There’s a ton of stress associated with not having a job: maybe you got fired or let go at your last place of employment and even if you didn’t, when you don’t have a job — that’s another level of stress altogether.
Then you land an interview for a job that you would be perfect for and it’s tailor made for you — your education and experience are completely related and you have a good feeling about what you can do for the company. When this happens, there’s still no guarantee that anything good is going to come out of it…and then there’s the interview. Despite all your qualifications, the company can only really see you during the interview and maybe you’re the ‘I’m-bad-at-taking-tests’ kind of person, you could be in trouble. Here are some things you can do to be your best self during any interview.
Freezing. Your resume could look excellent and appropriate, you can speak articulately but if you don’t show up at the interview, none of those things won’t matter at all. You might be a reserved and introverted person but this is a job interview and this affects your livelihood.
Overbearing. While freezing during an interview is bad, the complete opposite is just as bad, maybe even worse. There’s no need to fly into the room, flashing your pearly whites and shake the interviewer’s hand like you’re trying to jump start an engine. As much as you want to show yourself, don’t dominate the whole conversation. Strong personalities are great but if you talk too much and don’t listen enough, that doesn’t say that you’re a team player.
Sloppiness. These days, some companies are very casual with a dress code of t-shirts and jeans, some companies still have the old standard of a suit and tie and some very strict and rigorous dress codes. Try to find out before your interview what the standard dress code at that particular company is and dress appropriately. If it is a casual atmosphere, still take care of your personal hygiene – shower, trim your fingernails and wearing clean, unwrinkled clothing is a must. Whether you’re a little over-dressed or under-dressed, as long as your clothes are neat and tidy, that goes a long way — not looking like you just rolled out of bed.
Boasting. Being confident about yourself, your skills and experience is a key component in any interview but there’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. If asked about your biggest weakness, be honest and objective about it — this will signal your interviewer you are willing to improve on your skill base.