There is usually a big difference in the results from job interviews between those who prepare for the interview and those who do not. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro, the interview tips listed here will help you increase your chances of having a successful interview experience. These interview tips may be new to you or just good reminders for your career development, but taking the time before your interview could make all the difference.
Research the company – Start with the company web site and expand your search from there to learn about their history, philosophy, vision, products/services, and any hints at company culture. This will help you know if they fit what you’re looking for, and why you might be a fit for them.
Review your own resume – Check for accuracy, anticipate being questioned about the career moves you’ve made so far, and about anything that might need more explanation such as any short stays at a job or gaps between employment.
Remind yourself of the details of some of your successful accomplishments – Many employers ask what are known as “behavior-based” interview questions (those questions that sound like “Tell me about a time that you….” Or “Give me a specific instance that you….”). In these types of interviews, the interviewer is looking for you to give them a specific example from your past that demonstrates your abilities. It is a good idea prior to the interview to think of the skills needed for the job you’re interviewing for, and what examples you have from your past that show that you have successfully demonstrated those skills, remind yourself of the details of those examples. You want to avoid leaving the interview and remembering your good examples after it is too late.
Research common interview questions - Just to get a comfort level with what you might be asked. There are plenty of books written on the subject, but a good online search will give you a sense of typical questions.
Be prepared to answer the questions:
“Why do you want to work there?” (Demonstrate that you know about their company and the position you are interviewing for by being able to explain what interests you in this opportunity)
“Why are you a good candidate for the position?” (How your education and work experience relate to the job you’re interviewing for)
“What are your long-term goals?” (Demonstrate that the position you are interviewing for fits into your long-term career plan, not just a short-term stop along the way)
Good etiquette is to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
Remind yourself to turn off your cell phone, and dress professionally. Employers typically will expect you to dress a notch to two above what you will do on a day-to-day basis if you were to work for them.
You never know who you might be introduced to, or who might join the interview, so bring extra copies of your resume and references to the interview.
Ask interviewer(s) for their business card for a follow up/thank you card or email. If you are able to find out when they will be making a decision, try to time your thank you note for right before that decision time. The thank you should include a thank you for the time the interviewer took to meet with you, a reminder of a couple of items you discussed that you felt went well, anything that may mitigate any concerns they might have had from your discussion, and your interest in the position or moving forward in the interview process.
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