Interview Tips

 

Congratulate yourself! You passed the first test. Your skill set was selected as one that a company or organization is interested in pursuing.  You have been asked to interview and now it is time to prepare. Here are few tips to help you get through the interviewing process and hopefully secure an offer.

  • Be sure to have the resume you used to apply for the position in front of you for the interview.  Your employment history, including gaps on your resume and reasons for leaving will all be discussed.  Be prepared to answer any questions regarding where you worked, who you reported to, why you left and if there is a gap, what you did during that time.
  • Prior to your interview, research the company and the person(s) you will be meeting.  You can gain valuable information off of the Internet.  Most companies have their own website with information on their history, benefits, location, etc.  Study what they do, why they do it and who is responsible for the success. 
  • After you have researched the company and gathered all of their information, take time to gather your thoughts.  Compose a few questions to ask during the interview that are related to the company and/or its performance.  You may consider asking the following questions: 

-Why is the position open?
-When does the position need to be filled?
-What is the most important skill set for this position?  
Also, make sure you are confident and prepared when answering the following questions:
-Why are you looking for a new opportunity?
-What were your reasons for leaving your past positions?
-What do you know about our company and this position?
-Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
-What are your strengths and weaknesses?
-What is your salary requirement?

  • Dress for success. No matter what the dress code is for a company, it is always important to make an excellent first impression.  Make sure you dress in a conservative attire.  Dark solid colors are ideal. If your interviewing is virtual, be sure to dress like you are in the office.  
  • Make sure you bring several copies of your resume, transcripts, writing samples, reference contacts (with complete phone number and/or email addresses) and letters of recommendation.  It is likely you will meet several people in the company.  You should offer each person a copy of your resume if they are a part of the interviewing process.  Arriving to an interview without these documents is unacceptable.  Also, if you are asked to complete an application, complete it fully.  Do not ever put, "see resume".  You are not impressing anyone by writing, "see resume". 
  • If you are doing a face-to-face meeting, take this time to get directions to the interviewing location as well as any parking recommendations.  Be prepared with cash or credit to pay for parking. Be sure to arrive on time or 10 minutes early.  Do not be late.  There is no excuse for arriving late to an interview late.  Use a traffic-oriented app to view traffic conditions prior to your interview.  It is recommended that you check the traffic and construction conditions 24-48 hours before your interview. All of this will help you make sure you arrive on time or a few minutes early.  It is not ideal to arrive more than 15 minutes early to any appointment.  If you arrive at the address more than 15 minutes before your meeting wait outside or in your car.
  • If your interview is virtual, be sure to close doors to outside noise.  Test and adjust your camera, Wi-Fi and environment.  Recruiters can help you do this and go through a test run with you. Pay attention to your background and surroundings.  Keep the background well-lit and simple.  Do not sit in front of items that you would not want someone to see in your office.  Virtual backgrounds a great but nothing too distracting.  Simple colors are ideal.  
  • While interviewing, make sure you answer all questions completely and confidently.  Speak clearly and make eye contact.  Do not shrug your shoulders, slouch, or look in another direction while speaking.  Keep your hands in front of you or take notes while listening.  Notes should be taken with pen and paper that you have handy. You should not use your cell phone to take notes or to review questions, etc.  Keep your phone turned on silent or completely off and out of site during the interview.  If you are interested in the position and all that you have learned during the interview, state that you want the job.  So often clients worry that the candidate was not interested based on comments made or comments not made during the interview.  Clients want to know that you want them as much as they want you.
  • After the interview, thank everyone for their time and state that you look forward to hearing from them.  Be sure to request business cards so you can write thank you notes to everyone you meet.  If you are unable to obtain business cards, take note of their names and titles.  Follow up with the front desk or your recruiter to get the correct spelling of each name.  Write a short thank you card to each person you met and state your interest in the position.  Make sure you proofread the contact information and note prior to sending it.
  • Call your recruiter to follow up and give your feedback from the interview.