Your phone rang with an unfamiliar number which could only mean one thing: the manager in charge of hiring, at the place you applied for so eagerly, wants you to come in for an interview! You set up a time and date to go in and speak face to face, and hang up on a good note. You’re excited and anxious to go and get it over with, right up until you’re on the way there or sit down in the office. Then you’re suddenly nervous and unsure; after all, you really want this job and in today’s economy you need the money too. So here is some sound Interviewing advice that you should consider:
Preparing for the interview:
- Get a good night’s sleep! Looking and feeling overtired is not something that only you can see- everyone can. The last thing that you or your potential employer wants is to see heavy bags under your eyes or constant yawning, and it would be even worse if you were to suddenly start dozing off!
- Have something to eat beforehand. Depending on the time that you’re interview is scheduled; this could be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner. Having something healthy and of an appropriate portion size not only provides your brain with nutrients to keep you stimulated, but it also keeps your stomach from rudely interrupting you in the middle of your conversation. It also keeps you from potentially drooling over the bowl of candy in the waiting room or being too distracted thinking of what fast-food place you want to stop at on the way home after the interview is over.
- Dress appropriately! Most everyone who is job-hunting has been told time and time again about dressing nice for an interview, and there’s a reason for it. If you’re applying for a job as a sous chef at a nice restaurant, you don’t want to be wearing something that a dishwasher would wear, and the same rule applies for corporate and financial positions. Don’t wear jeans and an old t-shirt to an interview, ever; don’t let your pants hang below your derriere, or your skirt land above your fingertips; button all the buttons on your shirt, and don’t wear anything too revealing or low cut. You want to look professional, not like you’ve just left your high school homecoming dance.
- Do your research. Know the company or organization you are applying for, as well as the position you are seeking. Understand the job requirements and skills needed to perform it exceptionally, and know what you need to do in order to advance. It not only makes you fully aware of what exactly you have applied for, but it makes you appear eager and educated. Also, it never hurts to look up information about the company’s history or roots. It gives you something to break the ice with, and again, makes you look eager and educated.
- Prepare your answers and questions ahead of time. Some common interview questions include ‘what makes you the perfect/ideal candidate for this job?’, ‘why should I pick/hire you for this job?’, ‘what skills and experience do you have?’, ‘what is your biggest strength?’, ‘what is your biggest weakness?’, and ‘what is your dream job?’. Be honest and confident, but not boastful. Consider something relevant to the job that you may struggle or need some guidance with, like interacting with clients or using a particular software program. You applied for the job, which means that you clearly think you deserve it, so consider the reason why, and don’t base it strictly off of qualifications, prior work experience, or the compensation. At some point in the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Surely you will have a question or two based off of something you were told by your interviewer , but a great question to ask is how to advance from the position you are applying for. It makes you look driven and eager to succeed.
- Bring a hard-copy of your resume, or your application, as well as two forms of your ID, and anything else that may prove as a good example of your work- like a copy of a presentation you performed really well.
During the interview:
- Smile! Very few people, if anyone, want to work with someone who is always sulking or looking miserable. So smile and be ‘professionally upbeat’. By that, it means to appear friendly, pleasant, and driven in a way that is not too ‘party-hearty’ or easy going. Also, your expression and mood affects your attitude. If you smile and be enthusiastic, your attitude is going to be positive and strong; and if you sulk and over-think, your attitude is going to be negative and passive.
- Introduce yourself with a smile, a firm handshake, and a clear, confident voice. Don’t whisper or cram all of your words into one big one, and don’t yell. ‘Talkinglikethis’ shows signs of a lack of confidence or could make your interviewer think you are in a hurry. Don’t hesitate to make light conversation or make your interviewer smile. For example, if it’s a rainy day, try making a joke about the view from the windows, and how great it must be on such “gorgeous days” [like today]. It shows you’ve got a good attitude and are social and friendly.
- Stay calm and collected and whatever you do, don’t slouch or kick your feet up on the table or desk! You not only want to feel comfortable, but you want to look comfortable too, like you truly belong there. But being too comfortable is a bad thing, so sit straight, keep your shoes on and feet on the floor, and don’t be so stiff that your muscles cramp up.
- Finally, keep your electronics away and on silent or off! You absolutely do not want to appear more dedicated to a text-message conversation or who updated their Facebook status than to the interview in process. You also don’t want to appear like you’re anxious or in a hurry by constantly checking the time on the wall clock, your watch, or especially your cell phone. You also don’t want that one embarrassing ringtone to sound off in the middle of the conversation or to keep hearing that buzzing noise from your pocket or purse. It’s distracting, awkward, and again, makes you look like you’re more interested in knowing what is going on with your phone than with the interview.
Keep this information in mind and in heart and you are sure to get asked back for a second-round interview or even hired on the spot. And please feel free to contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions.