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Refresher: Job Interview Tips After Isolation

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Going into a job interview after 2+ years of working from home can be a nerve-racking experience. After all, working from home means you can sometimes go days without real face-to-face interaction. When that’s the case you tend to lose those interpersonal skills that once came naturally. This refresher course outlines a few job interview tips and tricks to help you get your groove back and nail a job interview. Click here to read a full article in detail about everything you should know or do before an interview to help you be prepared.

Interview Preparation

Company Research

The first and most important thing to do when preparing for an interview is to research the company you have an interview with. Companies like candidates who know what they want from a job and are impressed by someone who has done research before arriving for the interview. Make the effort to investigate the company you are interested in. Due diligence will give you a leg up.

Know Your Best Assets

The second thing that you should do is to know your best assets and be able to explain them and provide clear examples. Create a list of your accomplishments and skills prior to the interview and jot down an example of the asset in real life. Then study your notes. During an interview, your job is to sell yourself and they will ask you questions. If you have already studied you can answer more confidently and make sure you recall the best and most favorable examples of your work ethic. Take “thinking on the fly” out of the equation.

Practice with Someone

Next, practice. Ask a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend to interview you and ask them for honest feedback. Asking someone close to you to help is a great way to ensure you are nervous and that the feedback is honest. Make sure you include hard, but standard interview questions. Check out the 30 Top Interview Questions To Prepare For (With Answers) from Indeed. You will benefit and gain confidence from the practice.

The Day of the Interview

The day has finally arrived and after all the research, preparation and practice, you think that you are ready. The most important thing today is to be yourself and be personable. Before heading to the interview there are two things that you should keep in mind. The first is what to wear and the second is to make a good first impression.

What to wear

The most important thing is to strike a balance. You don’t want to overdress or dress up more than the interviewer. Your company research done prior should help you get a feel for the company culture. Try to match it. Check the company’s website for pictures of employees to get an idea of the overall dress code. While wearing a suit is nearly always appropriate in a corporate setting, sometimes it doesn’t make sense for the organization. If you do decide to dress down, make sure you are well-groomed. Whatever you choose to wear, it should be clean, ironed, coordinated, and appropriate. You always want to err on the side of overdressed to send the message that you respect your audience.

First Impression

Potential employers are looking for a candidate who is confident, assertive, and friendly. The interview is the perfect opportunity for them to see if you are a good fit for the company. Some quick tips to follow to ensure that you are making the best first impression you can are as follows:

  • Look the person in the eye and ask if they are okay with shaking hands. It’s clear that the pandemic put handshakes on the rocks.
  • If they say yes, make sure your handshake is firm.
  • If they say no, brush it off like it’s no big deal and say something affirming like “Probably best.”
  • Smile and say some kind of greeting, such as: “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
  • Try to make some small talk. Comment on their office or make a genuine observation that they can relate to. Ultimately, it’s an icebreaker that is used to find some common ground. Obviously, avoid sensitive topics and jokes.
  • Be courteous to everyone you meet on the way in and on the way out. Remember, they will most likely have a say too.

Interview Statistics To Keep In Mind

As people begin their search for a new job, keep in mind these interview statistics that are bound to make the interview process a little easier. (source)

  • 76% of resume rejections are due to unprofessional email addresses.
  • 80% of the job offers are not posted online.
  • On average, 118 people apply for a single job, and 20% are selected for an interview. So, next time you’re wondering how many applicants get interviews, know that it’s only 1 in 7. 
  • 91% of employers prefer their candidates to have work experience.
  • Job interviews last between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
  • The average number of interview processes is about 21 to 23 days.
  • 47% of the candidates failed the job interview because they didn’t have enough information about the company they applied to.
  • 85% of people lie on their resumes. Interviewers are good at uncovering discrepancies so don’t do it.
  • You only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression

Having to go back to the workplace for job interviews isn’t an easy task. Keeping these small tips in mind may help ease the nerves and give you more confidence. Keep watching our website for more tips and check out October: Quick Access to Urgently Hiring Positions and Companies In Reno-Sparks, Nevada to see what companies are currently looking for employees.

Work Live Play Reno Tahoe is a community-wide initiative powered by EDAWN to recruit skilled workers with all levels of expertise to join the Northern Nevada workforce. Get started by submitting your resume, browse hiring companies, and connect directly with Lindsey, our Community Liaison who will help lead your quest for employment. Working Remotely? Check out our extensive list of Remote Worker Resources. Students can also participate! Visit our new Student Portal to start making connections for your future.

Source: My Future. “Job Interview Tips: My Future: Preparing for Your Interview.” Interview Tips, My Future, 2022, https://myfuture.com/career/job-interview-tips.

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