Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Career Insights | 0 questions

Whether you’re struggling with unemployment or simply looking for your next step up the ladder, searching for a new job is a major undertaking.

If you suffer from pre-interview nerves, the task becomes even more daunting. Battle common mistakes and make a lasting impression that interviewers will love with these top tips for landing that job.

Practice a Sales Pitch About Yourself

The main purpose of a job interview is to sell yourself. You wouldn’t walk into a trade show without a well-rehearsed sales pitch about your product, so why should you approach your job interview any differently?

You’re there to convince the hiring manager that you’re a valuable commodity worth spending money on. Practice your sales pitch several times before the interview, highlighting your strong points and summarizing your most important features. Make your pitch powerful but concise.

Sell Your Skills with Examples

The best way to sell your skills is with specific examples. If you have a knack for storytelling, this is a great place to indulge it. Prepare a few short stories about how you’ve used your skills successfully.

Instead of saying that you have extensive experience with social media marketing, tell your potential employer how you scored millions of followers for your last company’s Facebook page in record time. Statistics are a nice way to supplement your story, but don’t leave out the juicy details about how you got those impressive numbers.

Know the Company Before You Show Up

Forbes identified quick click-and-go job applications as one of the top mistakes that people make when hunting for a job.

Slow down and carefully consider whether a job is right for you before you apply. Consider the company’s location and the type of commute you’ll face. Ask yourself whether the business’s values are in line with your own. Consider the top jobs that lead to substance abuse and cross these off your list if this is a weak area for you.

Before your interview, you should intensify your research into the company. Comb through recent press releases. Devour everything you can about their corporate culture and recent events. Walk in well-informed so you can impress your interviewer by mentioning the latest merger, newest acquisition, or hot industry news.

Demonstrate How You Fill a Need for the Company

Prospective employers don’t want to wait to see a return on their investment in you. Arrive with at least two or three examples of how you’ll bring value to the company immediately. Tailor these to the specific company in question and change them before each interview. Canned examples designed with a one-size-fits-all approach will fall flat.

Get Critique From a Friend

Have a friend practice interviewing you and get some honest feedback. This is a great way to discover whether you say “um” every third word, drum your fingers on the desk, or have another subtle quirk that you probably don’t see in yourself the way an outsider does.

Check Your Body Language

Data from Come Recommended indicated that 55 percent of the impact a person has at their first meeting comes from the way he dresses, acts, and walks through the door. Body language says a lot. Of 2,000 bosses surveyed for the study, 67 percent said that failure to make eye contact was a common nonverbal mistake.

About 38 percent cited the lack of a smile contributed to that bad impression. Square your shoulders, look at your interviewer, and maintain a friendly but professional demeanor.

Dress for Your Next Promotion

It’s far better to arrive at a job interview overdressed than underdressed. Even in a job where you expect to wear business casual attire daily, you should dress more formally for the interview.

Don’t dress for the job you’re interviewing for; dress for your next promotion so your interviewer knows you value the opportunity and take your interview seriously.

With proper preparation, you can arrive at any interview prepped to blow away your potential boss and neatly eliminate the competition. Stay confident and success will follow.