How to Nail Your Next Interview

How to Nail Your Next Interview

Job interviews can be scary. The pressure is on to make a good impression, as well as to determine whether the position is actually the right fit. Fortunately, a bit of preparation can go a long way toward helping you nail your next telephone or in person interview.


Phone Interview

In some ways, a phone interview can feel more intimidating than an in-person interview. There is no opportunity to look the interviewer in the eye, and no give and take of body language cues. Yet many employers use phone screenings to decide whether to move a candidate on to the next round, so it’s important to get comfortable with this interview method. Here are some tips:


  • Check your equipment: Make sure your phone ringer is turned up, you have a device or pad and pen to take notes, and your resume is easy to access.


  • Check your environment: Clear pets and people out of the room. Place a glass of water near your seat in case your mouth gets dry. Turn off the TV or music and close the door.


  • Smile: It actually changes your tone of voice and projects confidence.


  • Listen closely and speak clearly: Since you won’t have nonverbal cues, miscommunication is always a risk when speaking on the phone. Listen carefully to what is asked, take a moment to compose your thoughts, and clearly enunciate your words.


In person Interview

An in-person interview brings its own set of potential pitfalls. Nervousness often comes out as fidgeting, finger tapping, pen chewing, or other habits that could turn off a potential employer. Fortunately, being prepared can help reduce nerves and let your best self shine through.

  • Dress appropriately: Do some research in advance to see how employees in your prospective job dress. Help the employer envision you as part of the team.


  • Arrive early: Not so early that that you’re in the way, but allow a few minutes to use the restroom, get some water, or just sit quietly and mentally prepare yourself.


  • Shake hands firmly: A strong handshake projects assertiveness and confidence, two excellent qualities in any employee.


  • Use strong body language: Sit up straight, keep your hands and feet still, and lean in slightly toward your interviewer.


All Interviews

  • Be respectful: Address the interviewer as Mr. or Ms. Last Name unless invited to do otherwise. Follow your interviewer’s lead in making opening small talk and switching into formal “interview mode.” Keep your answers short and on point.


  • Find ways to engage: Make a human connection. Whether you’re both Bulls fans or you attended the same high school, try to find a commonality that can help you bond.


  • Be enthusiastic: Your interviewer wants to hire someone who genuinely wants to be there. Do your research, ask relevant questions about the company, and state that you want the job.


  • Don’t ghost a potential employer: With many career choices available to job seekers, you may not be interested in a position discussed with you. It’s always best to be honest and up front with potential employers. You never want to burn bridges in your industry.


Job interviews can be intimidating, but with a bit of preparation, you can nail your next interview. Take a deep breath, focus on making a connection, and show your enthusiasm for the position.


If you’re look for a temporary or permanent light industrial position in the Chicagoland area, Alternative Staffing can help. Contact us today or call your local Alternative Staffing office to learn how we can guide you through the entire process, from initial contact to onboarding.