Congratulations! You’ve made it through the preliminaries of resume reviewal and have landed an interview with your dream job. The only thing standing between you and your new employment is the interview itself. How you perform in those several hours can dictate the upcoming months if not years of your life. So how do you stand out in one of the most nerve wracking aspects of the job search: the ever-crucial interview? Here are a few tips for how to

  • Have questions ready. A very crucial but often overlooked portion of the interview is when the interviewer turns the tables and asks if you have any questions for them. You can use this portion to demonstrate any knowledge you have of the company as well as showcase your professionalism. Any number of questions are great to ask in interviews, but some of the best include:
    • What first attracted you to a position at this company?
    • Where do you see the company in five years?
    • If you could change one thing about the company, what would you change?

These questions can show that you’ve given thought to your future with the company and you’re interested to learn about where the company itself is headed.

  • Do your research. A portion of the interview will no doubt require you to speak on your current knowledge of the company, and if you only know its name, you’re probably not going to get the job. You should be knowledgeable about the job requirements, the company itself, and as a bonus, the background of the interviewer(s). The more research you do, the more prepared and well-versed you’ll sound; have more than adequate knowledge of the company’s mission and how your prospective position fits into the grand scheme of things.
  • Look the part. The saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ is especially applicable in the interview process. Dress professionally, keeping in mind what you know about the company — also keep in mind that it’s possible to be overdressed, so leave the tuxedo at home. Try to avoid eating or smoking right before the interview, and don’t go crazy with accessories. For help on deciding what to wear, consult any number of websites that offer guidelines for professional dress.
  • Arrive on time. When it comes to interviews, on-time is late and early is on-time. There should never be a reason to be late to an interview, barring a catastrophe. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the interview starts to allow some wiggle room. Another benefit of arriving early to the interview is a chance to see the workplace dynamic and see if it would be a good fit for you.
  • Follow up with a ‘thank you’. After you’ve made it through the actual interview, the last step is to thank the interviewer(s). Whether it’s via email or postal mail, sending a personalized ‘thank you’ after the interview can speak volumes to your character and can help boost you above candidates who chose not to send one.