You’ve got a job interview coming up – fantastic! You probably have heard all kinds of tips regarding what to do during the interview, but the interview itself is only one part of your preparations. You also need to prepare pre-interview and then there are the things you need to do post interview. Here are a few general tips for what you need to do at each stage of the interview process.
If you didn’t already do your homework on the company during the application process you had better make sure you are fully acquainted with them by the time you step through the door for the interview. Read their website, check out what they’re posting on all their social media channels. Know what they’re up to and the sort of culture they probably have.
Make sure you have a couple of copies of your resume in a manila envelope to keep it looking fresh and professional.
Take the time to turn your cell phone off. You absolutely don’t want it ringing during your interview. Even if you don’t answer it the noise is still a distraction that ruins the flow of the conversation and throws an unprofessional light on you.
Check your travel times. Build in an extra twenty minutes so there’s no risk of running late no matter what the traffic is doing.
During the Interview
No matter how you’re feeling about yourself or your chances at this interview make sure you look the part of a confident, consummate professional. Maintain eye contact, square your shoulders and smile as if this is the easiest thing in the world for you.
You know they’re going to ask you to tell them about yourself, so practice what you’re going to say beforehand. You’ve heard of the elevator pitch right? Well that’s what you need to create about yourself. Who you are what makes you tick, highlighted skills or accomplishments in about a minute.
Stay positive. Even if they ask about your previous job and you left because your boss was a jerk find some way of framing your answer in a positive light. Find something good to say about the company or your co-workers.
Provide examples. It’s easy to say I’m good at X,Y,Z. What will make you a stand out candidate is the way you back up your statements. Give quantifiable examples of how you used your skills to improve something or help someone, or, increase profitability. For example, I implemented a new workflow system that improved the admins team performance by 20%. Help the interviewer imagine what a great asset you will be for their company.
Always send a thank you note following the interview. Thank them for their time and their consideration and reiterate a point discussed in the interview. Emailing the thank you is acceptable, but a hand written note is still the most meaningful