This blog post was written by Paul Hubahib, the Manager of Employment and Community Programs at the Mississauga YMCA Employment Centre.
Ever get the feeling that interviews never get any easier? That may be the case, as potential employers will always question your skills, and you’ll always be selling yourself as the best person for every job you apply for.
So while job interviews will never be a breeze, I can help you make them (almost) stress-free experiences. Here are five dos and don’ts for acing your next interview:
1. Do your research – Know as much as you can about the company before the interview. Explore the company website, find them on Facebook and Twitter, etc. Try to find out the names of the people who will be interviewing you, and look them up before meeting them. When answering questions during the interview, try to relate your answers to what you have learned about the company. Impress them with knowledge that they may not even know themselves!
2. Reiterate your interest – At the end of the interview it is very important to reiterate why you want the job. Tell the employer what you found appealing about the job posting, and show that you are passionate about the role.
3. Create an interview presentation – Create a presentation to hand to the interviewers. This could include a portfolio of your best work, a powerpoint presentation outlining your career highlights, or anything else that you think would be show off your skills. This will set you apart from all other candidates. This is also a great exercise to prepare yourself for the interview, as you’ll be forced to highlight your best professional qualities.
4. Ask for business cards – This allows you to personally thank interviewers for their time after the interview, via mailed letter or email.
5. Dress for success – Employers will always judge you based on your personal appearance. Yes we want to be judged by our skills set, but trust me when I say that no one will hire you if you look like you just got out of bed.
1. Don’t joke – There is no way to know how an employer will react to a joke. Play it safe and stay professional.
2. Don’t wait to ask questions – Interviews should feel more like a conversation that a question and answer period. Ask questions as you think of them, and start a professional dialogue that will both teach you more about the company and impress the employer with your communication skills.
3. Don’t criticize past employers and colleagues – Negative past experiences should not dictate moving forward with your career in a positive manner.
4. Don’t rely on your application – You know what you wrote on your resume, so don’t constantly glance down at it during the interview for reference. Instead use your active listening skills to figure out what your potential employer wants to know about you, and go from there.
5. Don’t be soft spoken – Use a strong, forceful voice to project your self confidence. Be clear and concise with your answers and cut out the “uhs,” “I thinks” and “I believes” that sometimes crop up in our everyday vocabulary.