If you’re reading this article, the first order of business is to say “congratulations!” You’ve scored (or are about to score) an interview and are about to meet a potential employer face-to-face. Your resume and initial screening phone call must have gone well and impressed the company, but now what?
It’s time to brush up on your interview skills and continue to impress every step of the way. Here are some tips and tricks to seal the deal and land the job of your dreams.
Ask Questions & Research
From the beginning, you’ll want to ask thoughtful questions about the hiring process, who you’ll meet and interact with along the way and what you should expect in terms of timeline. These questions not only show your interest in the company but the answers can reveal a lot about the future employer you might work for. If they offer vague answers and don’t have a definitive timeline or process for hiring, imagine what it might be like when you need other human resources assistance in the future.
You should receive a copy of the job description during the process and it’s important that you analyze it and come to the interview prepared to discuss the expectations and requirements.
Visit the company website and social media platforms to see how they represent themselves and convey their core values. Read the “about us” and “our history” sections to educate yourself before the interview and find a way to incorporate the company values and goals into your answers.
You might feel pressure to jump at the first time offered for an in person interview. But that has potential pitfalls. It might not give you enough opportunity to properly prepare for the interview and research the company further. It might fall in between other appointments that would make you feel rushed.
You want to find a time where you can shine your best and that works for you and the hiring managers. Aim for a mid morning during the middle of the week – Mondays and Fridays are notoriously very busy days as people catch up from missed weekend work or try to head out the door for downtime. The same applies for early morning or late afternoon appointments.
Conversation is Key
At the end of the day, an interview is a conversation. You should aim to tell a story about yourself, your skills and your experience. You’ll want to brush up on the most frequently asked interview questions and practice general answers and then add in specific information that is pertinent to the company you are interviewing with.
While you don’t want your answers to sound rehearsed, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself mentally for whatever questions the interviewer might ask. You’ll want to memorize specific examples of the things you’ve accomplished and how you made an impact at previous jobs.
What To Wear
What you wear to an interview all depends on what kind of company you are applying to. But it’s always important to dress to impress and you can do that by wearing business attire: suit jacket and tie for men and suit skirt or pants and blouse for women. Here are some ideas for affordable interview attire.
If you asked your parents for advice on how to ace an interview, they might recommend a thank you note after the interview is over. While this isn’t considered taboo, it’s definitely not something that every hiring manager expects like they did in past decades. With that said, however, a thoughtful email thanking them for their time and highlighting your takeaways from the interview will help you stand out from the crowd.
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