In order to get to the interview stage, you must have a great application. Remember a resume is more than a list of your previous roles. Make yours stand out.

If you’d like to interview for jobs effectively, the following are 7 tips that improve your odds of success. Preparing yourself adequately takes a lot of the stress out of the process and puts you in prime position for successful interviews.

1) Practice And Preparation:

Look over lists of typical questions at job interviews asked by employers. Come up with answers to them, and then practice them until you have them memorized. Strong answers are what you want, and these tend to be concise and specific, letting you select concrete examples of your experience and skills. Use these to support and tie into your resume.

Don’t emphasize every skill though, as you want to bring up what’s truly essential to the particular position and employer you are interviewing with each time. Look over their job listing thoroughly so you can come up with a likely list of their requirements and then come up with matching answers.

Don’t go too far with this, however, as over preparation is possible. You need to have good answers you already familiar with during an interview, but you also have to listen carefully. The information you provide in response to a question needs to actually answer the question. Anything that’s even remotely tangential might seem like you’re trying to dodge a question.

You also need to prepare questions of your own that you can ask the employer when given the opportunity. This tends to happen in nearly any job interview. It’s crucial that you have at least a handful of questions ready so you can show your interest in their organization. If you don’t, you run the risk of seeming apathetic, and that’s a big turnoff for hiring you.

2) Form A Connection With Your Interviewer:

On top of demonstrating your knowledge about the company you’re trying to become a part of, you also need to form some kind of connection with the person that is interviewing you. Know their name, and be sure to use it throughout the interview.

If you’re unsure of the person’s name, call in advance to find out. Keep your ears open during any introductions. If remembering names isn’t a strong point for you, then jot them down discreetly, possibly using tiny letters near the bottom of your notepad.

In the end, forming a personal connection and building up some rapport with your interviewer boosts your odds of getting hired. Business professionals have a tendency to hire candidates that they take a liking to, people who seem like they’d naturally fit in with the culture of that company.

3) Research The Organization So You Can Show Off What You Know:

You should research not only the organization but also the industry. You are likely to get hit with a question about what you know about the company, and this means you’ll be ready. If the question doesn’t get asked, you can still work in what you’ve learned into other answers.

Do that by working what you’ve learned about an organization into responses to other questions. For instance, you could say something like: “I know that when your company installed new software last year, you had a significant improvement in consumer satisfaction. As you can see from my resume, I’m experienced in developing such software, and I respect any business that seeks to be an industry leader.”

Check out the company’s website, blog, and social media accounts to learn about it. Learn what you can about its history, mission, values, culture, staff, and recent successes.

4) Be Ready In Advance:

Do not wait until the day of your interview to choose your outfit, find a pen and notepad, or print out copies of your resume. At worst, do this all the night before.

Planning everything out, including how you’re going to get there, what time you need to leave, your shoes, and your hairstyle, means that you have more time the morning of the actual job interview. You’ll reduce your anxiety about trying to find a job, and the lack of decisions saves your brainpower for your interview.

Your attire should be clean and crisp, as well as appropriate for the company you are going to interview with. Have a nice portfolio at your side that has a pen, paper, and extra resume copies.

5) Get There Early:

Being on time for an interview isn’t enough. You need to actually be there 5 to 10 minutes early, if not more. Many hiring managers will consult their secretaries or executive assistants that you meet first about their impressions before making hiring decisions, so make a good impression on them too.

If you have to, drive yourself to the interview location several days in advance so you know precisely where it is and how long you need to get there. If you do this test drive on a weekend, make sure you account for workday traffic the day of. Getting there early means you have a few moments to visit the restroom so you can check yourself out and calm down.

6) Remain Calm:

Job interviews can decide careers, so your feelings might range anywhere from excitement to anxiety. Still, remain as calm as you can. Seventy per cent of in-person communication is body language, so it factors in more than you’re hopefully well-prepared answers. You want to exude confidence.

Maintain solid eye contact with the person asking you questions. Use active listening to pay attention to the whole question, so that you not only remember it, but know specifically what is being asked of you. Never cut off an interviewer or interrupt them, particularly when they are asking questions. If you are going to need a moment to consider your answer, then remember that’s okay. It’s a lot better to look mindful that stumble with muttering.

7) Follow Up After It’s Over:

Always follow up on an interview with a good thank-you note that reiterates your interest. Your mind, in replay mode, might have come up with details you forgot to cover in the interview. This is a good time to include them. Send your thank-you email in the 24 hours following your interview, and if you interviewed with multiple individuals in the same organization, make sure each one gets a personalized note and not a group email.

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