Congratulations! The company you applied to has called and said they were impressed by your résumé and want you to come in for an interview! Your foot is in the door, now you just need to impress them in person and the job could be yours.
In order to knock the interview out of the park, there are certain things you should do prior to the interview, during the interview, and post interview. Let’s review actions you can take to continue your positive impression beyond the résumé and into the interview.
Prior to the actual interview day you should do some homework regarding the company that has called you in. Review the company as a whole. Make sure you know what the goals of the business are, where it is located, how many employees they have, and specifics about the position you have applied for.
You may want to go back and review the actual job listing to analyze exactly what skills they mention and experience they are looking for. This will help you remember to mention those specifics during the interview itself.
The days before you are scheduled for your interview, make sure you have a freshly printed copy or two of your résumé in case they reference it. You will also want to make sure you have proper business attire for the interview.
During the Interview
In order to make a positive impression right off the bat, show up a little early, smile and give a confident handshake. This should start you off on the right foot. Here are a few more suggestions for the interview itself.
- Have a quick (two minute or less) summary of your job experience and skills ready to give to kick off the interview. Usually hiring managers start with an easy question of asking the candidate to tell a little about themselves. This is a good chance to make a personal connection and mention some of your past experiences.
- Highlight your successes. Lots of people have trouble talking about themselves during interviews, but this is a time to mention your latest achievements, successful projects, or awards you have received.
- Answer questions completely and thoughtfully. Try to plan in advance so you can be prepared for questions that may be asked. In our last blog we highlighted some of the most common interview questions for preparation purposes. They are worth posting again – 50 Most Common Interview Questions.
- Ask Questions about the position. This not only shows the hiring manager that you are interested in the position, but it also helps clarify whether a job is right for you.
- Speak with enthusiasm. If you can, show your passion and enthusiasm for the position or company. Remember to be genuine at the same time.
After you have left the interview it is a good idea to follow up with a thank you note for the hiring manager or human resource professional who took the time to meet with you. Thank you notes are considered a common courtesy, and following up after an interview reiterates your interest in the job. Following up may set you apart from other candidates.
A Few Things NOT to Do
In telling you what to do, it is worth mentioning some things that you will want to avoid doing that could be a big turn off for the person interviewing you.
- Avoid bad mouthing your last employer. Saying negative things about former employers will make you look bad and could set a negative tone for the entire interview. Stay positive.
- Do not be distracted by your phone or other device. While it may seem tempting to check a quick text, it shows a lack of interest in what is going on in the interview.
- Don’t lie or over exaggerate your skills, experience, or knowledge. This could come back to haunt you later.
- Avoid fidgeting. Non verbal cues can tell a potential employer a lot about a candidate.
- Avoid standing out in a bad way by using too much cologne, hairspray, makeup or overly flamboyant colors that can distract from the interview.
Do you need help preparing for your next interview? The North Shore Career Center and MassHire North Shore offers many workshops where job seekers can brush up on their skills, practice interview techniques, and gain valuable insights on industry trends. Check out our calendar and consider coming in to speak with our team to find out some great strategies to land you the job you desire.