5 Tips for Women on Acing Job Interviews
In a highly competitive job market, having great experience and solid skills may not be enough to outshine other candidates. When your dream job is on the line, you want to make sure that you’re prepared to ace your interview.
There are some obvious mistakes that candidates make such as arriving late or not being prepared, but for women, in particular, there are a few important tips you should know before walking into your next interview:
Keep your answers concise: It could be nervous energy or a tendency to be overly chatty, but many women make the mistake of talking too much during their interview. Before the interview, do your research and rehearse answers to common interview questions. Make sure your answers are concise and directly answer the question. During the interview, make sure to watch your interviewer. If they are maintaining eye contact and nodding in acknowledgement, you have their attention. But if their eyes are glazed over or they appear distracted, you may have lost them.
Sell yourself and your accomplishments: Many women tend to be shy about promoting themselves for fear that they’ll be seen as arrogant or overly ambitious. Your interview is not the time to hold back, it’s the time to make yourself stand out from the competition. Make sure to highlight your achievements and talents and tell your interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Use body language to your benefit: Body language is so important for building trust and confidence between you and the interviewer. Particularly during the first few minutes of your interview, you need to make a strong connection through direct eye contact, a firm handshake, and a genuine smile.
During the interview, you want to maintain good posture while leaning slightly forward to show that you are engaged in the discussion. Even if you’re asked tough questions, maintain a confident posture and don’t cross your arms or hunch your shoulders. Throughout the interview, you want to appear engaged, friendly, professional, and confident, and you want to end the interview the same way you came in: with direct eye contact, a broad smile, and a firm handshake.
Choose your clothing and accessories wisely: First impressions make a big impact. One common mistake that many women make is dressing too flashy. You should make conservative choices when picking your outfit, accessories, and makeup. Your interviewer should be left with a lasting impression of your skills and qualifications – not your pink stilettos, oversize necklace, or bright lipstick. If you aren’t able to find out what the dress code is for the company, try staking out the office and watching what employees are wearing.
Prepare great questions to ask: When the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask questions, make sure you have them ready. Asking questions can help emphasize your interest in the job and it can also allow you to assess whether the company is a good fit. For example, if work-life balance is important to you, you may want to ask: “What are the expected working hours and travel requirements for this role?” or “What does a typical work-week look like for the person in this position?” Your opportunity to ask questions can help you better understand the company culture and clarify any points that are important to you.
These five tips will have you well set-up for interview success, but with all the preparation and practice that you’ll be doing, it’s important to remember to be yourself. You landed the interview because the company is interested in finding out more about you. Be yourself, be authentic, and let your personality shine through.