So, you’ve landed an interview for your dream job. Congratulations!
We all know job interviews can be stressful, so we spoke to Victoria Vickers, GEICO’s Employment Branding and Social Media Specialist, for tips on how to score major points—and win that dream job!—in your interview.
Establish an online presence
“The first thing I would say is make sure that you establish an online presence if you don’t already have one, or enhance it if you do,” says Vickers. “At the very least, have a LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up to date.”
Vickers also stresses the importance of looking up your interviewer online before the big day comes. “At the bare minimum, I would definitely review your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. People are impressed when they know you’ve taken the time to find out who they are. When you know something about them, you can relate to them from a real place.”
Prepare ahead of time
“Most interviewers ask a lot of behavioral questions,” says Vickers. “You should really be prepared with a specific example from your experience.”
She advises applicants to look up common behavioral questions online and prepare for them with specific examples from their work history. Doing a mock interview with a friend is great practice. Examples of your work achievements should be clear and concise—you don’t want your interviewer to have to ask for clarification.
Dress for success
No matter what job you’re interviewing for, being well dressed can only help your chances. When choosing a suit to wear, it’s best to stick to basic dark colors. “People can be distracted if you’re too flashy. You don’t want that to take away from what you have to say and your qualifications,” says Vickers.
And even if you’re applying for a new position with your current employer, it’s still vital to show up looking your best. “When you’re interviewing within a company you already work for, you should still wear a suit and dress professionally. If you don’t, you send the message that you feel you’re entitled and you don’t have to make that effort.”
If you’ve done your homework, there’s no reason you shouldn’t feel confident heading into an interview.
“Go into the interview thinking ‘I can help this person’ instead of thinking ‘Will they want me?’” Vickers advises. “If you go into an interview with confidence about what you can contribute and how you can be an addition to someone’s success and an asset to their team, I think that takes your nerves away.”
Listening carefully to what your interviewer says is also a big confidence booster. “It helps calm your nerves because you’re actually hearing what the interviewer has to say,” says Vickers. “If you’re listening, you’ll see that this is just another person you’re talking to.”
When your interview is over, sending a follow-up thank-you is a great idea.
“One of my top tips is to always send a thank-you note or email,” Vickers says. “I would definitely reach out to whomever you interviewed with and express your appreciation for the opportunity and for their consideration. A lot of people don’t do that now, and that’s a big mistake.”
And it’s best to follow up sooner rather than later. “Send a follow-up thank-you as soon as possible—either by the end of the day, or definitely the next day,” says Vickers. That kind of energy and enthusiasm can go a long way to earning you winning points toward the job you want.
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