We’ve heard them all. Nightmare stories about firing squad panel interviews. Sinister mind games played by human resources to see how well you’d hold up under stress. Don’t forget about those seemingly innocent behavioral interview questions that ask if you would nark on your shoplifting granny. Who needs ghost stories around a campfire when you can hear these beauties at the water cooler? Is it worth it? I think it is. Are they intimidating? Sure they are. But, with a little preparation, you’ll be able to breeze through the process and live to tell your own stories some day.
Before the interview:
- Research. Become as familiar with the company and position as you can ahead of time. The Internet is an excellent source of information. Study the job description and match up your skills and accomplishments with the core competencies your future employer is looking for.
- Know Thy Resume. The person interviewing you will more than likely have a copy of it in front of them, so expect questions based upon the contents of your resume. Think of ways you can expand upon what is written (Remember: Situation, Action, Result) and let the interviewer know that you are going to be a great employee.
- Have Your Ducks in a Row. Know where and when the interview is. Have a way there. Do you need a sitter? Book one now. Are your interview clothes clean and well fitting? Take care of this a few days before the interview, not the morning of.
Day of the interview:
- Appearances. Make sure you’re well rested and have had a good meal before heading off to the interview. Take one last look at yourself before you head out the door. You need to look professional and put together. Remember, easy on the fragrances.
- Timing. Arrive early for your interview. If you are kept waiting in the reception area past your interview time, don’t get angry or frustrated; this could be the stress portion of the interview and the receptionist is always part of the interview team! Be gracious and remember, this IS the most important thing you have going on.
- Be Enthusiastic! Make eye contact and be friendly. Answer all questions truthfully and don’t try to bluff when you don’t know the answer. They are not only looking for your responses, but how you respond. They’re also judging how well you will fit in with corporate culture.
- Sell Yourself. They know you’re qualified, otherwise you wouldn’t have been asked to come in for an interview. But remember, there is a fine line between selling yourself and overkill. Finally, ask for the job. It’s one way they determine your enthusiasm for the position.
- Thanks! Thank them for their time and truly mean it. Try to get their business cards or at the very least everyone’s first and last names and positions. Let them know how much you appreciated the interview.
- Snail Mail. Write each person a thank you note as soon as you get home and try to get it in the mail on the same day. Yes, e-mails are quicker and easier, but there is nothing like a personal note written in your own handwriting. Offer to follow up in a few days.
- Follow Up! Call the interviewer and ask about the status of the position. Use this opportunity to give yourself one last plug!
Do you need help with your career journey? Please contact me today at 888.522.8233 to schedule your complimentary Career Boost Strategy Session and we can begin to work on this together.