By Rheign Morales
An interview is the final stage of finding a job. It can be a highly stressful situation: it’s during this stage that employers usually decide whether an applicant is a good fit for a job.
As with all stages of the job hunt process, the number one thing to remember is to maintain your sense of optimism. “Be positive,” says Melissa Mickle, YMCA job skills specialist. “There is a job out there for you!”
Here are 8 things you can do to make the most out of your opportunity at a job interview:
1. Conduct research
Your interviewer will expect you to know at least the basics about the company and the job you’re applying to. Showing that you know this information will give the employer a good impression of your great interest to become a part of their workplace.
Brainstorm a list of questions you think you might be asked in the interview, and practice answering them. This is a very effective technique which I have been using since the age of 16, as it provides me with confidence when answering questions which might be asked in the interview. Preparing your responses will help you appear (and feel) more confident during the interview. Have a friend or family member act as your practice interviewer, or simply practice on your own by facing a mirror to pretend as if the interviewer is in front of you.
3. Pack your bag
On the evening before the interview, make sure you have everything you need. Bring extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and references, as well as a notebook and pen for jotting down notes.
4. Get enough sleep
Give your body the right amount of rest so that on the day of your interview, you will appear well-rested and ready to take on the role. For teens, it is recommended to get at least 8–10 hours of sleep for the body to recover and perform accordingly.
5. Dress appropriately
I am pretty sure you are very familiar with the catch phrase, “Dress to impress.” Strive for professional attire that will give the employer a good impression of you.
6. Plan your route and arrival time
Check the location and directions for how to get to the interview. You do not want to rush yourself or get lost on the day of the interview. You should plan to arrive at the interview location 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Having this extra time will help you settle yourself, refresh your memory and relax before the interview starts.
7. Show confidence
During an interview, it is important to display the right body language to impress your potential employer. Simple gestures such as maintaining eye contact and good posture shows attentiveness and respect to the interviewer. Moreover, refrain from rushing your answer. If you did not understand the question, ask politely if the interviewer could repeat it for you or if you need more time, simply ask politely for extra time to think over your answer.
8. Follow up
Send the employer a follow-up email after your interview to thank them for their time.