Your interview may be your one shot at landing your dream job in a highly competitive market. Treat your interview like the first task at a new job. Have a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and prep yourself for the interview. Pre-interview preparation will have you on your best game. Here is what you need to know before the interview.
The interview begins when you park your car. Being rude or officious with the office staff, valet or security guard may cost you hiring points. Be polite and courteous to every face you meet. Employers may ask trusted employees for their impressions of you. Be genuine, but cautious. Pay attention to your body language. Stand and sit with your back straight. Give good eye contact and offer your handshake.
Avoid answering questions with a question or answering too quickly. Be thoughtful and deliberate when answering the interviewer’s questions. Ask for clarity if you are unsure what the question is. This is especially true if you are presented with a technological or personnel question.
Read over the company history at the company’s website. Learn about the founder, any special company mission and community outreaches the business is involved in. When asked to speak, share with the interviewer which part of the company history you most enjoyed or are inspired by. Don’t recite everything you learned, just a fact that may relate to you. For example, “I see the founder, Mr. Jones, was a Midwesterner. So am I.” Or, “I see the company has a yearly outreach to the homeless. I volunteer at the soup kitchen every Monday evening.”
Avoid Personal Information
The interviewer should lead the way on how personal the conversation will get. Do not ask personal questions or give personal information unless your interviewer invites the dialogue. Asking about personal information is considered taboo in an interview.
Always Ask a Question
At the end of the interview, your potential employer will usually ask, “Do you have any questions?” Never answer with a “no.” Employers are looking for people who are genuinely interested in the position and the company. Ask a question that is relative to the situation. For example, say, “Yes, I have a question. Is your company going to go digital soon?” Put some thought into your question, and have one prepared to ask when the time is right.
Hold a practice interview with a friend before the big day. Work on your conversation skills by speaking clearly and politely.