By Maddison Tassinari

Interviewing for a job can be nerve wracking, especially if you have never been interviewed and are unsure of what to expect. However, with an understanding of what to expect and the right preparation, you can astound employers with your inquiry, sharpness, and curiousness. With today’s highly competitive job market, these three steps can be used to separate yourself from all other candidates.

The first thing you must absolutely must do when hearing back from a job is immediately get on your computer and start doing your Research. In the article 10 Best Job Interview Tips for Jobseekers, entrepreneur Randall S. Hansen says, “Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the jobseeker’s part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you”. If you want a company to hire you, you want them to be impressed with your knowledge of their company and more specifically, the position and field you would be working in if hired. Cynthia Shapiro, a Woodland Hills career expert is quoted in the article Research a Company Before the Job Interview saying, “Go on LinkedIn and see if you are connected to anyone who has worked or currently works at the company, and if you are call them beforehand and ask some questions. When you’re at the interview, and it’s appropriate, you can say ‘I’m actually connected to so and so who works in marketing through a friend.’” The business world is all about knowing the right person, if you simply have a connection to someone or are even just an acquaintance, it can put you so much further ahead in both knowing someone and your background on the company.

Making a good First Impression is very important when being interviewed. This all stems from arriving early, According to a Business Insider report, Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert and spokesperson for TopResume says “I usually recommend candidates show up at least 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment, You want a few minutes to check in with the receptionist, use the restroom if necessary, and to acclimate yourself with the office.” If you are arriving too last minute it will show through your body language and could even make the person interviewing you feel rushed. But, it is important to note that believe it or not, being too early can actually hurt your chances of receiving the job, in another report by Business Insider, Stephanie Fogle, director of talent tells us, “There is a fine line between showing interest and looking desperate, and you don’t want to send the wrong message.” If you happen to be early to an interview, walk across the street and grab a cup of coffee or a quick snack. With first impression also comes physical appearance, in the article What Is the Importance of Appearance on a Job Interview? by Neil Kokemuller, he addresses the issue of appearance by saying, “Hiring managers form first impressions about you in a matter of seconds. Your dress, grooming, facial expression, the way you enter the room and your handshake all contribute to this impression. The first impression can affect an interviewer’s attitude toward you throughout the evaluation process. If he feels positive toward you upon first look, he likely will listen with a higher expectation of your abilities.”

Make sure to Ask Questions, Questions are so important, it not only shows the interviewer your interest in the company but it also helps you get any additional information you may need, In the article, The Importance of Asking Questions, during an interview, the author mentions that, “Asking questions during an interview is an essential part of landing a job –in fact it is often what sets you apart from all the other candidates… More often than not, this is the part of the interview that really allows the employer to know what kind of person you are and what they can expect from you.”  He also mentions that questions such as, “What would you like to see this position develop into several years from now?” or “Where would you like the company to be in 5 years?” are a great way to find out what the employer wants and needs from someone like you. These type of questions allow for you to find out what their future goals as a company are and for you to market yourself as someone who is career driven and ready to help them meet their goals with your expertise.

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