Aside from a root canal appointment, there aren’t many other life situations that are as nerve-racking as the job interview. The interview is traditionally the first time you will meet face-to-face with the potential employer, so the pressure is on. You want to make an unforgettable first impression, but you don’t want to seem like you’re trying too hard. But you also don’t want them to think you haven’t put in any effort. This person has your career in the palm of their hand, and the tiniest slip will mess it all up.
Here are the 5 clever ways to impress an interviewer!
- Make eye contact. You don’t have to lock eyes with the interviewer’s gaze. It’s okay to blink. But the ability to maintain consistent eye contact speaks volumes about your own confidence. Most people tend to be shaky and uncomfortable in a job interview-but if you focus on confidence and consistent eye contact, you’ll stand out from the rest.
- Bring one sample of your best work. This “sample” could be something tangible (like a design or publication) or it could be a statistic that illustrates the positive impact you have had in your current or previous job. For example, if you’ve helped to generate $10,000 in sales at one point or another, mention it! Interviewers will eat that up. They want to know that you’ve had professional success in the past, and it’s up to you to bring it up in the conversation.
- Weave in the company’s core values. If you expect to be hired, you should also expect to memorize the principles in which the company upholds. For example, if you’re interviewing for a position within a company that works to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, you should emphasize your stance on climate change. It’s always important to show the interviewer that you align with the company’s goals and message. Otherwise, why are you interviewing with them?
- Point out a mistake made by the company. It’s a major plus if you can provide constructive criticism (without being too harsh) of the company you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a position in website development, you might address an error you noticed in the company’s website, and then elaborate on how you would you go about fixing it. This will earn you major points and you’ll also gain some respect from the interviewer for having the guts to critique.
- Be memorable. At the end of the day, you want the interviewer to hold you to a higher regard than the other candidates. For example, when asked about your assets and strengths, don’t offer a clichéd response like “I’m a great team player,” which is what 99% of the other candidates will say. Instead, you should highlight some of your more colorful strengths, such as your ability to find comedy in stressful situations, or your willingness to accept constructive criticism. Make sure to always include a personal touch to your answers, rather than seeming impersonal and robotic.