Interview Preparation

Interviews can be intimidating, but with the proper preparation, they can be easily conquered. Ensuring you have key information about a company will make you look like a more polished candidate. Follow these simple tips to ensure you are adequately prepared for your next interview.

Do your research

It is important to know about the company with whom you will be interviewing.  You’ll want to visit their corporate website to find out about their corporate values, work environment and possibly more information about what the position you’re interviewing for entails. You’ll want to take good notes about key points about the company and possible questions for the interview. Bringing notes with you to the interview shows your interest and professionalism.

First Impressions

Make sure you arrive on time for your interview. It’s important not to be late or too early – five minutes early is considered best. Use any additional time before your scheduled interview to gather your thoughts and look over your notes.

Upon meeting the interviewer, it’s important to make a good first impression.  Studies conclude that people form an impression of someone within the first 15-30 seconds. Given this time frame, your outward appearance makes up a majority of a potential employer’s first impression. Follow these simple rules to ensure you are dressing the part.

Standard Interview Dress

Do’s and Don’ts: Men

  1. Wear a suit (preferably dark colors)
  2. Wear a long-sleeve dress shirt (preferably white)
  3. Wear a stylish, conservative tie
  4. Wear dark dress shoes in good condition
  5. Wear socks that match and cover your calf when seated
  6. Wear a belt that matches your shoes
  7. Have well-groomed hair and nails
  8. Don’t wear too much cologne

Do’s and Don’ts: Women

  1. Dress conservatively (preferably dark colors)
  2. Wear a tailored pantsuit, jacket and skirt, or dress
  3. Wear dark dress shoes with 1-3 inch heel in good condition
  4. Wear hosiery that matches your outfit (natural or dark colors preferably)
  5. Carry a small purse that matches your shoes and/or belt
  6. Have well-groomed hair and nails
  7. Don’t wear bright colors or bold prints
  8. Don’t wear too much makeup or perfume
  9. Don’t wear excessive, distracting jewelry

 

The Job Interview Process

During an interview, you should expect questions about your professional background and experience. You should also expect to hear questions about your goals and what you want to do with your career. The questions will often depend on the type of job you are seeking. It’s important to be specific in your answers, as employers will be looking for specific skills in candidates. If you haven’t had any experience in an area the interviewer asks about, don’t panic. Answer honestly, but relate the question back to similar skills or experience you possess that may suffice.  Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or co-workers. If you had a less than positive experience, talk about what you learned from that experience and how that will make you a better candidate.

During an interview, you are responsible for learning more about the company and job. To determine if the job is right for you, it is important for you to interview the interviewer. Don’t forget, an interview is a mutual selection by which you both determine whether this position is a good fit. Refer back to your notes at the end of the interview and make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed.

After the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. If you’re still interested in the position, make it clear to the interviewer. Inquire about the next step in the process and their timeline for making a hire. Ask if it is appropriate for you to follow up with them and when.

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Posted in Career Advice