The interview is the crucial bridge between all the work you did to get it and actually getting it. They can be stressful as a result! You can cut down significantly on stress if you prepare for an interview the right way. Here 8 interview tips:
Prepare stories that show what you did rather than just talk about your job duties. What did you do that makes you the candidate for the job? Were you the sole point of contact between company and customers and often complimented for your warm and friendly manner? Be prepared to be descriptive about positions and job duties that reinforce to them why you are the candidate for the job.
Research the company and prepare questions about it. Find out what the company does, how many offices it has, and how many people it employs. Does it sponsor any community activities, like a food bank or a baseball league? Prepare questions that show your interviewer that you have done your research. Don’t think that questions show ignorance. You’re not expected to know everything about the company but questions show how interested and engaged you are!
Bring hard copies of your resume. Yes, it’s very likely they have your resume online but you will appear more polished if you come prepared. Some hiring managers bring a laptop to the interview and look at your resume online during the interview.
4. Business Cards
Bring business cards that include your telephone number and e-mail address. Hiring managers and human resources personnel are very busy and they should be able to contact you easily. They have many tasks in a given day besides interviewing you. When you bring your business cards it shows that you are organized and professional.
Wear a suit. Even if you have never worn a suit to anything else, and will never wear a suit on the actual job. You need a suit for an interview. It’s part of the conventions of job searching, like resumes and cover letters. After all, you never use a resume for anything but looking for a job.
Be on time to the interview and we can’t stress this enough. If you’re late to an interview, you may have lost the job before the interview takes place. The best way to determine the length of time it takes you to get to the interview office is to drive it in a trial run. Choose roughly the same time of day and even same day if you can, a week before. Why? Because there may be construction on the highway, or 8:30 may be a time of clogged traffic. A trip that MapQuest or Google Maps says takes 20 minutes may in fact take 40.
Send a thank-you note after your interview. A note thanking everyone who interviewed you is best practice. These can be sent by e-mail or postal mail. The text can be as simple as “Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today about x job at Y company. I enjoyed hearing about the position. Please let me know if you would like any further information.” Thank-you notes should be sent within 24 hours of the interview. Ideally, they are sent same day.
8. Next Steps
Follow-up if it seems appropriate. Should you follow up after an interview? Opinions vary. If they say something like “we’ll be making a decision by the end of the week” and you don’t hear, it probably is appropriate to follow up after the end of the week. But if they give no indication, simply wait to hear from them.
Please contact us for help during your job search.