In today’s job market, things have changed quite a bit when it comes to how people get hired. HR are using some pretty slick techniques to size up candidates. It’s not unusual for job seekers to face a couple of rounds of interviews, even if they’re going for entry-level or fresh-out-of-school roles. Yet, the time they get to impress the interviewers is super short – we’re talking just 20-30 minutes.

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. Messing up the basics of interview etiquette is a surefire way to tank your chances. You know those simple things we learn along the way in life, like dressing appropriately and looking sharp? Well, they matter big time in interviews. Rolling up in the wrong outfit or looking like you just rolled out of bed can send a message that you’re not on top of important things – like having a solid and up-to-date resume. And that can set you on a path to a bad first impression that’s tough to shake.

To-do’s before the Interview

Sadly, lots of specialists get the boot early in the game because they don’t sweat the small stuff that can actually make a good impression on the person across the table. So, when you’re going for an HR interview, here are a few things you ought to keep in mind.

Ensure it looks professional 

Before submitting a resume, make sure it’s updated. If any additional information is required for the position, add it to your CV as well. Professional, up-to-date, and relevant resume will make a great first impression, contributing to an effective interview process.

Wear neutral clothes 

You know how they say first impressions are a big deal? Well, it’s true. Once people get an initial read on you, it’s not easy to flip the script if it’s a negative one. So, when it comes to interviews, playing it safe with neutral colors is a smart move.

Do your homework

Before you walk into that interview room, it’s a good idea to do a little homework. If you know where the interview’s going down and who’s gonna be grilling you, take advantage of the internet and gather some intel. You can find out about the company or institution and dig up info about the person who’s gonna be on the other side of the table. It’s like having a sneak peek into what you’re walking into.

Get there early

Being ready to meet at least 15 minutes before the interview will give you the opportunity to rest before the interview, distract from daily stresses, and stock up on positive energy before the interview.

To-Do’s During the Interview

During the first conversation with the interviewer, slightly smiling and looking directly into the interviewer’s eyes will create the impression of a “confident person” in the interviewer.

Stay respectful 

When you step into that interview room, make sure your mobile phone isn’t going to be the star of the show. The golden rule is: switch it off or pop it on “silent” mode. That way, you won’t be that person fumbling to silence a catchy tune or ducking out for a chat with Aunt Sally. Keeping things on the hush-hush shows you’re tuned in and ready to give the interview your full attention. It’s a small thing, but it can make a big difference.

Ask for a hint 

In most job interviews, you’re looking at a casual, free-flowing chat rather than a formal Q&A session. That means you gotta be sharp and to the point when you’re talking about yourself. When you kick things off, ask the interviewer about how long they usually spend in these conversations. That way, you’re both on the same page. It helps you manage your time wisely and keeps the convo from feeling rushed. And hey, if needed, don’t hesitate to nudge the pace if things are zipping along too fast. It’s all about finding that sweet spot!

Use simple language

During the interview, pay attention to the style of speech and tone of voice. Your speech should be clear, understandable, consistent, and encouraging, free from jargon. Do not speak too slowly or too quickly. When describing work experience in initial interviews, do not use abbreviations and technical jargon. In addition, try to stay away from making “um, uh,” sounds which we often use in everyday life. 

Be transparent 

During the interview, use an honest, sincere, consistent, polite, and institutional style. Also, be careful not to interrupt the person you’re talking to. Stay honest during the conversation. 

Use body language

Your body language is like a secret language, and it’s speaking volumes whether you realize it or not. So, check this out: sit up straight and lock eyes with the person you’re talking to, but don’t make it creepy, just a friendly gaze. It shows you’re confident and attentive. Now, if those nerves are acting up, here’s a little trick – grab a pen. Not like you’re gonna battle someone with it, but just to give your hands something to do. It can help keep those jitters in check and keep your gestures from going all over the place.

Stay clear

When you’re in an interview, one key thing is to give the right information to size you up accurately. Going off on tangents or spilling the beans on super-secret company stuff can really throw things off track. So, stay on target! Keep your answers clear and focused on what matters – your skills, your goals, and what you bring to the table.

Now, about the money talk, you might be open to negotiation, and that’s cool. But stay upfront and clear about your financial expectations. It helps keep things straightforward and makes life easier for everyone involved. 

Don’t be shy

At the end of the interview, interviewers usually ask the candidate if they have any questions. In this case, there is no need to be shy. You can ask everything that comes to mind both in terms of the hiring process and the role itself. After the interview, you can send a follow up if it’s not too intrusive, and make it clear that you’re interested.

Wrapping Up

Here’s the bottom line: your job offer hinges on how you handle those interview questions. It’s not just about luck; it’s about how well you prepare and present yourself. When you’re well-prepped, you not only increase your chances of landing the gig but also save yourself from unnecessary stress and anxiety. Good luck out there!

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