Successfully completing an interview isn’t an easy task. It takes time and preparation to present yourself as the most desirable candidate. It’s not enough just to craft a resume and cover letter that grants you an interview. After all, it’s the ensuing interview process that truly helps hiring managers and recruiters determine whether or not you are the right fit. So, how exactly can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? Here are 5 keys to a successful interview.

1. Conduct Thorough Research on the Position and the Company

A successful job interview begins with a solid foundation. It’s important to understand the company’s expectations, the requirements of the job, and the background of the interviewer(s). All it takes is a quick trip to Google. Carefully read the company’s website and review the job description to gain insight into how your skills and experience will benefit the employer. Once you have several points written down, think about ways that you communicate and convey your value during the interview.

2. Practice Before the Interview

There’s nothing worse than being unprepared. That’s why the second key to a successful interview is to prepare responses to common – and sometimes unusual – interview questions. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential interview questions, you can run through a mock interview several times until you feel comfortable and confident. You can have a friend or family member play the role of the employer or use a camera to film yourself answering the questions. Be prepared to talk about your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

3. Dress for Success

Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit. Make sure your interview attire is neat and appropriate. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. When in doubt, dress business professional in a nice suit or dress. First impressions matter and can go a long way to make you stand out from the other candidates.

4. Arrive on Time and with the Right Materials

It’s important to bring a pen, extra copies of your resume, a list of references, a notebook, and anything else that you might need. It’s also crucial that you arrive at least five to ten minutes early. If you’re unfamiliar with the interview location, you can drive there a day before to determine how long it will take you to get there. Make sure you leave a sufficient amount of time to avoid being late.

5. Sell Yourself and Follow-up Afterwards

Remember to maintain eye contact and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Stay positive by highlighting the lessons you’ve learned and the perspectives you’ve gained. Upon conclusion of the interview, write a hand-written thank-you note or send an email as a nice gesture to thank the interviewer for their time. This is also the opportunity to ask any remaining questions and reiterate your interest in the position.

6. Listen and Ask Questions

Good interviews should be shared conversations not only about your skills and abilities to handle the requirements of the job but about their organization’s culture, challenges, and goals. Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and answer them succinctly.  An answer to a question should take no longer than 2 minutes.  If you feel the need to go longer, check-in with the interviewer and ask if they’d like you to expand.  The last and probably equally important, above all else, is to ask questions.  This is your chance to learn about the opportunity and company.  However, there is a secondary reason for asking questions.  This is simply that it shows intellectual curiosity and it will give you an opportunity to provide insight from your experience.

Professional Consulting and Recruitment

These tips are sure to provide an instant boost in your next interview. Quovis Inc. is a professional search firm, dedicated to building business teams with bright, productive professionals. From recruiting to consulting, our principals Brian and Dan continue to deliver exceptional talent and services while giving clients, candidates, and employees the utmost respect and support. Contact us today!