TEN GREAT TIPS TO PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
You’ve got the interview and you’re excited! Great! Now what? Who are you interviewing with? How many people will be involved? How big is the Company? What kind of revenue does the Company produce? How long have they been in business? What’s the position? How will you affect the Company? So many questions…..do you know the answers? Do your homework! Learn as much as you can. Go to their web site. Read….study….get ready. Research the interviewer. Go to Linked In. You’ll impress the interviewer when you mention that your brother went to the same college he did…..or that you once lived in the same town as she did…..or thank them for their service (as mentioned on their Linked In page). It demonstrates that you did your homework….and it’s impressive!
2. TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Your interviewer has your resume. Expect to be questioned on the details. Why are you looking? Why did you leave XYZ Company? What kind of compensation did you make? And then there are the standard questions like “tell me about yourself”. You’ve got to be prepared for these questions with short and succinct answers. Rehearse your answers. Stay on track & don”t wander off on stories that aren’t relevant. It’s so easy to get side-tracked, but remember, the interview is usually scheduled for a certain amount of time. The more you get off track in answering a question, the less opportunity you have to get important details across about yourself and why you’re the best person for the position. Remember, RESEARCH, REVIEW, STUDY, BE PREPARED!
Ever heard of the acronym STAR? Learn it, practice it.
A super way to answer a question!
3. DRESS FOR SUCCESS
You get One Chance at making a first impression. Period! Image is so important. Do you look professional? Here are some things to consider:
- Clothing: Clean? Pressed? Fit?
- Jewelry: Be careful about too much or too gaudy. Keep it Simple.
- Company Culture: Learn in advance what the daily dress is at the company….and upgrade your attire one step.
- Smoker: If you’re a smoker and the interviewer isn’t….might be a turn-off for the interviewer. Think about it. If you want the job, don’t smoke for a couple hours prior to your interview. Same goes with perfume or cologne….it can be too much. Just tone it down for your interview.
- Consider this: Better to be Over-Dressed than Under-dressed!
4. ARRIVE ON TIME
The rule is, Be 15 minutes early. Not 20, the interviewer is busy and will feel rushed. Wait outside if you need to and walk in 15 minutes early.
Bring something to write with and to write on. Ask the interviewer if you can take notes….they will normally say yes, and appreciate the fact that you are. And bring your questions too! Bring a few extra copies of your resume and a reference list to go with your resume.
And oh yea, Shut your Cell Phone OFF! Not on vibrate, but OFF.
5. FIRST IMPRESSION
We touched on appearance….now let’s address people. Your interview really begins the moment you pull onto company property. Ever seen the video where an applicant is pulling into the lot and cuts off the interviewer to get a parking spot? Ugh!! Great first impression!
Greet everyone you see from the parking lot attendant, the receptionist, even someone you might meet in the restroom. Your posture is important; shake hands firmly, but not bone crunching! Smile at people you meet. Have a positive attitude, be enthusiastic.
6. CONFIDENT, CANDID, CONCISE
Remember STAR? Be truthful, be concise, be candid, but please be confident. Frequently people get hired because of chemistry over those who may be better qualified. Make sure you demonstrate how you can fit into the job & the company. And oh yea, Never Bad Mouth your past boss or past Company!
7. BODY LANGUAGE
Posture & Smiling has been mentioned. Eye contact is so important. Don’t fidget during your interview. Not with your phone, a pen, or anything else. Sit forward in your chair….shows confidence and interest. Don’t be too relaxed or act like you’re disinterested or that you’re a shoe-in for the job. Never answer your cell, as previously mentioned….it really shouldn’t even be visible.
8. ASK INSIGHTFUL QUESTIONS
First off, this is mandatory. So many people interview and never get another call because they don’t have any questions. Killer! Ask about the Company, the Position, How you can Impact the organization…..even if you know the answers!
9. SELL YOURSELF….CLOSE THE DEAL
Doesn’t matter what role you’re interviewing for….you’ve got to act like a salesperson for the interview. As previously mentioned, qualifications are important, but frequently the one who best sells themselves, gets the job. In sales, their is an acronym referred to simply as ABC….Always Be Closing! A good sales person does a couple things which apply to the interview….
First, Ask for the Sale. That is, Ask for the Job! State why you’re qualified, the impact you can make, tell the interviewer you’re excited, and ready to go.
Second, what’s next? When you leave the interview, you Must know what the next step in the process is.
10. THANK YOU
Make sure you send a thank you shortly after your interview. Email is quick and certainly considered appropriate. Want to stand out? Email a thanks….recap the meeting, state why you can come into the organization and make an impact, and tell the hiring authority you’re ready to go. And then…..send the interviewer a note in the mail. State the same things. Your thank you note will get to the interviewer a few days after your email. Perfect timing!
Good luck with your interview…..follow a few simple guidelines and you’ll do great!