Even the most seasoned employees sometimes find the interview process a little nerve-racking. After all, you want to present the best possible version of yourself when interviewing with a potential employer. However, the key to a successful interview is simple: preparation. Before you head into your next interview, consider the following tips to help you land that perfect job.
Do Your Research
Walking into an interview without first researching the company is a good way to ensure that you won’t be asked back for a second interview. Thus, it’s essential to do your homework beforehand. Research the company thoroughly; visit their website, check out their social media profiles, and read any relevant press releases about them. Know their direct competitors and familiarize yourself with industry terminology.
Know The Players
After thoroughly researching the company you’re interviewing with, it’s time to move on to learning what you can about the people conducting your interview. Ask for their names in advance so you can read their bios on the company website. Visit their LinkedIn pages and look for any commonalities. Do you share an alma mater? Do you have any connections in common? Learning what you can about the people conducting your interview can help you craft your responses to questions asked during the interview process.
Make A Good First Impression
Your interview starts the second you walk through the door. Thus, it’s essential to arrive on time and dressed appropriately. When you enter the building, make sure to greet the gatekeepers—often security guards and receptionists—in a friendly but professional way. When you’re called back for your interview, greet the hiring manager with a firm handshake and plenty of eye contact.
Honesty Is Always Best
If you think embellishing your work history or skill set during an interview is harmless, you better think again. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to the interview process so be upfront if you’re lacking a particular skill or certification. However, you should also emphasize your willingness to learn whatever it is that your resume is lacking.
Avoid Negative Comments
While honesty is always best during an interview, that doesn’t give you a free pass to badmouth your former employer. Doing so will only make one person look bad: you. So, stick to the facts and keep your opinions about your former supervisor’s management style to yourself.
Be Concise But Thorough
When answering interview questions, try to keep your responses concise but with enough detail to demonstrate your competency. While you don’t want to fall into the trap of nervous rambling, you do want to give examples of how you’ve successfully performed the task in question.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Virtually every interview concludes with the opportunity to ask questions of the hiring manager. So, make sure to prepare thoughtful questions in advance. Avoid using this time to ask about salary or vacation time; instead, consider questions like, “What do you think it takes for a person to be successful in this role?”
Don’t Forget To Follow-Up
The interview process doesn’t end when you leave the building after meeting with the hiring manager. In fact, how you follow-up—or neglect to follow-up—after an interview can sometimes mean the difference between a job offer and a rejection email. Within 24 hours after your interview, send the hiring manager a thank-you card or email. Let the manager know that you appreciate her time and emphasize why you feel that you’re a good fit for the role. Keep the message brief, no more than a couple of short paragraphs.
All of this applies if you go through an employment agency like Bishop & Company as well. Be prepared, dressed to impress, and ready to share your best self and your top career wins.
Are you ready for your next employment opportunity? Contact us today to learn how we can help you find the right position for your unique skills and experience.