In an interview, it’s a question of balance between doing too much or not enough. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for and know how to carry yourself in an interview.
1. Preparing for an interview.
First, what you wear is important. Choose an outfit that is appropriate but comfortable. Women sometimes tend to get patchy when stressed. Choosing a higher neckline is a good option. Men tend to get hot. Thus, the colour and fabric of the shirt can make all the difference.
From a technical standpoint, preparation is key. Read up on the position and the company. Ask yourself what motivates you and what interests you about this position. Remember to prepare your strengths and your areas of improvement. We all have them. Not having identified areas of improvement can be seen as lacking transparency or not knowing yourself.
Don’t overschedule yourself on the day of the interview. You never know, the interview may be delayed or it may go longer. You may also be asked to take an English of French test or aptitude tests.
It’s interview day! It’s a good idea to arrive for your interview 15 minutes early. Arriving too early may make the recruiter uncomfortable and can make it more stressful for you. Take a few minutes before the interview to review the position and read up on the company. Knowing the company’s philosophy, values and small details about the company shows you are interested in the company.
Finally, remember to turn off your cell phone.
2. How to carry yourself during the interview
Smile when you enter the room. The first impression makes all the difference. Shake hands with and introduce yourself to everyone in the interview. Have a firm handshake, but make sure it’s not too tight. Again, balance is key. Make sure to have good posture; depending on your posture, you could be sending negative signals to the interviewer. Ideally, you should have open posture, sit up straight, in the back of your seat and not lean against the back of the chair.
During the interview, listen attentively to the interviewer’s questions and answer honestly, sincerely and clearly. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. They chose to interview you and you want them to give you the job. When answering questions, give concise answers; don’t ramble on. The best thing is to get straight to the point. Mention your work experience and events that highlight you. Don’t feel obligated to share about your personal life. You are entitled to keep your personal life private. Don’t worry! If you forget to mention something important, you will have an opportunity at the end of the interview.
Stay focused, feel free to ask relevant questions about the position and the company. Ask questions to see if this is really the right position for you. People often think that the interview is for the recruiters. That’s not true. It is also the perfect opportunity for you, the candidate, to choose the position you want and the company you want to work for. You will spend a lot of time there, so it’s important that you enjoy what you do.
At the end of the interview, remember to ask about the rest of the process and to thank the interviewers. Remember, it’s important for you to be yourself. Be natural and prepared, but not overly so.
3. The importance of following up after the interview
If you choose to send an email after your interview, remember that moderation is key. You only need to send one. This little touch is not necessary, but it reiterates your interest in the position and can sometimes be the thing that makes all the difference.