It’s job hunting season. That means lots of applying, filling out work histories, and hopefully lots of interviews!  This can easily be the most daunting part of the entire job-hunting process.  Don’t worry – we have you covered with some important job interview tips.

  1. Look Your Best

There are so many subtle and unconscious factors that play into any interaction, especially a job interview. An employer only has a short time to gauge what kind of employee you would make, whether you are qualified for a position, how professional and competent you are, and how you might fit into the culture of their workplace.  That’s why it’s so important to present your best self, going into an interview.

This means several things, not the least of which is dressing professionally.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to default to always wearing a suit in job interview situations, regardless of the dress code of the business.  In a relaxed work environment, a suit communicates that you still take your interviewer, and the company’s time seriously, and you’re willing to go above and beyond expectations.  In a more formal office situation, a suit is outright expected, and anything less will likely have a significant impact on your prospects.

  1. Look Your Best – Part 2

Looking your best also means how your body language communicates. Many unconscious cues can indicate to an interviewer that maybe you’re not excited for this opportunity, or you don’t work well with others, or maybe you just wouldn’t add to the personality of the office.  So be aware of how you carry yourself.  Be confident in your eye contact.  Speak clearly and avoid mumbling.  Smile when appropriate, and always indicate that you’re listening.  This may sound like a lot to remember, so maybe the best way to sum it all up is that you want to look comfortable, confident, and competent.  Body language can go a long way in communicating in an interview, whether or not anyone involved even realizes it!

  1. Reframe Past Experience for the Job at Hand

Maybe you’re applying for your first desk job after a career in warehouses or on your feet all day, or maybe vice-versa! Or you’re making a major career change between fields without much crossover.  If that’s the case, it can be easy to feel like your past experience doesn’t really translate to this new position.  But you would be surprised how effective reframing can be, and how important it is to customize your experiences and history for the job you want!

Maybe you learned how to operate specialized equipment, software, or specific processes for your previous job. Just because your new potential position doesn’t involve operating a forklift, running an inventory management system, or knowing the ends and outs of a very particular model of a copy machine, doesn’t mean those skills are useless in this new setting.  All of those skills can be reframed as “ability to learn and adapt to different environments”, or “diligence in becoming familiar with all aspects of the job”, or “strong problem-solving skills”.

  1. Do Your Research

Interviewers don’t simply want to know your abilities, accomplishments, and qualifications. They are looking for ways that you can add value to their company.  A company hires employees to fulfill its own needs and requirements.  That’s why it can be highly beneficial to familiarize yourself with the company before walking into an interview.  Knowing what that company does, who is in management positions, what their audience is, are all going to serve you greatly when it comes to answering questions about what you can bring to the table.  You can tailor (or reframe) your answers to specifically suit what the company is looking for, and offer more relevant information.

  1. Ask INTELLIGENT Questions

This point ties back to doing your research. The questions that you ask in a job interview can be just as crucial to your chances as the answers you give. That does not mean asking about pay, benefits, or vacation time.  Often, interviews are a multi-step process, and unless the interviewer brings those things up first, they are best left for further down the line in the process.

Asking specific questions about what your role would look like, or what an employer is looking for in an employee are the kinds of questions that can engage an interviewer and will stick out in their mind when the time to make a decision comes.

Nailing the job interview process takes time, research, and determination.  The more work you put into your interviews, the more success you’ll see in attaining a job offer, especially if you keep these interview tips in mind! View Affiliated Bank Careers