Key Things To Keep in Mind During Your Job Interview

Important tips to remember during the interview

How you look, act and conduct yourself during your job interview says as much as the words you speak and the answers you give. Here are several things to keep in mind during your interview:

How to kick off the interview:

  • The first 5 to 50 seconds are CRITICAL! Make an impactful first impression.  You will be assessed from the moment you enter the room or log on your virtually. Be aware of what you are doing and how you present yourself
  • Convey a friendly communication tone, and use positive words that show enthusiasm and energy. Also, speak clearly and avoid rushing your words so they do not sound mumbled.
  • Acknowledge everyone in the interview. 
  • If it’s virtual, be mindful to not yell into the screen. 
  • Bring a notepad, and ask if they don’t mind you taking notes. 

Body language during the interview:

  • Maintain good eye contact. If it’s virtual, we recommend looking directly into the camera, not the screen or monitor, to ensure engaging eye contact.
  • Pay attention to the interviewer at all times. It is easy to get distracted during a virtual interview. Be truly engaged in the conversation. That said, sometimes the sound during virtual interviews can be less than perfect so don’t be afraid to ask for a question to be repeated if you could not hear it correctly due to technical issues.
  • Do not interrupt: Many people have this habit, or are so excited and eager to please that they want to jump in and say the next thing! Be careful to listen fully, and respond accordingly. This is especially important for a virtual interview with a number of different people on the call. Always give an extra pause before you start speaking to be sure the interviewer has finished speaking.
  • Body language speaks volumes during an interview. Show that you are engaged and want to be there with open body positions. Maintain a balance between relaxed and comfortable with a professional and confident posture. Lean forward on occasion to show interest and smile and nod at their comments. Don’t pick or pull at your clothes or hair. Avoid closed-off body language like crossing your arms.

The discussion during the interview:

This is where your job interview preparation comes into play. Remember, it’s their job to assess if you are a fit for the position and their team, and it’s your time to professionally express that you are the right choice for the job. 

  • Be prepared to answer all of their questions and discuss your pertinent skills, experience, educational training, and professional credentials.
  • Focus on how to impress them with your work ethic and sense of responsibility. 
  • Find out their expectations: Focus on them, focus on their needs. Figure out their expectations (ask!) and explain exactly how you will meet or exceed their expectations based on your own experience. 
  • Stay professional at all times—keep it objective. Do not discuss personal issues, family issues, medical issues, politics, or problems you have had with co-workers or supervisors.
  • NEVER complain about your former employer!
  • Be prepared to discuss terminations in a positive manner. 
  • This is also where you can ask them your rehearsed set of questions and/or any additional follow-up questions you have from the interview.  Even if they answered every question you had throughout the interview, make one up. Good questions to ask are those that prove you are interested. For example, prepare questions based on your research; “I noticed on your website….”, “I saw on your Linked In page…” 

Closing out the interview:

  • Ask each interviewer for their email addresses. You will need these to write thank you emails to every individual. 
  • Thank all of the interviewers for taking the time to speak with you.
  • Reinforce your interest in the position. 
  • It is certainly okay to ask when you should expect to hear from them or what is the next step. 
  • After the interview, if it’s virtual, check MULTIPLE times that the meeting is closed, the application is off, and even close down your computer! 

Learn more about how to prepare for your interview and the steps to take after the interview is complete by viewing our entire interview guide here.

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