You probably clicked on this post because you have thought about interviewing for a new position or you have an interview scheduled. I understand how you are feeling: the excitement, the anxiety, the desire to impress. In my career as a recruiter, I have coached many clients through the interview process and into new careers. I share these tips with each client I work with, and if you follow them, you will be prepared to put your best self forward.
If you have any questions about preparing for your interview, please reach out to me directly, and I will do my absolute best to provide you with helpful answers.
Do your research on the company before your interview. Check out their website, learn some interesting facts, look through their social media pages, and connect with them on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, get one. Print out the job description, review it thoroughly, write down questions about the position and the company, and print out a couple copies of your resume. GPS the location and plan to arrive 15 minutes in advance--this is an easy thing to do that WILL make a difference in your sense of calm and in their impression of you.
2. Look the Part
Dress professionally, groom yourself, brush your teeth--all the things you already know. Just make sure you actually do them! Never arrive in jeans: give the interviewers your respect by taking the time and care to look your best. Business professional attire is expected by all prospective employers for any formal interview.
3. The First Five Minutes
Relax!!! Treat this interview as a conversation. Yes, you want to impress the interviewers, but trying too hard can backfire. Remember, you want to make sure the position is a good fit for you, just as the company wants to know if you will be a good fit for them. The first five minutes is crucial for making a good impression. Offer a firm handshake and confident introduction, but keep it lighthearted until you sit down.
4. What to Talk About
YOU: This is your time to brag about how great you are and discuss your strengths and values. Talk about how focused, driven, and professional you are and give specific examples. THEM: Make sure you also talk about THEM and THEIR company. Let the interviewers know you did your research. This can make or break the interview. Show an interest in your interviewer: What are their roles in the company? Why do they love their jobs? How long have they been there? Why do people stay? This is good inside knowledge for you about their company and will be beneficial to you in making your decision. It also shows respect by taking an interest in them. Most importantly, talk about how your experience specifically relates to the position they are looking to fill. Ask thoughtful questions.
5. What NOT to Talk About
Don’t talk about your drama. If you must mention personal or family problems that might affect the position, keep it brief and get back to the subject of why you would be a good fit. Don’t talk negatively about previous employers, but if you must allude to past bad experiences, please keep it brief. Stay positive.
6. AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Say THANK YOU! This is huge. So many candidates focus on the interview and neglect the follow up afterwards. You should always thank the interviewers for giving you their time. Cliché? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely! If you don’t have the interviewer's email address, drop a handwritten thank-you note in the mail the same day. If you are interviewing through a staffing agency, use the proper channels and have your recruiter forward the note to the employer.
If you follow these six easy tips, you WILL stand out. Take it from a Recruiter!
If you have any other questions, just send me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org.