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7 Ways to Ace a Job Interview
Editor Olivia shares the most important strategies to use when interviewing for your dream job
It doesn’t matter if you’re just out of college, looking for an internship, or planning to switch industries – there’s no such thing as being over prepared for an interview. Restless has gone through a round of hiring recently, and I thought that it could be helpful to share what we noticed the most when hiring people, and what ultimately got them the job.
Make eye contact
It seems obvious, but there are a surprising amount of otherwise confident people who look above, to the side, or down at the floor, instead of meeting the interviewer’s eyes. It’s hard for the interviewer to consider you as a competent applicant if you seem too timid or afraid of them. And if it doesn’t come off as afraid, then it’s likely to seem snobby. No one wants to work with snobby! You don’t have to be a smooth operator – but you do have to present yourself professionally. That starts with meeting people’s eyes.
Avoid negative self talk
This is the time to be your biggest cheerleader! There’s no such thing as boasting in an interview. Tell them about your biggest accomplishment, or your most unique job experience – even that time you saved someone’s life! Interviewers want to be confident in you, don’t give them a reason not to be. As tough as the hiring process can be, no one’s trying to call you out. The moment you go into defeatist language about yourself, the industry your entering into, or past experiences, the harder it is for the interviewer to feel confident about you in turn. Yes, this is a normal, if harmful habit, but it shouldn’t be in your head, and it absolutely cannot get expressed in an interview.
I guess I really am telling you to act like a quintessential teenage cheerleader, but it works. It’s scientifically proven that speakers with louder volume seem more confident, and thus, altogether much more persuasive than their quieter counterparts. It’s totally fine if you’re a more reserved person, but when you do talk – make sure you’re speaking enough to fill the room. Let your words make an impact, take up your damn space!
Don’t look at your phone
This one is pretty self explanatory, but it has to be said. Interviewers want to know that you are committed and excited about the opportunity. Even a glance at a text can send the message that you might not be the most reliable person for the job. Don’t let this small detail block your dream job!
Print the goods out
We may be living in a digital age, but it helps to remind the interviewer why they accepted you for an interview in the first place. Remember that they’re interviewing a lot of people, so you always want to remind them what caught their eye on your resume in the first place. Even better, print out examples of your work that you mentioned in your cover letter! We recently had someone do a powerpoint presentation on her ipad – and we hired her! This is a pretty easy way to impress and drive home your professionalism.
Try to connect on a personal level
It’s totally understandable that you might clam up during an interview, but it’s always helpful to make a personal connection. People want to hire people who will fit in with the workplace environment and who they’ll actually want to interact with every day. The best way to convince them that you’re a good cultural fit? Be yourself. Yes, it’s cheesy advice, but if they don’t like who you naturally are, you probably wouldn’t like working at that company anyways. If they respond to the authentic you, that’s great! It’ll definitely help you land the job. But you’re dodging a contractual bullet if they pass on you because your personality doesn’t fit. Who wants to spend so much of their time at a place that doesn’t accept them? Not you, babe.
Remember that you’re interviewing them too
It’s a two way street! The part where you get to ask questions is there for a reason. Yes, you need the money, but you’re a badass professional that brings a lot to the table. It’s up to you where you work, so make sure that the opportunity your interviewing for is a role that will actually work for you. Plus, the more questions you ask, the more the interviewer will notice that you put thought and effort into your professional decisions. That’s always a good thing. And actually, it’s largely a red flag if you don’t have any questions about the role.