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New Year, New Job: How to Make a Good Interview Impression
How can you make a good interview impression and what is the key to a successful interview? Find the answers and discover your next career at Mondelez Int.
Monday, March 01, 2021
Getting a new job is an exciting yet often nerve-wracking process, especially when it comes to the interview stage. If the thought of an interview keeps you awake at night, wondering what you should wear and how much research you should have done, you are not alone.
When it comes to interview success, preparation is key. The more prepared you feel, the more likely you are to make a good impression that will – hopefully – result in success.
Check out these interview tips so that you feel prepared and ready to impress at your next interview.
Types of interviews
Not all job interviews are the same; often different types of interview are used at different stages of the interview process or for different job levels. Here are three of the most common types:
- Telephone interviews
Companies will often use telephone interviews to whittle down candidates in the first round. The pros are that you don’t need to worry about interview body language or what you’re wearing, however these do test your phone manner, so you’ll need to practice if you’re not that confident.
- Assessment centers
Most common for graduate or entry-level recruitment, assessment centers usually last a full day and include a series of exercises to test your skills. A typical day might include a group exercise, role play, a presentation, a one-to-one interview and psychometric tests. These days can be tiring, but they give you a good opportunity to showcase your full skillset.
- Face-to-face interviews
Face-to-face interviews will either be one-on-one (more common in smaller companies) or with a panel of interviewers (more common in larger companies). These interviews can be intimidating, but they give you a good opportunity to shine and express your true personality.
Research and preparation
The more prepared you are for an interview, the calmer you’ll feel, and the more likely you’ll be to impress your interviewer. Ensure you’ve researched the company and the role ahead of the interview and think about the types of questions you think you’ll be asked. That way, you can prepare certain answers in advance. This is particularly relevant for competency-based interview questions, where you’ll be asked to think of scenarios where you’ve exhibited certain skills or faced certain challenges. The more prepared you are, the less chance there’ll be of your mind going blank.
At the end of the interview, you will usually be asked if you have any questions to ask. Employers will be impressed if you come prepared with some strong and interesting questions that demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
- What to wear to an interview
Deciding what to wear to an interview shouldn’t be a stressful ordeal. The most important thing to remember is that you feel confident, comfortable and completely yourself. It should be the finishing touch that helps you shine.
Make sure to research the office dress code to determine how formal or informal it is; you can do this by looking at the company’s website or social media pages, or by contacting the HR department or your recruiter. For more corporate roles and industries, formal business attire is likely to be the most appropriate. For less formal positions and workplaces, you’ll almost always want to go business casual.
- When to arrive at your interview
For a standard job interview, you should arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview time. This gives you enough time to get to where you need to be, settle yourself and get ready.
When you receive your interview invitation, you should double check to see whether there are any additional procedures you’ll need to carry out before your interview, such as filling in paperwork or signing in at reception, as you’ll need to allow extra time for these.
- What to take to your job interview
Your hiring manager should let you know if you need to bring anything specific to an interview, but as a minimum you should ensure you bring copies of your CV, a notebook and a pen. You may also need to bring a portfolio of work, your own laptop if you’re presenting, identification, and a list of references.
In the interview
You’ve prepared as much as you can, dressed the part, and now you’re about to enter the interview room. First impressions are everything, and body language plays a big part in how you come across to employers. The most important thing is to appear confident and friendly. That means smiling, making eye contact, and maintaining good posture.
You’ll understandably be feeling nervous, but to overcome those nerves, take deep breaths and have a bottle of water to hand. Controlling your breathing will also help you to slow down your speech – as we tend to speed up when we’re nervous. Maintain a positive attitude and try to see the interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation; that shift in perspective will help you to look and feel more confident.
What to do after an interview
After the interview, always send a follow up email thanking your interviewer for their time and expressing your interest in the role. You can also use it as an opportunity to ask any questions you may have forgotten about or only thought up post-interview.
Usually, at the end of an interview, employers will give you clear next steps so that you know when to expect to hear back from them. If they haven’t, you can ask for these in your follow-up email. Once you’ve sent your follow-up email, avoid chasing them until after the date they said you’d hear back by. You can send a gentle nudge if it has been two or more days since they said they’d contact you.
Remember that no interview is a wasted experience, whether you get the job or not. Each one helps you to improve your interview skills and practice your techniques ready for when the next one comes along. Find your next interview opportunity here at Mondelēz.
Taking a leap of faith and applying for that job that will help you reach your potential is nothing to shy away from. Whatever your circumstance, fulfilling your career potential should be a key focus today not tomorrow. Find out how you can plan to achieve your career goals by following this straightforward guide.