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There are different hoops to go through before you land a job. The initial stages or the preparation phase begins with making sure you are applying for the job that matches your skills, education qualification and work experience. Once you have done that and zeroed in on a company, do your research about the firm and the job. The second and most important leg of this process is preparing the resume and cover letter, and then getting ready for the interview itself. This stage is probably the most crucial phase because depending on how you will answer the interview questions, will lead to the decision making whether you will be employed or not.

It doesn’t matter how well you have nailed it with the previous steps, your hopes rest on you acing the interview questions. If your interview doesn’t go good, even your strong experience or educational qualifications may not sail you through. Therefore, we have come up with specific interview tips that shall come in handy during your next interview. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first interview or you are a veteran at attending interviews, these interview tips are sure to help you get a job.

Practice and Prepare

Imagine the kind of questions you could possibly be asked during the interview and practice answering them in advance. You could do this in front of a mirror at home and see how your face looks like while answering the questions. Remember, your facial reactions would give away a lot than your actual answers.

If you’re not sure about the probable questions, do some research about the job position and company. Also look up sample questions online for the same or a similar profile. Make sure you are prepared to highlight your abilities and skills and convince the interviewee why you’re fit for the job. If you’re an experienced candidate, present your on-the-job experience that prove why you’re such a great fit.

Know the Company

It’s a sin to head for an interview without knowing anything about the company you aspire to get a job in. Invariably, during the interview, you would be asked what you know about the firm and why you want to work there. If you cannot answer these questions convincingly enough, the road ahead would be extremely tough. While you’re at it, also find out the name of the interviewer – that would be a bonus point. Addressing the interviewer by his/her name would immediately help build a rapport that could improve your likeliness of getting hired. Generally, people prefer hiring candidates they’ve built a personal connect with during the interview.

Be Ready Early Enough

If the interview is tomorrow, make sure you have your outfit, resume (along with additional copies), a pen and notepad, etc. ready today itself. Having an outfit ready at all times ensures you can respond to an interview call at even the shortest of notices. Make sure the dress is tidy, neat and right for the company you would be attending the interview at. The notepad and pen would help with note-taking, by the way.

Be Early for the Interview

Being on time is not good enough. Heading early to the interview spot is the new ‘being on time’. Generally, 15-20 minutes early would be ideal so that you have some breathing space between the time you arrive and the interview. The time left to spare can be used to freshen up, calm down your nerves, check your outfit, etc. Learn how long the interview venue is from your place and plan your commute accordingly. If you’d like to be certain about the same, visit the place a day before the interview.

Try Staying Calm

A job interview is a significant event in your professional life, but that doesn’t mean you need to be extremely guarded and nervous. The more nervous you are, the more stressed out you would become. And that guarded self would hinder your performance during the interview. Moreover, your stressed demeanour would show and cast an aspersion on your confidence levels in the eyes of the interviewer. One of the key things that help you stay calm is proper preparation. If you’re well-prepared, you would exude confidence. Also, it’s important to be relaxed about things. If needed, take some moments to regroup.

During the interview, look into the eyes of the interviewer, and don’t jump over the interview questions. Let the interviewer finish his questions before you attempt to answer them. Cutting the interviewer half way through and then not being sure what the question was would put you in an embarrassing position.

Exhibit What You Already Know

Try incorporating your knowledge about the company and industry when answering queries. If you are going to discuss career accomplishments, make sure you discuss only those feats that match the job profile you’ve applied for. For example, if your potential job entails using a particular software program and you’ve had hands-on experience with that tool, bring that to light. Talk how well-versed you are with the software and what was your prior professional engagement like with it. Take your time when answering the question. And also talk slowly, as that would expose your confident self. Moreover, slow and relaxed communication would give you ample time to go over your skills and experience in your head and blend them into your responses.

Follow Up

Follow up always with a note of thanks. And it should re-establish how interested you are in the job. The thank you note may also add certain details about you that you forgot to append in the first place or didn’t mention during the interview. If your interview was conducted by multiple interviewers, have a personal note sent to all of them individually. The note can be emailed and should be done within 24 hours post-interview. Most people forget to send a thank you note, and the fact that you have sent it would not just show your gratitude toward the interviewers but would also automatically make you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Long story short, you small gesture of courtesy could end in you getting the job.