Finding a job these days is no easy feat. I know someone who graduated college two years ago and still can’t find a full-time gig. This person isn’t the only one, either. There are so many recent college graduates—and even some not-so-recent graduates—battling it out to get a job.
Everyone has been through it—we go through interview after interview, think we do a good job, but weeks later, no job offer. What gives?
Maybe you didn’t have enough experience for the position. Maybe you got nervous in the interview and your mind went blank. There could be many, many reasons. Sit down and try to evaluate your past interviews. Write notes and look for a pattern. Find the root of your interviewing struggles and work on them.
Here are a few tips to get you back on your feet and succeed at your next job interview:
Practice a Whole Interview
Grab some a friend or a professional mentor and practice going through some interview questions. The saying is true—practice does make perfect—so make a list of some common interview questions and go through them. You’ll be much more relaxed when you have answers ready. It’ll also show whomever you’re interviewing with that you came prepared.
Tell the Truth
You may be saying one thing during your interview, but your interviewer may be hearing something completely different from someone else. Everything you tell an employer can be easily verified, so it would be wise of you to be honest from the get-go. If you're concerned about something in your past, invention is not the answer.
Keep Your Body and Language in Check
Mumbling and saying “umm” and “like” are some of the worst things to do during an interview. Sadly, people say them all the time, and most of the time without even thinking. Try to remain calm so you can always be aware of what you’re saying and how you’re positioning your body.
Make Yourself Memorable
Employers interview many candidates for any given position. They want someone who stands out from the crowd. Do you stand out? Remember, interviews are a chance for you to tell a story with your accomplishments. Employers don’t want to hear single-word answers from you. Interesting stories create emotions and get people connected. Your accomplishments and experience always have a story behind them. Stories are an instant differentiator. Find a couple that are uniquely yours, then use them.
Clean Up Your Online Presence
Online searches are the newest way that many employers are checking up on prospective hires. Don’t make employers dismiss you because of what they find online. Make sure to remove any photos and content that can work against you in an employer's eyes—that means no more drunk pictures, please. Continuously knowing what’s out there about you is key to keeping a positive presence.
How would you prepare for a successful interview?
Greg Coyle is the co-founder and Director of Product Development at MyWebCareer. For the past year, Greg and his co-founders at MyWebCareer have been working on developing online tools for career professionals that enable you to discover, evaluate, and monitor your professional online brand. You can visit the beta at www.mywebcareer.com.