How to Move Past the Interview Stage

After much hard work and consultation with experts, job interviewyou have produced a resume that catches the eye of the most seasoned HR recruiters, guaranteed to propel you to the head of the list of candidates. Now, you have secured the all-important job interview. And you are no longer just words on paper, the recruiter will be scrutinizing you—your words, body language, appearance, and other signs that will help them judge whether you are a good fit for the position. How can you make this interview the beginning of a successful application and not the end of the road? Here are a few tips on how to use the interview to make a good first impression on the HR staff so that you land the job.

1. Show Up Prepared:

The interview is your first opportunity to demonstrate your intelligence and suitability for the position, so do background research on the company, including such aspects as corporate philosophy, structure, product or service delivery, marketing methodologies, corporate identity in the marketplace, etc. Make sure you understand the requirements of the position for which you are interviewing and are prepared to discuss how your unique experience fits within the corporate structure, mission, philosophy and fulfillment of the duties of the position. Practice beforehand how you will present yourself. You want to be comfortable, with a free flow of words. This is especially true of those much hated questions, such as “where do you see yourself in 10 years,” “what makes you think you are an appropriate person to join the staff team,” and so forth. Come with your own questions about the position or the company, to demonstrate that you are serious about the role. Practice the interview with family or friends, or in front of a mirror. Make sure you can discuss all the details from your resume that the recruiter might ask you about, and most of all, be honest.

2. Dress Appropriately:

In spite of ‘casual Fridays’ and other traditions that many corporations have adopted to create a spirit of camaraderie among staff, be sure to dress professionally for your job interview. First impressions are lasting impressions, and one thing that affects them is a person’s attire. In fact many false impressions can result from judging a person by the clothes, but nevertheless it is a fact of life so do not show up for your interview dressed like you are on your way to the beach! Men should wear a suit and women a dress or suit. Make sure your shoes are clean and keep your hairstyle modest.

3. Pay Attention to Your Speech Patterns:

In our casual interactions many of us fall into habits of using language poorly. Be sure to speak intelligently and succinctly in your interview, forgoing slang and inserting pause-fillers such as “like” between sentences.

4. End on a Positive Note:

End the interview with an expression of appreciation for the time spent on it by your interviewers, reiterate your interest in the position, be confident, smile and tell the interviewer that you look forward to seeing him or her again. Begin and end the interview with a firm handshake and a friendly countenance. And don’t forget to follow-up with a thank you note.