How to Prepare for an Interview…
There are many things to consider when interviewing with a potential employer, especially in a face-to-face scenario versus a telephone interview, but here are a few helpful reminders for you:
1) DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Research is perhaps the most crucial cornerstone to success in an interview. Read all you can about the company you’re interviewing with and be prepared to talk intelligently about their position in the industry. This will show the hiring manager that you are indeed interested in the company and not just passively interviewing or “feeling things out”. They want to know that you’re motivated and proper preparation will show them that you are.
2) Bring a copy of your resume to physically hand a hiring manger during a face-to-face interview. Sometimes they will already have one in hand, but it can’t hurt to bring one anyways. That way the hiring manager can go down your resume and talk to you in some more detail about your experiences and relevant skill sets.
3) Dress appropriately, professionally, and two levels above the position you are interviewing for.
4) Show up early. Leave plenty of time for surprises and make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes before the interview is scheduled. Showing up late is NOT an option!
5) Listen more than you talk. Ask leading questions and try to get the interviewer to describe the position in detail as early in the interview as possible. That way you can relate your skills and background to the position as described. As a rule of thumb, the hiring manager should talk 60% of the time and you should talk 40%.
6) Don’t let your guard down. It’s nice to build rapport, but don’t become too comfortable in the interviewing process. Don’t say more than is necessary. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a candidate talk their way OUT of a job because they let their guard down. Don’t make this mistake. Continue to sell yourself throughout!
7) Don’t ask questions about salary in the initial interview. This shows the hiring manager that you are only motivated by monetary gains and no one wants to see that. They want to see that you’re interested in the position first and foremost, not the money.
8 ) Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no”. Explain things in detail whenever possible, but don’t go overboard. Make sure your stay on point and don’t veer from the context of the situation. Be sincere and keep in mind that you alone have the power to sell yourself to the interviewer. Help them to realize why they NEED you within their organization.
9) Close the sale. At the end of every interview, make sure to ask the interviewer what the next step is. Push them to commit to a follow-up and continue to stay in contact with them without being invasive and annoying.
These are just a few things to consider, but follow these simple rules and you’ll be well on your way to success! Best of luck to you!
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