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Job interviews are a nerve-wracking experience for any job seeker, and the pressure to get that job can be overwhelming. Knowing how to ace a job interview without selling yourself can be the key to success. It can be hard to figure out what to do and say in an interview to make the best first impression. However, there are certain strategies and tips to follow that can make all the difference.  

By taking the time to research the company, know the job requirements, and practice common interview questions, you can make sure you’re prepared for the big day. There are also some key elements to remember, including how to answer questions, body language, and presentation. With the right preparation and mindset, you can ace any job interview without selling yourself. 

What to do before the interview 

Before you even walk into the interview room, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Here’s what you can do before the interview to make sure you’re ready.  

Research the company – Before you go to the interview, make sure you’ve researched the company thoroughly. This will help you figure out what they do and what the company culture is like. You can find this information on the company’s website and social media accounts, or on job boards like Indeed or Monster.  

Find the hiring manager’s name – It’s important to know the name of the hiring manager, or the person conducting the interview. This way you can personalize your interview and make yourself stand out from other candidates.  

Know the job requirements – It’s important to know the job requirements before the interview. This will help you tailor your answers to the common interview questions and show that you’re prepared. 

How to dress for the interview 

While this may seem like a trivial detail, the way you dress for the interview can make a big difference in how the hiring manager sees you. It’s important to find a balance between dressing formally and professionally, without overdoing it. The best approach is to dress one level above what others are wearing at the company. That said, there are some general rules to keep in mind when picking out your outfit for the interview.  

  • Find out what type of attire is common in the office – The first thing to do is find out what type of attire is common in the office. You can do this by asking the hiring manager or researching online.  
  • Dress for the job you want – It’s also important to remember that you’re dressing for the job you want, not the job you have now. Meaning don’t wear anything too casual or too formal.  
  • Wear appropriate accessories – Accessories such as ties, scarves, and handbags can make a big difference when it comes to your outfit. Make sure they’re appropriate for your industry, job, and company culture. 

Body language tips for the interview 

As much as our friends in HR would like us to believe that what happens on the inside is all that matters, the truth is that the way you carry yourself during the interview is just as important as what comes out of your mouth. That said, you can use body language to make a great impact and even influence the hiring manager’s opinion of you. Here are some tips to make sure your body language is on point during your next interview.  

Slouching makes you look lazy and uninterested. Remember to always stand up straight, even if you’re sitting at a table.  

Use open gestures. Avoid closed-off gestures like crossed arms. Instead, use open gestures like your hands and arms to emphasize your points.  

Look the hiring manager in the eye. Don’t be shy about looking the hiring manager in the eye. It’s a sign of confidence and shows that you’re engaged in the conversation.  

Keep your hands out of your pockets. No matter how nervous you are, don’t put your hands in your pockets. This makes you look unengaged and bored. 

How to answer questions 

There are a million different questions you can be asked in an interview, so it can be hard to know what to expect.  

Luckily, there are a few common interview questions you can expect to be asked every time.  

  • Why are you leaving your current job? – Be honest, but don’t be critical of your current place of employment. Instead, focus on what you want to get out of the new job.  
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Start with your strengths and then follow with a weakness that isn’t a deal breaker. For example, saying “I work too hard” isn’t a good weakness. What do you know about this company?  
  • It’s important to do your research before the interview and make sure you know the company inside and out. This will help you stand out from other candidates. 

Dos and don’ts of job interviews 

Before you even walk into the interview room, there are certain things you’ll want to make sure you avoid. Here are some dos and don’ts of job interviews.  

  • Do be on time – Being late to the interview shows that you’re unorganized, and it could cost you the job. Make sure you arrive at the interview location at least 10 minutes early.  
  • Don’t badmouth your previous employer – Even if you’re eager to leave your current job, don’t badmouth your old boss and co-workers. It doesn’t come off as confident and may make the hiring manager second-guess hiring you.  
  • Do prepare questions – It’s important to show the hiring manager that you’re interested in the job and want to know more about the position. Ask about the company culture and future goals and ask about the person interviewing you.  
  • Don’t lie – It’s important to remember that you’re under oath when answering interview questions. Don’t fabricate information or lie about previous employment. 

Strategies for staying calm during the interview 

No matter how well you prepare for an interview, it’s almost impossible to eliminate all anxiety. However, there are some strategies you can use to stay calm, even when you’re super nervous. Here are some tips to help you stay calm during the interview.  

  • Breathe – Take a few deep breaths before you walk into the interview room. Not only will this help you stay calm, but it’ll also make you look more confident.  
  • Visualize the interview going well – Visualization helps you mentally prepare for the interview and can reduce anxiety. Picture yourself walking into the interview room, answering all the questions, and walking out with the job.  
  • Ask for water – If you’re feeling nervous, don’t be afraid to ask for a glass of water. It shows the hiring manager that you’re aware of your body and how it’s responding to nervousness. 

How to ask questions during the interview 

At the end of the interview, there’s usually a point when the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions for them. It’s important to have a few questions prepared so you don’t seem unprepared. Here are some questions you can ask during the interview to help you stand out.  

  • What does the next year look like for the company? – This is a great way to get some insider information about the company’s goals and plans.  
  • How do you see this position evolving in the next few years? – This shows that you’re interested in the job and the position you’re applying for.  
  • What do you like best about working here? – This shows that you’ve done your research and aren’t just asking about salary and benefits.