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Tips & Resources For a Great Job Interview

Landing a job interview is a very exciting thing. While it doesn’t mean you’ve landed the job yet, it means your resume stood out in a pile of others, which is something to feel good about.

If you’ve recently landed a job interview, congratulations! Now it’s time to make it a great one. Below are some tips and resources on ways you can have a confident, successful interview.

Before the Interview

The steps you take before your interview are just as important as the interview itself. Keep in the mind the following tips and resources leading up to your big day. 

Do Your Research – Knowing a little about the company you’re interviewing with will not only help you feel more confident during the interview, but it will help you stand out among other candidates, and help you decide if the company is a right fit for you. Remember, this is as much your chance to interview a company as it is theirs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to get a good idea of what the company is all about!

Before your interview, get a good grasp on the company by looking at their website, browsing through their social media pages (such as Facebook and Twitter), researching online news articles about the company, and looking into who their competitors are. If you do not have a computer, consider some of the resources below:

If it’s been a while since your last job interview, or you’re about to embark on your very first job interview experience, consider reading about how job interviews work  before jumping into your company research.

Practice, Practice, Practice – One of the best ways to ensure you have great job interview is by practicing for it. Consider these practice tips for a more confident interview experience.

Plan Your Transportation – Make sure you know where you’re going and allow yourself plenty of time to get there! To ensure you arrive on time, it’s important to have a transportation plan in place before the day of your interview. If you need transportation assistance, contact the resources below to see what their options are.

During the Interview

Job interviews are uncomfortable for everyone involved, but it’s important to remember that your interviewers are just as nervous as you are. It’s also important to realize that those interviewers are rooting for you, and they want you to do a good job. If at anytime you feel like your nerves are getting the best of you, just remember to tell yourself “They want me to do well,” and see how much it helps! Below, you will find a few other tips for accomplishing a great job interview.

Give a Good Handshake – There’s nothing like a good handshake to make a great first impression.

Admit You’re Nervous – If you’re nervous, say it. Admitting that you’re nervous can act as an icebreaker, and will also help you relieve some anxiety. Afterall, the interviewers are probably nervous, too!

Breath – When we’re anxious or nervous, our breathing is more shallow. Before your interview, take a few minutes to focus on long, deep breaths. A good time to do this is moments before your interview, such as while you wait in the lobby. Deep breathing can help relax  your nerves, and help keep your thoughts focused during the interview. Consider trying one of these breathing exercises from Dr. Andrew Weil.

Listen Carefully – Rather than silently rehearsing answers in your head, make sure to focus on your breath while listening to your interviewer’s words and questions very carefully. While listening to your interviewer, think of ways to summarize what they are saying in your own words. This will help you stay focused, and also help you come up with relevant questions if anything sounds interesting or confusing.

Pace Yourself – Before answering every question, repeat the question in your mind. If you can’t remember the question, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer to repeat it. When you are ready to answer, remember to take your time and stay relevant to the topic.

Focus on Your Body Language – Focusing on your body language can make a big difference in your interview results. For example, sitting up straight will help you appear more confident, keeping your arms uncrossed will help you seem more open, leaning in a little will help you seem more interested, and silently focusing on your breath will help you maintain a more relaxed demeanor. If you tend to fidget your hands or legs, be sure to also keep those things in mind during your interview. For more body language tips, check out this article Body Language Tips for Your Next Job Interview.

Be Honest About Your History – The most important thing you can do during an interview is tell the truth, whether it be about conflicts with previous employers or a criminal history. Although it might seem counterintuitive, we suggest letting your interviewers know as soon as early in the interview as possible. This will allow you to take control of the interview, and explain the circumstances on your terms.  

If you feel like you could use some guidance in ways to talk about criminal history, be sure to contact Sponsors Ross Shepard Reentry Resource Center at (541) 505-5682. The Ross Shepard Reentry Resource Center (RRC) is a comprehensive job assistance center where men and women with criminal histories can get help finding employment.

Ask Questions – Remember to come to your interview prepared with a few questions about the job and/or company you are interviewing for. Not only will this help you find out more about the company and position, but it will also help you seem more interested and engaged.

Give a Good Handshake – There’s nothing like a good handshake to make a great last impression!

After the Interview

Whew! Aren’t you glad that’s over? Use this time to think about how well you did, and also a few other things:

Think Positively – Don’t let negative thoughts eat you up after you interview! It’s to to reflect on your interview, but avoid thinking about what went wrong. Just be glad it’s over, and remember to stay positive while you wait for the results.

Send a Thank You Card – After your interview, be sure to thank the employer for providing you with the opportunity to interview. While emails are always nice, what will really stand out to employers is a handwritten note. See these great Thank You Letter Examples.

Don’t Give Up – No matter what happens, try your best to stay positive, and keep moving forward. Rather than letting rejection get the best of you, consider it an opportunity to start fresh and do better next time. For more tips on ways to handle job rejection, consider reading this article How To Move On When You Didn’t Land the Job. It provides helpful tips to keep you motivated, so you can keep moving forward and land an even better job!

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