Itâ€™s been three productive weeks that have all led up to this point. Weâ€™ve narrowed down what your dream job entails, weâ€™ve mapped out a game plan, weâ€™ve submitted applications, and now, itâ€™s time for you to nail your upcoming interview.
Hereâ€™s what you need to do:
Dress to Impress
It goes without saying that you need to be immaculately dressed and well groomed when stepping into your interview. Contrary to what weâ€™d like to believe, humans typically make quick, sweeping, often lasting judgments on sight.
Though, sometimes, we canâ€™t control how weâ€™re perceived, you want to be sure that youâ€™re putting your best foot forward and that your initial representation is something you can be very proud of. Besides, when you look good, you feel good, and you do good.
Know Who You Are and What You Do
Be prepared to highlight your accomplishments. This sounds simple enough but youâ€™d be surprised how often one exits an interview having neglected to mention their most outstanding attributes. Know exactly what youâ€™ve brought to the table in previous positions including how your unique talents and insight attributed to gains and/or overall improvements in past companies.
Have measurable examples of how your contributions caused an increase in sales, site traffic, and other metrics that may be important to your potential employer.
Also, though interview questions may vary, always know what strengths and weaknesses you possess that may add to the job. Disclosing your weaknesses isnâ€™t a bad thing. In fact, many interviewers find sincerity in candidates that are open to honestly revealing where they may fall short. Try to avoid generic answers like â€śIâ€™m a workaholic,â€ť or â€śmy attention to detail sometimes causes me to stay on a task too long,â€ť as interviewers have heard it all before and can see right through you.
The real finesse comes in sharing a real weakness without it ruining your chances at securing the position. Avoid weaknesses that paint you in an untrustworthy, undedicated, or unqualified light.
After sharing your weakness, also share what youâ€™re doing in order to work on it. Employers love those who seek solutions and are proactive.
Know Your Worth
Be prepared to negotiate the salary you deserve. Do your research beforehand to determine an acceptable ballpark figure, given your market and industry, and work from there. If asked about your desired salary, speak with the assertion and confidence of one who knows they are worth what theyâ€™re asking for, and then some.
Know Why Youâ€™re the Best Candidate for the Job
This is important to know from the time you step into the interview. Confidence and assurance can take you further than you know. You are indeed the best candidate for the job. Let them know exactly why. You may not answer every question thrown at you perfectly, but when you know what youâ€™re doing and that youâ€™re the best to have done it, trust that this will always shine through.
Close Out Ready to Tackle Next Steps
In closing your interview, let the interviewer know how excited you are about the opportunity and that youâ€™re eager to offer whatever is necessary to help inform their decision that the job should be yours. Get contact information from all parties involved in your interview process and be sure to thank them for their consideration. Your goal is to leave a lasting impression that canâ€™t be erased by any other candidate.
Itâ€™s been an impeccable three weeks preparing to land this dream job, now youâ€™re all set to secure the deal.
Be sure to let us know how it turns out.
Safon Floyd is the Digital Editor for Black Enterprise. Follow her @accordingtofon.