You probably spent lots of time crafting your resume and writing the perfect cover letter. You looked through a million job ads to find the right ones and then spent hours applying. Finally, you received a call back, and next week you’re on your way to an in-person (or Zoom) interview. Congratulations!
But before you get too excited, keep in mind that the key to success is preparation. Read on for several helpful interview tips. Tailored specifically for women like you, they’ll help you impress the interviewer and land your dream job.
Dress for the Role You Want
An easy place to start is by selecting an interview outfit that is professional and polished. Check into the company culture before your interview so you can appropriately match your attire; however, whenever in doubt, go more formal than casual (like a business suit or, at a minimum, a jacket). Avoid flashy accessories, tight or revealing clothing, and – because of the potential for allergies – perfume.
Speak and Act Confidently
Women are frequently taught to downplay their accomplishments. Forget this! Instead, discuss your achievements, skills, and strengths with confidence. It’s fine to mention your team but focus on your personal contributions. And speak with a strong tone of voice; don’t sound shaky or timid. If you typically struggle to convey this type of confidence, practice beforehand with a friend so that it comes naturally during the interview.
Control Your Body Language
Beyond your words and tone of voice, it’s important to be aware of your non-verbal tendencies. For instance, don’t fidget or slump down in your chair during the interview. Instead, maintain good posture and eye contact (two to three seconds before looking away). Extend your hand for a firm handshake upon meeting in person, and act interested when the interviewer speaks by leaning slightly forward and occasionally smiling and nodding.
Prepare for Certain Questions
A recent study found that females are more apt than males to be asked where they see themselves in five years. This might be the interviewer’s way of trying to figure out if you’re planning to have children or not (without resorting to asking illegal questions). Be ready for this. Assure the interviewer that you are responsible and excited to keep learning so you can progress within the company. Keep the focus on what you have to offer and how committed you will be to the role.
Be a Powerful Negotiator
Finally, when the topic of money comes up, leave yourself room to negotiate for more later. For example, turn a question about salary around on the interviewer by asking what range they’re thinking for the role, respond that you’re in the same ballpark, and indicate you’re confident that together you’ll be able to agree on a fair compensation package down the road. Then after they give you an offer, take a night to think it over before responding. Don’t hesitate to ask for more if the offer doesn’t work for you. Remember, they want you and what you have to offer – use that as leverage to get what you deserve!