Making it to the interview stage of a job application is an exciting time, but it’s also something you need to plan ahead for. Do you wear a suit, a formal dress shirt or opt for a more casual look? How much research do you need to do? In this post, we’ll discuss a few ways to make you the most appealing candidate.
Although the internet has become a crucial part of the modern business world and has even changed the way many companies recruit and hire employees, the interview process is a tried-and-tested way for businesses to find someone who suits their needs and company goals.
So what can you do to make sure that you’re the interviewee who stands out from the crowd?
1. Always do your research
Not doing any company research before an interview demonstrates that you haven’t come prepared. This not only reflects an unwillingness to go the extra mile, but you’ll also miss out on an opportunity to show an employer that you possess the ability to carry out industry-based research.
Interviewers expect you to know a little bit about their company, but you’ll really catch them off guard (in a good way) if you take the time to research their competitors. Competitor research is vital to success in the business world, so adopting this mindset before you even get the job is bound to turn a few heads.
2. Take some time to check out their products or services
Employers love it when they interview candidates who take the time to poke around their website and familiarize themselves with the products or services on offer. While, first and foremost, this is beneficial because it gives you a better idea about the company, you’ll also find that it will be a fantastic way of facilitating in-depth, free-flowing conversations.
This, in turn, will allow you to charm them with a bit of personality and humor, and may even help you develop a bond with like-minded interviewers. Although your qualifications and experience are key in influencing their final decision, many interviews have been successful or unsuccessful due to the quality of the conversation.
3. Wear the appropriate attire
In times gone by, the go-to attire for an interview or anything business-related was a suit for men and an equally-as-smart equivalent for women. However, the rise of small businesses and startups has altered the fabric (pun intended) of the modern business world, including the clothes people wear to work.
Following some research into the company, check out their website to see what their employees wear. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll be expected to wear to work and, therefore, what would be the best choice for your interview. While a suit is appropriate for certain jobs, in most cases, you’ll find that a smart-casual approach is perfectly acceptable — and more in line with the company culture.
For men, a pair of chinos paired with a formal dress shirt is the perfect combination for everyday work clothing. For women, a smart skirt or trousers, a dress shirt and minimal jewelry are ideal for a wide range of business types.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When preparing for an interview, it's a good idea to absorb as much information as possible. Doing so will allow you to demonstrate a greater understanding of your chosen industry and the role you’re applying for. With that said, there will always be specific aspects of the job or company that you’ll be unaware of.
And it just so happens that an interview is an ideal time to pick the brains of some experts, enhance your knowledge and exhibit a willingness to learn. The latter is especially appealing to employers, as it not only shows that you’re motivated to be successful but also that you’re not afraid to admit when you don’t know something and are prepared to ask for help. A combination of modesty and confidence will go a long way in the business world!