Preparation Before You Go to Your Interview
Know your resume and questions that could be asked from it. Review your major accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses. Learn all you can about the company and product in advance. Arrive 15 minutes early. Late attendance is never excusable.
Dress to Impress – Professional Dress
- Two piece solid or pinstriped (dark color preferable) suit w/ polished shoes.
- Do not wear excessive jewelry or heavy cologne/perfume.
- No cell phones/pagers
- No piercing
Things/items to bring (or not bring)
- Extra copies of your resume
- Slim Portfolio with paper for note taking and extra pens
- List of 3 professional references (just incase the hiring manager ask from them)
- Do not bring a briefcase or a laptop
- Leave cell phone or pager in car
- Do not bring any letters of recommendations or awards or any other related items
Winning Questions to Ask
- Get the interviewer to describe the position and responsibilities early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and background to the position throughout the interview.
- Clarify questions. Be sure you answered the questions the employer really asked.
- Don’t answer vague questions. Rather than answering questions you think you hear, get the employer to be more specific and then respond.
- Be aware of what your body language is saying. Smile, make eye contact, don’t slouch and maintain composure.
An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation. Below are examples of conversation prompts:
- Why was this position created?
- What are the primary objectives during the first six months?
- What is the most urgent or challenging part of the job?
- Why is the position open?
- What resources will I have to assist me in excelling in this role?
- What do you see as my greatest strengths and weaknesses in terms of this position?
- When will you be making your decision to fill this position?
- Listening, This is probably the most important ability of all. By concentrating not only on the employer’s words, but also on the tone of voice and body language, you will be able to pick up on the employer’s style. Once you understand how a hiring authority thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to better relate to him or her.
- Don’t ramble. Long answers often make the speaker sound apologetic or indecisive.
Closing the Interview
- Express strong interest in pursuing the job regardless of your immediate impressions.
- State that you feel that your strengths fit well with their needs.
- Express confidence that you can handle the job. Stress teamwork and people skills
- Ask for the job; this may be your only opportunity to do so.
If you feel that the interview went well and you would like to take the next step, express your interest to the hiring authority and turn the tables a bit. Try something like the following:
“After hearing more about your company, the position and the responsibilities at hand, I am certain that I possess the qualities that you are looking for in the (title) position. Based on our conversation and my qualifications, are there any issues or concerns that you have that would lead you to believe otherwise?”
You have a right to be assertive. This is a great closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, this is a great opportunity to overcome them. You have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on positive note.
Post Interview Follow Up
- Thank them for their time and consideration
- Express strong interest in pursuing the position further
- Briefly reinforce why you are qualified for the job.
- Call your recruiter! Follow-up now is critical. A “thank you” letter should be written no later than 24 hours after the interview.
- Do not talk salary! If you are asked what your current salary is, truthfully state base and bonus if applicable.
- If asked, simply state: “I am looking for positive career growth and would be receptive to a reasonable, competitive offer. I’d prefer to be sure this opportunity is right for both of us before we discuss compensation.”
- Do not give salary desired or reference information on the application. Be thorough with the other information. Indicate “salary to be discussed” and “references to be provided later”.
You are playing the role of salesperson. You have one and only one commodity to sell: YOURSELF! If, at the end of the interview, you feel comfortable in saying that you rebutted each negative to the satisfaction of both yourself and the interviewer, the chances are excellent that you have “made the sale,” and the job is yours.