting the interview. Practice what you would imagine they will say beforehand so you’re not caught thinking of what to say. Remember, confidence is key.

Some of the easiest things to remember are called power statements. A power statement is a brief memorized answer to particular questions that are common in interviews such as; “Why should we hire you over the next guy?” or “What do you have to offer our company?” or finally “What are your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses?”

Quick and powerful answers to simple questions like these are what will put you over the top in your interviews. Practicing in front of the mirror is one of the most awkward but effective ways to accomplish this. At first it will seem strange but once your throw out a couple power statements in your interview the results will speak for themselves when you snag that dream job you have been waiting for all your life, or simply when you don’t make yourself look like a fool by sitting there with your mouth open thinking to yourself about what you should say while the interviewer is thinking NEXT!

Interview Tip 4 | Personality

Be interested and sincere with everyone you come in contact with but don’t push the personal bounds. Try to pay attention to things they are talking about, and go along with them let them know that you are easy to talk to and easy to get along with. Let them know that you are interested but not trying to pry into their lives.

Jokes will go a long way both negatively and positively. If a joke comes out naturally and it is in context, they can be great. Especially if it comes out right and both you and the employer laugh. It can also be devastating if it is awkward or forced. Don’t focus on trying to be a comedian. If it comes natural let it happen, if not, don’t try to make it happen. Forced jokes are the worst type.

Interview Tip 5 | Resumes

There are many different types of resumes believe it or not. Resumes are the easiest way for an employer to see what you’re made of.

The best resume that you could bring to an interview or one you would send for a specific job would be a targeted resume. A targeted resume is short and sweet and only contains information that the employer wants to see. If you are applying for a welding job, try not to include all the sewing experience you have or the last job you had at a bakery for a month. Include jobs related to the specific job; include traits or skills that you possess that would benefit that employer or company. Let them know that you are the best person for the job.

Short resumes are best, try to fit all the important and most impressive info on one page that is easy to read and understand if glanced over quickly. The average employer will spend no more then 6.5 seconds (Forbes) on a resume before he or she decides whether or not they are a good fit. Like I said, try to keep it short and sweet. This is where some of those power statements mentioned earlier can really make a difference.

Interview Tip 6 | Follow-up

Just because the interview is over doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. Most employers are looking for someone who is willing put in the extra effort. After you have dressed nice, brought in a great targeted resume, spoke like you were a professional spokesman, and left them with a lasting positive impression and you feel like you have done all that you could, you ask how could you possibly do more? Well there is one last thing you can do.

Follow up.

Following up is one of the most effective ways for a second chance or reconsideration. While you are finishing up the interview make sure that you set a day and time that they will let you know yes or no by, or tell them that you will call them back by a certain date. Then actually commit to it. Odds are that there are going to be plenty of interviews and resumes that the employer will have to look through or try to remember. Calling back will allow you to get that extra chance that all those other resumes sitting in the pile will most likely never get.

These are just a few simple but effective tips that have been very successful and will hopefully allow you to dominate your next job interview. If you remember anything from this post, just remember these few things;

  1. Dress nice but not too nice.
  2. Be on time.
  3. Prepare power statements and show confidence.
  4. Be yourself.
  5. Use short and direct resumes.
  6. Last but not least, always follow up.

Good luck!

Jesse Ivie
Account Manager | Ogden, Utah
Your Employment Solutions

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Jesse Ivie

Jesse is an account manager at the Your Employment Solutions Ogden, Utah office. He helps Utah jobseekers find employment.

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