Many years ago, when I was a young job-searching greenhorn, I ventured to New York City to take a bite out of the big apple of opportunity.
When it came to finding a job in a crowded city of millions, I quickly learned that it’s much easier on one’s sanity to sign up with one of the many employment agencies which helps job seekers looking for work.
I scoured the newspaper and found a large ad for one such well-known employment agency. True to their word, they promptly sent me off on several interviews – none of which I felt particularly comfortable at. Needless to say, I didn’t get any job offers.
While nursing a cold, I decided I needed a change. So, I contacted a much smaller agency and decided to see if my luck would be different.
These people rocked! They were down-to-earth friendly and genuinely concerned about helping me find a job. Before they sent me out on any interviews, they put me through a mock interview session and evaluated my performance (something the larger fancy-pants agency didn’t do). Afterwards, an advisor sat me down and we chatted about the results of my mock interview.
I am forever grateful for the feedback I got that day, because the interview preparation tips they gave me have served me well over countless interviews these many years. I’ve condensed their pointers into five simple rules that anyone can follow for better success at a job interview.
- Eye Contact – Look directly at your interviewer. Don’t cast your eyes down.
- Sit up Straight – Don’t slouch in your chair – it makes you look lazy and uninterested. Good posture makes you look like a confident person.
- Don’t Fidget – Keep your hands in your lap when you’re not making a point in the conversation. Fidgeting looks unprofessional.
- Speak Up – Don’t mumble your words. Speak directly at your interviewer with a clear, strong voice.
- Smile and Show Some Personality – It’s ok to be a little nervous, but remember to stay loose and be yourself. Personality counts for a lot.
Of course, there’s a lot more to think about when preparing for an interview. But even if you only remember these five simple interviewing rules, you’ll be able to make a good impression on the one person standing between you and a job – your interviewer.