The only thing scarier than showing up to a job interview is showing up unprepared. You think you know your resume inside and out, but all of a sudden, the interviewer asks a question like “Tell me about yourself” or “What do you think of our work?” The next thing you know, you’re rambling about your golf game or stumbling for words because you’re not sure what, exactly, the company does.
This graphic from Company Folders will help you avoid those embarrassing moments by teaching you what to do before, after, and during your job interview.
Preparing for your job interview
Most of your work actually comes before the interview. You can start by choosing professional attire for your job interview. Make sure it’s modest, well-fitted, and wrinkle free. If you wore an outfit to a backyard barbecue or a rock concert, don’t wear it to your interview.
Your outward appearance helps you make a good first impression, but you can easily ruin it if you don’t know anything about the company. Before the interview, research the company and the role for which you’ve applied. That way you can answer any trick questions and ask some intelligent questions of your own.
You’ll also want to pack the appropriate items: your portfolio, business cards, copies of your resume, a notebook, and a pen. Spend time reading your portfolio to refresh your memory and make sure you can locate samples quickly. The business cards and resumes you can give to the interviewer, while the notebook and pen let you jot down any ideas or questions you have.
During the job interview
It’s easy to get flustered during an interview—especially if the interviewer asks a complicated question—but you can combat this with several tactics.
The first is good body language. Smiles and eye contact present a friendly demeanor. Sitting up straight with your arms and legs uncrossed likewise shows a positive, attentive attitude. Good posture can also be a confidence booster that makes you feel more comfortable and in control of your environment.
You’ll also want to take your time and be honest. If you can’t think of an answer right away, it’s perfectly okay to say you’d like a moment to think. You can even ask for clarification if you’re not sure how to answer. It’s better to be honest and admit you don’t understand a question than to give a faulty answer.
After the job interview
Timely follow-up is key to holding the interviewer’s attention even after you’ve left the room. If you promised more samples of your work, send them within the next twenty-four hours if possible. This shows that you’ll be a prompt and responsible worker if hired.
You’ll also want to thank the interviewer, both on the spot and again later. Thanking them at the end of the job interview lets them know you appreciated their time, while sending a follow-up letter or email expresses your continued interest in the position.
Check out the graphic below and read the source for more helpful interview tips.