How To Ace Your Next Job Interview

Nobody likes interviewing for a job, especially when there’s a lot on the line. The pressure of nailing the job interview puts us on edge in a variety of ways, but more often than not, anxiety kicks in, and we become paralyzed. Overcoming your nerves is no easy feat, but preparing ahead of time is the best way to reduce all your uneasiness.

How should you prepare for your next job interview? Well, much of the work should be done beforehand, but there are also things you should consider during the interview. The following are some quick tips for you to take into consideration for your next interview:

What should you wear?

Whether you’re a technician or engineer, we always recommend business formal attire for interviews. We look at it this way: Nobody’s going to deduct points from an interviewee who’s overdressed (at least not in our industry). Dressing appropriately shows you’re taking the interview seriously — and believe it or not, interviewers notice.

If you’re a man, wear a suit in a solid color (navy, dark gray or black). Make sure your dress shirt is pressed. Always wear a tie. Jewelry is fine, but don’t go overboard (think simple: your wedding band and a watch). Get a haircut and trim your nails beforehand.

Now, if you’re a woman, again, stick with neutral colors (nothing vibrant or too flashy). Again, limit the jewelry. Pantsuits are appropriate, but so are skirt suits (of course, pay attention to skirt length). Avoid wearing informal-type pants (leggings, spandex, jeans).

You’d be surprised by the number of candidates we come across who neglect to consider proper interview attire (it’s staggering.) Don’t get off on the wrong foot the moment you walk through the door. Appearances matter. Take the time needed to dress to impress.

Do your homework

Always remember to educate yourself on the company you’re interviewing with. To begin, review the company’s mission statement. More than likely, it’s outlined somewhere on the company’s website (just click around until you find it). Then, find out if the company you’re interviewing with has been in the news. If so, what for? If the news was positive (maybe it was a new hire or an office opening), casually bring the news up during your discussion with the interviewer to show you’re interested in staying on top of the overall direction of the company. Finally, review company structure and take note of key players. Even though the majority of your homework should be completed before you sit down, always continue your own research during the interview.

For example, don’t be afraid to ask about the company’s hiring process. In other words, inquire about the “next steps.” A question like this signals to the interviewer you’re interested and would like to know more about the company’s inner workings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company’s offerings and how they compare with other offerings within the same vertical. Show you’re interested in the company by asking questions about potential growth opportunities and the company’s plan for the future.

What you should bring

Be prepared when you arrive at your interview. Of course, be on time. In fact, be early, but not too early. Give yourself enough time to overcome any unforeseen obstacles on your way to the interview. Bring copies of your resume. Most of the time, executives will be pulled into an interview at the last minute, especially if the interview believes it’s going well, so always bring copies of your resume with you. Bring a pad a notepad, too. This shows you’re prepared and ready to get to work. Also, it’s nice to have a pen and paper nearby — just in case you need to write something down during the interview. Another tip: Bring a folder to put all your papers in and a briefcase to put your folder in.

Are you what the job description ordered?

Do your best to show the interviewer you meet the job description’s requirements. For example, if you’re interviewing for a network security and system engineer role, provide the interviewer with real-life experiences of how you’ve interfaced with senior management to develop, improve and execute cloud computing strategy. In addition to bringing copies of your resume, have network security diagrams readily available to show interviewers if they begin questioning you about your experience network security.

Before going on your next job interview, think about what you should be doing ahead of time: picking out your clothing, doing your homework, gathering items to bring and determining how you can match yourself up with the job description that caught your attention. Proper preparation is what will reduce your stress and help you land the job.