Your resume got noticed- that’s great! Now, go the next step and get ready to ace that interview. We have plenty of tips to make sure you stand out from the crowd and make an impression (in a good way).
Research, research and more research: You most likely know what the organization does and why you want to work there, but what else do you know? What awards and achievements have they accomplished lately? Who are their key players? What about knowing who their competition is? An easy Google search should help you find more than enough info about the company, and the hiring manager will be impressed when you drop your new knowledge appropriately in the interview. You will also want to know as much as possible about any management with whom you may be interviewing. Where did they go to college? What is their job history? Do they volunteer or sit on any important boards? You can never know too much so research away!
And then practice, practice, and more practice: Once you feel like a genius with all of your new knowledge about the company and its leaders, now you need to put yourself in front of the mirror (or better yet- a video camera) and practice until it feels perfect. This will help you feel more confident, improve your interview skills, and sharpen your skills. The mirror or camera will help you focus on other aspects of the job interview like hand gestures, energy level, and posture. The more you rehearse answers, the less anxiety you will have when the real interview comes along. And if you are still nervous, find a coach or mentor who can help you preform mock interviews.
Dress for success: This one always seems so obvious, but in today’s casual world, what you wear does matter. It goes without saying that you get one chance to make a good impression. Avoid loud colors or distracting patterns. Your clothing should be clean and pressed. Skirts should not be too short and pants shouldn’t be too tight. The days of wearing a suit and tie to work every day may be over or limited to certain professions, but you can never be overdressed for a job interview so do your best to dress as appropriately for the position you are applying for or for the field you are hoping to enter. Remember- before you even answer a question, you are already being judged so take good care to dress for success.
Ask away: It’s going to happen. In fact, it’s inevitable. The “do you have any questions for us” part of the interview is often the one for which job applicants forget to prepare. Not only is it a good time to make sure the job is right for you, it also presents you as a thoughtful potential employee. Have at least 5-7 questions ready for the end of the interview. The internet is full of great questions so if you can’t think of any, Google is your friend. Don’t be afraid to ask more unique questions. It will be a refreshing way to see the hiring managers as they tend to go off “script” when faced with a question outside the normal.
Be thankful: Always say thank you after an interview and always send a thank you letter or e-mail as a follow-up. It is the right thing to do and it shows the hiring manager that you are seriously interested in the job. The thank you follow-up also allows you to once again state your case for why you are the best candidate for the position. You can never go wrong sending a thank you (unless you don’t review it for mistakes or send more than one). Send your thank-you within 24 to 48 hours after the interview. Timing is everything.
Now you should be set to go out and get that job! Of course, if you need some additional assistance, our tenured staff knows all about interviewing and finding the right position for you. They are more than willing to help you along the way. And they will always point you in the right direction.