Top Ten Tips for a Successful Interview:
- Research the company and be prepared with some written questions. Go to the company website and spend at least thirty minutes reviewing the management team, the about us pages, and make sure you read any recent press releases. Prepare questions about the company and the department you are interviewing.
- Be on time, and that means between 15 and 5 minutes early, with a clean, well-presented copy of your resume. This sounds simple, but you would be shocked at how many people don’t leave at least 15 minutes early in order to get there 10 minutes early!
- Dress the part – professional business attire, no matter how casual or cool the company is.
- Be kind to every employee you meet – the receptionist, the parking lot attendant, and anybody you pass in the hall. You know, Southwest Airlines used to have the flight attendants on flights anonymously assess the candidates they were flying in for interviews – it just goes to show that you need to mind your manners all the time.
- Think about JFK's famous line – Ask not what the company can do for you, you need to tell them what you can do for the company!
- This is not a filming of “Biography” on A&E Channel, it is a sales presentation in which you are selling your capabilities to do a job for the company. Stick to the business side and how you can solve problems. Don’t go into a half-hour long diatribe about your school experiences, the reason you love/hate the Yankees, or the intricacies of your college rivalries. The interviewer does not want your life story, they want to know your business skills and capabilities. You do not want to get into areas that may spark a prejudice of the interviewer.
- “Bad mouth thee, bad mouth me.” Whenever you trash-talk your former or current employer, guess what the interviewer thinks? “Uh-Oh, if we hire this person, I will be the next person to be bad mouthed!” Never, ever, say bad, mean-spirited, unkind, or anything that makes you look like a prospective ingrate, gossip, or just somebody who will be a cancer to the company culture.
- Save the money talk for last. Focus on the job, your ability to contribute, the great skills you can provide, and whether or not this appears to be a company you want to join. If you are pressed, then make sure you have done your homework on market rates and suggest there are many factors to consider besides just a base salary.
- Thank the interviewer for their time and make sure you asked all of your questions. This shows good manners and it let's the interviewer know you were prepared and genuinely interested in the company.
- Send a follow-up e-mail – thank the interviewer again and reiterate (very briefly) what you discussed and how you can contribute. This serves as a good memory jog to the interviewer of your conversation and reminds them of the points you want them to make for you in the hiring meeting.
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Tips for a Successful Interview