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How to Ace Your Next Interview

By Tiffany Thomas
Posted On May 03, 2016
How to Ace Your Next Interview

As a recent college graduate, I can tell you first hand that one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve faced since receiving my degree is going on interviews.

I mean, one day you’re walking across a stage thinking “Mama I made it,” and the next day you’re thrown into the world of job hunting where you’re first thought is “Mama I need you!”

Trust me, I totally understand, but I can assure you that once you know exactly what employers are looking for, the interview process becomes a lot less daunting, and a lot more exciting. Here’s the thing, the job market is extremely competitive. There will always be someone else going up for the job you want.

The truth of the matter is, those competitors may have more bullet points on their resume than you, but do they have the necessary interview skills to set themselves apart? Well, lucky for you, you’re about to get the scoop!

I’ve personally had my fair share of rejections, but the flip side is that it’s taught me how to master any interview that comes my way. No matter what company you interview with, there are three things they all want to know:

  • Who are you?
  • What can you bring to the table?
  • How invested are you in the company?

After a few interviews, I’ve outlined just four simple steps to help you land your dream job!

1) Be Prepared:

Like anything else, the key to success begins with preparation. It’s vital to do some research before going in for an interview. Be sure to go on the company’s website and look at key elements such as their mission statement, and what exactly they do. Also, it’s good to go through a few practice questions with a friend, or even in front of a mirror just to brush up on your communication skills and be prepared for any question they interviewer may ask. Also, ensure that you have a portfolio showing your work samples (if the job requires it), an extra copy of your resume, and past statistics to prove your accomplishments.

2) Dress To Impress:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting in the waiting room with other interviewees wondering if I was in the right place. It’s alarming that after tons of articles and workshops, people still seem to confuse an interview with the club. Unless your potential job has a very laid-back and casual setting, please dress the part. This means avoiding anything too form-fitting and short while staying away from anything without sleeves.

Get inspired by these three outfits, and you will be sure to make a lasting (and fashionable) first impression!

top

skirt

Missguided Wrap Blouse & Faux Leather Skirt

suit jacket

suit pants

Express Blazer with Striped Ankle Pant

dress

Asos Collar Midi Dress

topp

pant

Ann Taylor Stripe Button Down with Fluid Pants

3) Be Confident:

You don’t have to be Kanye West to embody confidence, but you can never go wrong with showing the employer that you know what your strengths are, and you own them. Make sure to always keep eye contact the entire time during the interview, and always be mindful of your tone. Be courteous, polite, and speak as clear and loud as possible without coming across as vulgar. Additionally, make a conscious effort to smile, and show the employer why you really are the perfect candidate for the position. Also, don’t forget to have a few questions in mind to ask at the end of the interview. Trust me, they’re going to ask, and your response should be anything but a black stare, or “I don’t know.”

4) Follow Up:

     This is one thing that has never failed me. While many people skip this part of the process, it’s actually one of the most important steps. Give it a day or two after your interview, and then send a short follow-up email to your interviewer thanking them for a wonderful interview and reiterating why you’re the perfect person for the job. Not only does this leave a lasting impression on your interviewer, but it also shows them that you are highly organized which is practically a requirement for all job positions these days.

Now, go and be great. Congrats in advance, the job is already yours!

Cover Photo Credit: Shutterstock