Many people fear job interviews. They work themselves up worrying about whether they will appear good enough. Don’t do this. If this one potential job dosn’t work out another will. Even in this very challenging economy. And if you put your best foot forward and don’t get the job you are likely better off. It very well could have been a bad fit anyway.
The key though is to put that best foot forward. The first impression of a first impression is vital. It sends a deep subliminal message to the interviewer before the interview starts.
Stand straight up. Be conscious of this. Many people slouch without being aware of it. Likewise, when you shake the interviewer’s hand, shake it firmly. I remember getting a limp handshake from a realtor years ago and frankly it made me question whether I should do business with the guy. A handshake says a lot.
Dress the part. You want to look your best. If in a professional setting, a decent suit is a must for men and women. Make sure your tie is straight. And guys get a nice pair of shoes. On more than one occasion I have seen young men come in for an interview and they look good, but their shoes are either too casual or all scuffed up. Don’t be that guy.
When in the interview smile, smile, smile. Be pleasant and to the point. If a question trips you up a bit give yourself a moment to compose an answer. The key is you want to keep your adrenaline level low. If the nerve juice starts pumping it’s hard to get it to stop. The interviewer will pick up on an increased heartbeat. Like a dog, HR people can smell fear so stay calm. Just keep smiling.
Be positive generally about your previous employer. No company wants to hire a complainer. Even if it was an ugly break up, emphasise the good things about your prior company.
When the interview is over, even if you are dying to get out of that interview room, ask the interviewer if there are any other questions you can answer for him/her. This tosses the ball back into their court and their answer will likely tell you if you will move on to the next round.
If you don’t get the job don’t despair. As I said in the first step it is very possible that the job would have been a poor fit. And remember, you are allowed to be discerning. You should be interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.