Ace the Interview!
You’ve been attending networking meetings, going to job fairs, applying online, making calls, talking to recruiters, consulting your favorite psychic and finally you are invited to interview. I know you’ve been working quite a while for this opportunity, so here are 10 tips to help you make the most of it:
Before your interview, rehearse! You can practice a phone interview and an in-person interview. Have someone ask questions. If you record your rehearsals, you can play them back and critique yourself. Note where you excelled and where you could use a little work. Then rehearse some more. As part of the rehearsal, practice shaking hands and introducing yourself.
Oftentimes employers will conduct a phone interview with you first as part of their screening process. You want to make the best impression possible during the phone interview, so you are invited in to the in-person interview.
Invest in a quality outfit that is appropriate to that industry. Ensure a proper fit, and include complimentary accessories. Being a little overdressed for the position is better than being too casually dressed. Pay attention to company culture. If the company is conservative, you may want to remove excessive piercings and cover tattoos. If the company is more hip and laid-back, the tattoos and piercings may work in your favor.
Pay attention to the details of your personal grooming. Clean your eyeglasses. Brush your clothing and polish or wipe down your shoes. See a hair stylist and check your manicure. If you can’t pick up a dime with your fingertips, your nails are probably too long. Check your breath. Bathe or shower, but don’t go overboard with your perfume or cologne.
Do Your Homework
Learn about the company. Check out their company website, Facebook page and LinkedIn page. You may be asked what you know or like about the company. You need to be ready with an answer. Doing research before your interview will also help you form intelligent questions to ask.
Bring These Essentials
If appropriate, take samples of your work with you. Organize them neatly and present them in an attractive case. Even if you don’t need to show your portfolio, still offer to do so. You may have a skill or talent that the company is looking for, independent of the job you applied for. You’ll also need several copies of your resume as well as a pen and some paper to take notes. Be sure to leave your friends, family and pets at home.
Go on a Reconnaissance Mission
Drive to the interview site a day or two before your interview. Make sure you leave home at the same time and take the same route as you would take the day of your interview. You’ll get a sense of the traffic and the parking situation before the interview, so there will be no surprises. This will help you ensure you’re on time, if not a little early.
Read About Common Interview Questions and Answers
There are countless articles and videos on the Internet about typical interview questions and how they should and should not be answered. Know what a potential employer is allowed to ask you and what they absolutely cannot ask you. Put the appropriate answers into your own words.
Avoid the Following:
1. Don’t show up to your interview smelling like cigarette smoke.
2. Don’t chew gum.
3. Don’t act too confident.
4. Don’t tell jokes.
5. Don’t have a negative attitude.
6. Don’t use profanity.
7. Don’t be late. If being late is unavoidable, call and let the interviewer know.
Allow Ample Time for the Interview
Your interview may be delayed or you may be interviewed by more than one person. You may also be asked to demonstrate a skill, take tests or sign forms. It’s best not to have anything planned for right after your interview. Don’t assume it will take a certain amount of time.
Be sure to follow up you interview with an email or thank-you card addressed to the interviewer. Tell them that you liked meeting them and appreciated the opportunity to interview with their company. Also be sure to mention something positive about the company. You can also remind them of a few of your skills.
Once you land that job, remember to pay it forward by helping others find positions you hear about and be sure to keep networking. And once you get that great job, be sure to let your psychic know!