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5 Tips for a Dynamite Job Interview

You’ve received your degree or certification, you’ve sent out resumes, and now you’ve got an interview coming up. Congratulations! But are you ready?

Doing well at a job interview is a key aspect to getting the job that you desire. There are no guarantees, of course, but you want to have as many good things going for you as possible when you’re job hunting. Having a clean, professional resume is a good start, and the next step is to do well on your interview.

Here are five tips to help you look, feel, and perform at the top of your game for your next potential employer.

1. Research the Company and Industry

You should know something about the company or business where you might be employed. Even if you’ve got several interviews lined up all within the same industry – for example, you’re applying for vet assistant jobs at all the local veterinary clinics – doing research ahead of time still matters. Make a good impression on the interviewer by knowing the names of the hiring manager, head supervisor or owner, the company’s mission statement, etc.

2. Prepare Ahead of Time

In addition to doing your research on the business that you’ll be interviewing with, other preparation can help you be more relaxed and confident at the interview itself. Lay out your clothes the night before, prepare a portfolio with extra resumes and a notepad and pen for note-taking. Plan to arrive early at the interview – at least ten or fifteen minutes early. Arriving early shows that you’re responsible with time-management and that you respect the interviewer’s time. Also, giving yourself an extra few minutes can provide a cushion in case you get lost or hit heavy traffic on the way.

3. Body Language Matters

How you present yourself at the interview matters just as much as the degrees or skills listed on your resume. It’s okay to feel nervous, but just be aware of how much body language really does matter. Maintain eye contact, sit calmly and don’t fidget, give a firm handshake, and smile. Dress in professional attire – it’s better to be overdressed in an interview rather than underdressed. Also, don’t chew gum or drink coffee during the interview – that can be a distraction for the interviewer. Similarly, go easy on the perfume and don’t smoke right before going in for the interview.

4. Be Honest

Being honest is more than just not telling any lies. Of course you want to present all the best aspects of yourself and your skills, but don’t shy away from those difficult behavioral questions that an interviewer might ask you. You can be honest, even about difficult or unpleasant subjects, and still be positive and professional. Don’t complain. You can always find something good to say about any person or situation. If you’re asked why you left a previous job, don’t badmouth the company or your old boss. Emphasize why you’re excited about working for this new company, rather than focusing on what a terrible place your old job was.

5. Send Thank-You Notes

Sending an email – or even a personal, hand-written letter – to your interviewer the next day is a great way to help set you apart from the competition. A short thank-you note shows your potential employer that you’re truly interested in the job and the company, and that you respected the interviewer’s time. Respect and gratitude are qualities that many employers look for.

If you have other questions or need help preparing for your job interview, contact the Career Services staff at Central Coast College. We’re here to help our graduates and alumni have the best interview possible!

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Posted in: Career
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