When you’re finally up for your dream job, you want to do more than showcase your skills and personality – you want to do everything you can to stand out from the competition. Here are a few tips to make a memorable first impression in your interview:
Most candidates prepare for one-sided questioning, but interviews are a two-way street. You can easily demonstrate interest in the company and the role by asking a few simple questions, such as, “What projects is the team currently working on?” and, “What would an average day look like for someone in this position?” Asking questions about the job and responsibilities signals interest and curiosity – a small move that many candidates forget to make. Consider asking the hiring manager about their own background and experience at the company, as well as thoughtful, specific questions about the role and skills required.
Keep your questions related to the job, the role, or the company. If you get an offer later, you can ask human resources about benefits such as health, dental, and life insurance. Getting an in-depth explanation of these benefits at the offer stage can help you understand how they’ll work with your existing policies, such as your spouse’s health insurance or your existing whole life insurance policy.
Learn about the company beforehand
Browsing the company’s website is a good first step, but you can do more to learn about the company’s mission and trajectory. Check out their social media accounts and look for recent news stories. Mentioning a company update or a new product launch in your interview shows the hiring manager that you’ve done your homework. Researching the company can also help you come up with thoughtful questions to ask during your interview.
Prepare examples of past work
Designers usually bring along a portfolio that highlights their best work and provides examples of projects they’ve worked on. This isn’t limited to creative fields – being ready with examples of successful projects can give the interviewer a better idea of your experience and make you a stronger candidate. Consider coming to the interview with samples of your work, success stories, and numbers that clearly show the impact of the major tasks or projects you worked on. If it makes sense to create an online portfolio of past projects, do so and send the interviewer a link afterward.
Work on non-verbal communication
Body language can help communicate confidence in an interview. Scheduling a mock interview with a friend, mentor, or career coach may help you master the right body language and catch any issues beforehand. Interviewers may not be completely focused on your body language, but they’ll pick up on it. For example, fidgeting or hand-wringing can easily give your nervousness away. If your interview will be over a video call, be aware of your posture, focus on the camera, and be mindful of your facial expressions.