By Christian Smith, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition
You’ve written a great resume that highlights your professional experience and has no errors. A Recruiter has taken notice and called you in regards to an opening. You spoke intelligently and now you have an in-person interview! It’s your time to shine!
Preparation is the key! Like the old adage goes, you don’t plan to fail, you fail to plan. That said, make sure you read your interview confirmation email thoroughly with the attention to detail it requires.
- Dress attire – Always go professional (suit/tie for men, pant/skirt suit or professional dresses for women) unless otherwise stated.
- When is your interview – Always arrive 10-15 minutes early.
- Where is your interview – Be prepared to factor in traffic time as well as parking.
- What documents are required for you to have – Hard copies of your resumes, interview questions, required certifications, etc.
- Who are you actually interviewing with – Do not go to Reception thinking that they will know who you are meeting with.
Now you’re in the door! You feel as prepared as possible and it’s time to impress. Start impressing immediately. You’d be surprised how the Receptionist team plays a role in hiring decisions. Be professionally courteous with the front line employees as every impression of you matters. The Receptionist team is the first of the first impressions to be made or lost.
Next it’s on to the Manager! Your introduction is very important, as you want to set a positive tone on how the interview will go. Be confident. Your body language throughout the process speaks volumes for you and your success. Stand up quickly, make eye contact, smile, give a solid handshake, engage and you’re off! Most good managers start their portion of the interview right then and there. Be an active member of that initial conversation.
You’re in the interview room ready to answer away, but be calm! Time to show your preparation. Being prepared will help tremendously in staying calm throughout the interview. It is preferable to have your resume ready to go in a professional notepad of some sort. A professional notepad is a great interview tool that shows you’re organized and prepared. It will keep your resumes neat, and will also have a pad of paper with a pen to take notes.
To the questions! There are 3 main types of questions you should be prepared to answer: Competency, Behavioral, and Situational.
- Competency: Can you perform the basic requirements and skills to do the job well?
- Behavioral: Your past work will predict your future behavior.
- Situational: Specific questions about what may happen on the job. How you would assess a situation? Provide solutions on how he or she would handle it.
No matter what kind of question you’re asked make sure you take a moment to absorb and understand the question to your fullest capacity before firing off an answer. You want to make sure you speak with confidence and speak to answer the question directly. The last thing you want to do is start answering before the Manager finishes the question or start speaking too soon, get off on a tangent and then not remember the actual question you’re answering.
Another tip is avoiding negative connotations. This includes, but is not limited to, trash talking your current or old employers, managers, and co-workers. Keep it positive and keep it on target.
To your questions! Any good interviewer will make sure to allow time for you to ask questions as well, and you should always be prepared to do so. This time allows you to make sure that the job is a good fit for you. It cannot be stressed enough how important this step is and how often it goes by the wayside. The last thing a hiring manager wants to hear after “Do you have any questions for me?” is a blank stare and a “No.” What the hiring manager is actually hearing is “I already know everything” or “I don’t care enough to learn more about the position or company. Is the interview over yet?”
- A good recommendation is to have at the very least 6 thoughtful questions prepared, as you can almost guarantee that 2 of them will be answered during the interview itself.
Finish strong! As you are leaving make sure to confirm next steps and timelines to expect feedback or the hiring decision, and always remember to thank all of your interviewers for their time.
What are some of your best interview tips? Tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter.
— SIS (@sis_us) October 20, 2016