As we try to conquer the corporate world, there will obviously be times when we’ll need to go through interviews. I’m no expert but I have been through plenty of interviews starting with my first job when I was 17 and I have been quite successful with the process. I’m hoping my tips below will help you with any job interviews you may come across.
Preparing for the Interview
- This may be an obvious one but review the job description prior to your interview! You need to be familiar with which job you applied for. It is extremely likely that you’ll be asked “What about this position interests you the most?”
- Going on along with reviewing the job description, make sure to write down examples of your experience and match it to requirements in the job description. For example, if the description needs the individual to prepare and maintain budgets, write a note about when you were a financial analyst and what your duties were.
- Do your homework! Internal job transfers are a little bit easier because you’ve been working for the company and have an understanding of the culture and the reason why your company exists. (BTW, if you don’t, you need to look at that on your intranet RIGHT NOW.) Interviews with companies you’re currently not working for will require that you do some research on current news about the company. Make sure you understand what the goal of the company is and ensure you agree with them.
- Prepare questions to ask. If you ask at least 3 questions, they’ll be impressed (assuming you’re not asking about benefits and salary). Ask about the challenges they foresee with the position. Ask about their expectations of the individual. You could inquire about critical projects/tasks that this individual will be in charge of.
- Plan to be early. You’ll want to show up between 5 and 15 minutes early. Any later or earlier than that could give the wrong impression. Of course, if the company requires that you come at a specific time to register or to get badges, etc. then definitely show up when you’re told.
- Dress professionally. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a Chanel suit with Jimmy Choo shoes but you’ll want to look clean and put together. You may even consider putting your hair back or up! One less thing to distract you.
- Bring these items: a notebook (or nice portfolio), copies of your resume, a pen, copy of the job description, and your questions!
During the Interview
- Don’t look pissed off while waiting! The interviewers may be running late because they still have to run the operations of the business. Be patient, look friendly, and be curious about your environment.
- Take notes. Employers will give you examples of critical projects that they have in mind for the individual. They’ll also mention key words. Or they’ll mention words you’re not familiar with. Write them all down and/or ask questions about it. Writing things down will make you look like you’re listening, you’re engaged and truly interested in what the position is all about.
- Ask the interviewer to clarify questions. This is really important because it’ll show that you’re trying to understand what is being said. People who don’t ask clarification questions and just answer the question based on what they think the employer is looking for, won’t make a good impression.
- When the interviewer is done asking his/her/their questions, they’ll likely ask if you have any questions. This is your chance to blow their socks off with the questions you prepared. Remember to ask questions about the position and the requirements, NOT ABOUT THE BENEFITS.
After the Interview
- After the interview has completed, make sure to thank each interviewer for their time and shake their hand with a FIRM HANDSHAKE.
- If it’s an interview with a company you’ve never worked for, send a handwritten thank you card within 2 business days.
- If you have follow up questions or want to add a letter of recommendation to your interview file, make sure to contact the recruiter.
Here’s a little funny for you to make you less nervous. 🙂
Best of luck on your next interview!! What has made you successful in your interviews? Leave a comment below or email them to us!