For transitioning employees, landing an interview can be a cause for celebration but not relaxation. Being overconfident or under-prepared can lead to a less than stellar interview. Taking the time and making the effort to prepare for an interview and then following up afterward can make the difference between landing a job and continuing to look for one. Here are three tips to help get you ready for your next interview:

1. Prepare to win

Know yourself and the company inside and out, and craft a marketing message for how to sell yourself to an employer. Not only should you be well versed in your resume, but you should be able to give a concise answer as to why you are seeking that specific job. Remember the buzzwords within the job description and naturally slide them into your responses. Finally, you need to conduct thorough research on the company as well as the position that you are seeking.

Be aware of current events happening within the company as well as within the industry. Having important and insightful questions ready shows the employer that you are truly interested in building a career with this company and not just looking for a job to pay the bills.

2. Maintain confidence

No matter how much you prepare, you will most likely face an interview question you don’t know how to answer. Whether the interviewer asks about your biggest weakness or why you were let go from a previous position, tough questions can throw even the most talented interviewer for a loop. Staying calm and confident is the way over this hurdle. Even if you aren’t able to give the best answer, staying confident will show the employer that you can handle any tricky situation you face.

Be wary of rambling on and fidgeting in your chair. These behaviors can show a lack of confidence. Make sure you have prepared succinct answers or key messages beforehand and try your best to sit still. If you have prepared thoroughly, you have nothing to be nervous about in the interview itself.

3. Follow up

The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Following up with the interviewer via email, phone call or hand-written note shows the employers your continued interest in the position.  This crucial part of the interview process is often ignored. Employers will not make offers to people who don’t show enthusiasm to work for them. The goal is to leave the employer with no doubt as to how much you want the job, why you want it, and why you’d be the best candidate for the position.

Interviewers are not the only people you should reach out to after your interview. Be sure to follow up with and thank any contacts who referred you to the company. Also, if you met another employee in your interview, be sure to follow up with them. This shows continued interest in the position as well as devotion to the company.

RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement services, offers various services through its Transition Concierge. With resources like one-on-one coaching and mock interviews, RiseSmart helps workers prepare to ace their interview and land their dream job.

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