Interview Tips and Best Practices
When applying for a job, the best candidates will treat the application and interview process in a highly tailored, personal manner. Interviews are all very different and change according to the individual hiring manager's personality and preferences. Therefore, when reading interview tips, take them as general advice and best practices. Make sure that you treat each interview as a unique and original process, and strive to develop personal rapport with the managers.
Take special notice of unexpected tips, e.g., to avoid certain body language, such as crossed arms, while following the more predictable commonsense ones, such as being sure to dress neatly. Likewise, avoid adopting an automatic "one-size-fits-all" approach to self-presentation and response in interviews, allowing for spontaneity, intuition, special rapport and having to deal with especially tough or quirky interviewers.
While there is no way of choosing your interviewer or predicting the exact questions to be asked during an interview, there are a number of interview tips that can help you make a great first impression. One of the simplest ways to show your interest in a company is to research into its history, know the job description, and even become informed with some basic background information of people you may meet during your interview.
Interviewing is a bit of an art form and practice can make perfect (although, if you are already perfect, practice may not be necessary, as you get the first great job you apply for). A good tool to help make yourself more comfortable in an interview situation is role play with a friend. Make a list of common interview questions and plan your answers ahead of time. Sit face to face with your friend and have him or her read you each question and respond appropriately. But make sure the questions and information you share are relevant to and tailored for the position for which you are applying.
While interviewing it is vital to remain calm, appear confident, and keep positive. One way to continuously show your interest and confidence is to maintain eye contact with the interviewer at all times, while avoiding the appearance of deer-in-the-headlights staring or gaping.
Address interview questions directly, concisely, and with relevant information. Try not to digress too much or delve into unrelated personal information. While you may want to appear friendly with the interviewer it is best to remain professional and address only the questions asked in your elaborations. Stay on topic.
The best way to convey self-confidence and interest is through body language. Try to sit straight up (without looking rigid) and punctuate your self-presentations with smiles (without seeming fake), or, at least maintain a receptive and attentive expression. Non-stop smiling may convey nervousness, insecurity or insincerity-so smile only as and when appropriate. You may find yourself slouching if you become nervous but adjust your position as necessary. Speak slowly and clearly and loud enough to be heard without difficulty. Again, maintain friendly eye contact most of the time (but without looking like a hypnotist). The more confidence you have in yourself, the more confidence the interviewer will have in your abilities and suitability.
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