Creating a resume is the easy part — for many job seekers, the most dreaded aspect of the process is an in-person interview. From bad outfits to late arrivals and shifty glances, anything and everything can go wrong as you strive to make a positive first impression.
Interviews don’t have to be horrifying — they merely require confidence and a game plan. Keep the following considerations in mind as you prepare for the final step in the job search process:
Professional attire is not good enough; your interview attire should demonstrate attention to detail. Choose a tasteful outfit with one or two memorable details. For example, you can garner a positive impression with a distinctive piece of jewelry or a brightly-colored tie with an unexpected pattern. Your outfit should push the envelope just a little while remaining well within the bounds of professionalism. The best interview outfits include subtle conversation pieces, which make it easy to showcase your unique personality.
Schedule Your Interview at the Right Time
The time and day you schedule your interview can make a huge difference. Experts at Glassdoor claim that the most successful interviews occur on Tuesdays at 10:30 am. Wednesdays and Thursdays are also acceptable, but on Mondays and Fridays, interviewers focus on decompressing or gearing up for a busy weekend — not on promising applicants.
Glassdoor’s stance on morning interviews is backed by a study published in Psychological Science. The interviewers highlighted in the study made hiring decisions based on ratings for early interviews. If an applicant performed well early in the day, later interviewers were rated poorly by comparison.
Tell a Story
Interviewers desire more than a mere list of credentials. They want to know who you are and why you are a better fit than other applicants. Weave a compelling — but accurate — story about your journey and what you intend to accomplish next. Your passion should be evident throughout the entirety of your interview.
Frame the Dreaded “Weakness” Question Correctly
It’s the most dreaded moment in every interview: “What’s your greatest weakness as an employee?” Far too many interviewees sidestep this query with lazy answers about trying too hard or having perfectionist tendencies. Others fail to highlight how they’ve addressed weaknesses in the past.
Ultimately, your interviewer wants insight into your journey and your ability to overcome significant challenges. As you prepare your answer to this important question, think about how you can demonstrate honesty and introspection.
From your outfit to your storytelling ability, a variety of factors can influence your performance as an interviewee. Take a deep breath and remind yourself of your many accomplishments; if your confidence shines through, you’ll have no trouble landing your dream job.