We all want to shine in our first interview with a hiring manager for the job of our dreams. All an interview comprises is answering questions about your career and the job at hand. It should be the easiest thing to do, but so many people worry about it to the point where they forget the basics.

The two main things that hiring managers and recruiters look for when interviewing candidates for a job is a) how much they want the job and b) how qualified they are for it. If you don’t feel confident about either of those two, the interview will begin to fall apart slowly. Here are seven simple ways to show the interviewer that you are prepared and are the best candidate for the position.

1. Bring a Hard Copy of your Resume with References

You would not believe how often candidates will show up to an interview without a printed copy of their resume or references. Bringing a correctly formatted, honest resume to an interview not only shows that you are prepared but that you are excited to share your experiences with the interviewer. As a matter of fact, you should have multiple copies with you always. Not having either of those things just makes it seem like you have something to hide or that you are not proud of your achievements. It’s best that you bring your resume in a folder or briefcase; that way, it will not get crinkled, dirty, or lost in transit.

2. Dress for Success

It is a huge red flag for interviewers when the candidate shows up in a casual or sloppy outfit. It shows that you don’t care enough actually to demonstrate your best and presents the wrong message about you as a professional. Even if you have a phone interview at home, dress as if you are actually going for an in-person interview. It will make you feel more confident and professional, even if the interviewer can’t see you.

3. Perfect Your Introduction

An introduction that packs a punch can make a huge difference. Pay close attention to your body language throughout the entire interview.  Reading a book on body language can be of immense help. Ensure that you arrive a bit early in order to find the location, give a solid handshake with eye contact, and say hello to anyone that you come across in the office. Also, make sure that you introduce yourself to the interviewer by stating your name and asking them how they are doing. It’s the easiest way to get the conversation started!

4. Show Your Knowledge

Bringing a notable copy of your resume with you is one thing, but it won’t be as impressive if you don’t have much to say about your past experiences. Studying your resume beforehand and making a list of things you learned about each position is immensely helpful for an interviewer. It not only shows that you were present and mindful about the reach role, but it also shows a clear path of growth throughout your career. Ensure you are humble about the growth that you’ve made and make it clear what you hope to learn in this new position. This will show that you really care about learning and doing well.

5. Share Your Accolades

Don’t be afraid to share with your interviewer what your successes were in each position you’ve held. You need to be able to share and talk in-depth about your accomplishments, even ones that aren’t on your resume. If you were objectively a top performer in your sales job, be sure to mention that. If you won an award in the hospitality industry, make a note of that too. Interviewers may not know about your successes from just reading your resume, so you have to speak about them as well.

6. Demonstrate Your Enthusiasm

One of the biggest concerns for employers these days is retention. They want to know that the person who is interviewing for the position will be able to make a solid commitment to their organization. If they sense your lack of enthusiasm, it may hinder you from acquiring positions. Make sure that when you go on interviews, you express how much you want it and your ability and willingness to stay dedicated to the role and organization. Putting that forward with a smile will showcase to them that you have a positive, optimistic attitude.

7. Don’t Forget to Follow Up

It is important to follow up and ensure that the interviewer remembers you above any other candidates they may have talked to. You need to send a thank you email as soon as possible to show that you are still interested and excited about the new role. It also shows your gratitude for them giving you the opportunity. Be sure to reiterate in your email why you are qualified for the position with a quick summary of your applicable skill set with minor quips from your conversation. That way, the interviewer’s mind goes immediately to you and your interview. Doing this will allow you to stand out and further demonstrate your interest.

Overall, it is just as important to show up for the interview as it is to be involved in the discussion. Don’t just settle for a simple conversation, but instead showcase that you will go above and beyond to prove you are the most qualified person for the position. Doing these seven simple steps will allow you to impress your interviewer and shine above all the rest!

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