Job Interview Tips
Job Interview tips for anyone looking to sharpen their skills. Finding a new job can sometimes be a long and exhausting process. You must create the perfect resume and cover letter, scour the web for job posting after job posting, and then fill out an application. And that is the start of the process. You must hope that your cover letter and resume stand out just to get that first phone call.
Next, you have to freshen up your interviewing skills. There are so many interviewing styles, it might be hard to prepare for what you will face. It could be anything from a phone interview to a one-on-one or a panel interview. Some industries even have working interviews. The bottom line is that if you want to land the job you’re interviewing for, here are the top tips you must do to even stand a chance.
Do your research
No matter what style of interview you will be up against, the company will expect you have taken some time to figure who they are and what they do. Nothing is more embarrassing than showing up to an interview at a company you know nothing about.
Some key things to research include:
- Mission statement
- Length of time they’ve been in business
- Top clients
- Their leadership
- History of the company
- Culture of the company
Check YOUR social media
It has become almost standard these days for companies to do a quick search for you on social media platforms. Before you even apply, be sure to lock down your settings and clean up any unforgiving pictures or interactions that are public on profile. Consider also what your profile picture looks like.
Your social media says a lot about you. That information can look favorable upon you or it may not. You want to make sure it looks good enough for grandma to enjoy.
It sometimes feels awkward or silly, but practicing typical interviewing questions aloud can help organize your thoughts and responses. It is helpful if you can grab a friend or family member to practice with. You want to make sure you nail down the easy questions first like, “Tell me something about you?” and “Why are you interested in working here?”
Prepare Your Information
For most interviews, you want to bring a copy of your resume, sometimes the application or a portfolio. You want to have all the documents ready in advance so that you don’t run into computer or printer problems on your big day.
This is also a good time to bring up the potential for additional instructions that might have been requested by the employer. Be sure you have thoroughly read the job description and application instructions. It would be a huge turn off if you missed simple directions.
Dress to impress
Ideally, you want to pick out an appropriate outfit for your industry ahead of time. Some industries expect suits and ties, others will let you slide with business casual. You know your industry best!
Just make sure your outfit is washed and wrinkle-free at least the day before your interview. It never hurts to have a back up outfit in case of an accidental food spill or other wardrobe malfunction.
Sleep like a baby
Whatever measures it takes to get a good night’s rest will be vital on the night before your interview. You do not want to be yawning with bloodshot eyes during your appointment. Sleeping well will not only make you appear more focused, but you will feel better and more confident.
Show up early and alone
Showing up on the dot is actually late these days. Plan to arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time. It shows you are prompt but not too early.
In a new phenomenon, interviewees have been known to bring people with them. Leave your husband, kids or parents at home. There is nothing more unprofessional than showing up with “support.” Your potential future employer will be in no mood to host additional guests.
For some people, this could take some acting skills. However, you do not want to be plain Jane when you are sitting in the hot seat. Try to use some anecdotes when answering the questions.
Hiring managers enjoy the monotony of their questioning broken up by interesting (albeit sometimes a little less than relevant) stories that showcase who you are and how you handle yourself. You must go beyond your resume and show some personality.
Remember, this isn’t all about you. You might think this is your dream job or dream company, but remember you can put the interviewer in the hot seat too. They might also be impressed if you show up prepared in this manner.
Do not talk ill of anybody
The worst thing you can do is talk ill about a former company, a former employer or a former employee. Even if your last position wasn’t all roses, try to not go down that path. Keep things upbeat and positive. Focus on the good in each situation you were in.
The truth is, you might have been wronged. You might still deserve justice. However, an interview is not the time or the place to recall these situations.
Ask for a tour
Asking to see a tour of the place is advantageous in a few days. First, you get to spend some extra time with the hiring manager and it allows for a bit more of a relaxed conversation. Additionally, you can see what is going on during the work day. You can take note if your potential future co-workers seem happy, stressed, annoyed or content (upon other emotions).
Set up next steps
Before shaking hands and walking out the door, get the low down on your next steps. You can ask if there is an additional interview to setup or when they anticipate making a decision. Will they call you? Will they email you?
Send a thank-you
The final touch or the cherry on top is to send a thank-you card immediately after the interview. You can send a well-thought-out email or write up a nice card and drop it in the mail. Be sincere and make any small clarifications that you might not have made crystal clear. This will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.