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What to Do to Excel during the Interview?

The more educated and proficient in their field of expertise people become, the more cut-throat gets the competition for a lucrative job in any prosperous company. Different times call for different measures: formerly successful preparation strategies do not yield the same results any more. To demonstrate your professionalism and receive a long-awaited job offer, you need now to deploy totally different tactics and approaches, before the interview, during and after it. We are giving several tips below on what to do before you set foot in the interview room, how to behave while you are talking to your interviewers, and what follow-up actions to take, regardless of the results of your interview. The remaining page is accordingly divided into three sections, where you can find valuable pieces of advice on how to conduct yourself during all these stages of the interviewing process.  


Prior the Interview

Before you enter the interview room, you should make several preparation for your conversation with recruiters. Below is a partial list of what you should do to create a positive self-image during your interview and become chosen for your applied position:

Clean Up Your Social Network Pictures

In the times of everyone’s exposure to electronic spying and in the times of electronic privacy invasion, we need to worry about the construction of our self-image long before we show up for the interview. Our parents were luckier than us: not living under the tyranny of internet, they did not need to worry that their new prospective employers would excavate some unflattering information about them that had been buried deeply in those bygone days when applying for a job had not been even remotely on their minds. We, however, must feel anxious that some uncomplimentary photo that was posted on our social media years ago might belie the achievements highlighted on our résumé. And we are not being irrationally paranoid. Rumor has it that as many as 90% of employers feel motivated to google their potential employees and access their social media profiles. What you display for your friends and family might easily come into the possession of the people who will read your messages out of context, constructing a lopsided or totally wrong image of you that might severely hurt your chances of employment. To prevent the social media channels from negatively affecting your employability, you are advised to remove from them everything that might throw an unfavorable light on you. There are apps that alert you to the images of beer or cigarettes on your photos or obscene expletives in your posts. With their help, you can more tightly control how you look in the eyes of the beholder and influence your recruiters’ hiring decision not by your old photos but rather by your smart answers to their interview questions.

Go Over Your Résumé

It is also a good idea to go over your résumé before you arrive for your interview. You surely know your biography even without a prompt from your documents. Yet still, think of the most important milestones in your career so that you do not miss any of them, when you are answering the interview question about yourself. If you are tense during your interview, you may forget in your nervousness some details from your working experience. Scanning your résumé before the interview will help you enumerate all landmarks in your career correctly and clearly. Do not also forget to bring a printed version of your résumé to the interview. Your future employers have certainly scrutinized your documents and have picked you up from the applicant pool because of the information presented in them. But you will always make a better impression on your future employers, if you arrive with your résumé and refer to it during your conversation with them. With your documents at hand, you will always appear to your interviewers organized and professional. From such small detail as bringing your résumé to the interview, your potential employers may draw a conclusion that you will take seriously preparations to meetings and presentations, when you are hired.  


During the Interview

The main challenge during your interview is not to be so nervous that you become tongue-tight. Most of the people will look at your agitation sympathetically and will try to take the edge off it by talking to you informally or telling you about the company or themselves. A small degree of nervousness may be not only understandable but also admirable, since it shows you as a genuine person possessing humility. But if you do not manage to muster your anxiety and do not give intelligent answers to recruiters’ questions, you will create a wrong impression about yourself and will fail the interview. You will come across as a person who simply cannot deal with stressful situations and will not excel at work that will inevitably demand from employers to remain calm and concentrated under pressure. It is crucial, therefore, to arrive to your interview composed and confident. Know that you can bring needed skills and experience to the table and believe that you deserve to receive a job offer.

JobTestPrep has written useful pages on how to answer all types of interview questions. We have presented you with helpful information about behavioral questions, competency-based questions, and situational questions, explaining to you on separate pages how to answer every kind of questions concisely and impressively. We also explain differences between the STAR and the CAR formats and provide detailed instructions for constructing your responses according to these methods. If you practice with our interview materials, you will know how to answer every interview question, however tricky and difficult it may sound. We have dedicated a page to the questions about your weaknesses and yourself. As open-ended questions, they are the most dreaded by applicants. It is never obvious to what weakness to confess not to undermine your chances of being hired. It is equally unclear how much information about yourself to reveal to maintain recruiters’ interest in your candidacy. We have addressed these problems in detail, equipping you with the tools required to answer both types of questions cleverly and admirably.

There are few more tips on how to conduct yourself during your in-person interview, which are rather commonsensical but should be reiterated nevertheless. 

Arrive On Time - It goes without saying that you should arrive to your interview on time. Employers’ time is expensive and must not be wasted in idle waiting for a job candidate. Being late, you also give employers a reason to think that you are untrustworthy and disorganized. If you see that you are running late, stuck in a traffic or lost in a new environment, call the recruiters up and inform them about your delay. Recruiters will know that you are feeling apologetic and will be more lenient to you, when you finally arrive. It might be equally detrimental to your success to arrive much in advance. Your potential employers might feel uncomfortable, not knowing what to do with you the remaining time, and might become unconsciously predisposed against you during the interview. Arriving ten minutes early is the golden mean that you need to follow. 

Build a Positive Self-Image - During the interview, follow the same golden mean while talking to your potential managers. It is essential to maintain an eye contact with your interlocutors. This signals to them that you are honest and composed. Yet do not ceaselessly fix your eyes on the interviewer sitting in front of you. If your burrow into people’s faces intensely, you will surely make them feel uncomfortable and will turn them against yourself. Equally important for building a positive self-image during your interview is what you do with your hands. If you are not the type of person who gesticulates while talking, keep your hands on the table. Your interviewers should not receive an uneasy impression that you are holding dangerous objects in your hands if they remain hidden. Dressing unflamboyantly also contributes to creating a favorable self-image. Whatever your personal dress style, do not act on your desire to dress up ostentatiously for your upcoming interview. You do not want recruiters’ disagreement with your taste in clothes to influence their final decision to hire you.


After the Interview

No matter how the interview went, express your gratitude for the opportunity that your potential employers had given you. Send them a polite email, where you thank them for their time and consideration of your candidacy. It is always advisable to stay on friendly terms with employers, even when they do not offer you a position. Even if you receive a letter of rejection now, you might be considered for another position opening in the future. By sending a follow-up email, you will only intensify a good impression that you created during the interview and will increase your chances of being contacted again later. You may also connect with your recruiters on LinkedIn to see their job vacancies but ask their permission to do so while you are talking to them face-to-face.   

JobTestPrep invests time and energy into creating the most helpful interview materials together with accurate test simulations. When you practice with our resources, you will hone your skills and improve your knowledge of how to conduct yourself during your interview. Purchase our top-notch interview PrepPack™ and prove to your potential employers that you have all required qualities to perform your job well.